Balanced Care For Brassicas

One of Margaret Maeve’s jobs is to inspect the brassicas for white butterfly eggs and caterpillars. We cover the young seedlings in bionet to protect them from birds and butterflies.

I always look forward to removing the netting when they grow larger and stronger–it’s much more visually pleasing to see their big green leaves stretching out rather than confined under the white tunnels of fabric. Sure, it’s more work to inspect them every other day, but the bionet security blanket means weeks can easily go by without any inspection at all (out of sight, out of mind), definitely not benefiting the plants if there’s a problem that we’re not seeing. So it’s a combination of early protection and later inspection that has worked for us over the years to produce a fine crop of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, turnip and Brussels sprouts.

While gardening isn’t everyone’s idea of fun in nature, I hope you have your own way of connecting with the great outdoors and have plenty of opportunities to indulge yourself in it!

Cheers, Melissa Xx


  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I use a green garden netting to deter the butterflies. It is not as expensive as the bio netting which I do use for carrots (though again this year we have had poor germination). Though I never have enough to net all the brassicas so checking the others is still necessary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting about your carrots as we had the same problem with early sown carrots the last two years. We are only just about to sow the first of this year. We currently have none of our own but feasted through the autumn, winter and early spring on late summer and autumn sowings.. Spring sowings have not been productive at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Colette Hayward (ne Concannon) says:

    Loving your blog and looking forward to cycling past your lovely garden en route to my cousins at the other end of the island when I visit Inis Mor next month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely family you have. I work with Cliodhna at the Hotel. She is one of my favourite people, so positive, upbeat, and hardworking. And her laugh– well that just makes my day every time I hear it!! 🤣
      Perhaps our paths will cross when you visit. Take care, Colette.
      Melissa Xx


  3. BellyBytes says:

    I love connecting to the great outdoors with your blog. ( How we love to live vicariously!) But having just returned from a recent trip to NJ, I realised how wonderful it was to commune with nature even in the midst of urbanisation. Though I must admit I used to get startled at the deer darting by and was even a bit taken aback by the rabbits that scampered on the walking trail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can relate as you have also given me a great vision of India with its rainy season and waves of heat! Visiting is definitely on ‘the list’!
      It is so encouraging and uplifting to get a comment of appreciation like yours. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Here the netting goes on early to keep out the flea beetles. Once the plants are larger ( and tougher) off it comes. This year for the first time since our old trusty border collie was around making his presence known, it is a rascally rabbit making a feast out of the Brussel sprouts ( we have two other dogs who are less committed to farm watch). A maze of a very low electrical fence and a radio on at night has done the trick….growing food requires strategy, yes? Hello to all of your precious bunch, sure hope I see you this fall!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are most fortunate to not have many wild animals to feed in our garden and none on our poultry. There are however two of our chickens that keep jumping the gate and grazing in the garden. I almost wouldn’t mind if they would leave the lettuce for selling alone. 😦 Just after my morning garden rounds I came to the conclusion they probably need new homes. Any suggestions to keep them out? Wings are clipped but they hop up from here and there, so sly!
      Very inventive you are with the radio! Our neighbours might not be as approving though. 😀
      I do hope to see you in the autumn.
      It feels really good to reconnect with some of my favourite people!! Hugs my darling. Xx


  5. Roz Hill says:

    Phil put comfrey ( it reproduces lots here) around the brassicas as a mulch. Initially it was to feed the soil… but we are amazed to find it has kept the slugs and snails away… so we spread it over the ground everywhere. Result!!
    Green netting cages to keep the cabbage whites away. So hopefully no more endless hours picking the caterpillars off the sprouts.


  6. Brenda says:

    The cabbage moths were so bad here last year that I put all of our brassicas under fabric this year. And I’m keeping them under cover for as long as possible. So far, all is going well. I hope you are having a wonderful summer, Melissa. We had a beautiful June here in Maine.


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