K's Garden

Building a large garden on a budget

Brassica Netting – against Cabbage White Butterfly Monday 4 May 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kgarden @ 12:00 am

Brassica plants were getting large, so I needed to do something about netting them against Cabbage White Butterfly.

I bought some Debris Netting off eBay [although it came from Tarpaflex]. I selected 3M width as my raised beds are 4′ wide – so that means a clear height of “(3 metres – 4 feet) / 2 in inches” which Google tells me is 35 inches.

I had a roll of 1/2″ Blue MDPE underground water pipe (the Black above ground pipe would be better, as it has UV resistance), so I cut that into 3 Metre lengths, less about 6″ to be able to anchor it down, and stuck some canes in (I cut some 4 foot canes in half, about 2 foot pushed into the ground, and 2 foot sticking out to put the pipe onto. One “hoop” every 6 feet, or so.

The job only took a few minutes, much easier than I expected.

Brassica Netting - Materials

Brassica Netting - Materials

Brassica Netting - Pipe Cut into Section

Brassica Netting - Pipe Cut into Section

Brassica Netting - Pipe Pushed on to Canes

Brassica Netting - Pipe Pushed on to Canes

Brassica Netting - Net Placed over Pipes

Brassica Netting - Net Placed over Pipes

Brassica Planting under the Netting

Brassica Planting under the Netting

Brassica Netting - Done

Brassica Netting - Done


Go for Black – I thought Green would blend in – it doesn’t!

I use enviromesh for my Carrots (carrot fly is smaller)

In Winter I replace the Debris netting with a wider mesh netting (about 2″ squares) to keep the birds off – the fine mesh of Debris Netting holds the snow and thus the whole structure collapses and squishes the plants underneath. I use the wider 2″ mesh netting in Summer over crops that just need the birds kept off such as Peas, but you could use Debris Netting for them too. I haven’t noticed any problem with light reduction because of the relatively fine-weave of Debris Netting, but it is also used to “throw” over greenhouses to provide some shading.

I also “throw” debris netting over the Strawberry bed (but not until they have finished flowering – mustn’t prevent the insects getting to the flowers to pollinate them), this saves me having to erect hoops over the Strawberry bed, and its very easy to pull aside for picking, and then put back again – just a few bricks around the edge to anchor it down.


Netting Vegetable Crops Friday 6 March 2015

Filed under: Vegetable growing — kgarden @ 12:00 am
Tags: ,

I’ve been using Scaffolder’s Debris Netting over my Brassicas for years (in the fact the netting has lasted for years, which is a bonus). It has a relatively fine mesh, which keeps the Cabbage White Butterfly off the plants, and is relatively cheap to buy (70gsm 3M wide is 74p/M). The alternative is something like Enviromesh which is relatively expensive (2.6M wide is £2.34 / M).

The number of pests that I need to keep off my crops seems to be, sadly, increasing. I’ve been using Enviromesh over my Carrots for many years. Folk law says that the Carrot Fly cannot fly very high, so just a barrier 2′ high is sufficient. Sadly that’s hogwash! although I’m sure it is partially true the problem is that just one or two Carrot flies can do enough damage to the crop to wreck it, so to my mind it is pointless to grow the crop with no or minimal protection, nor with a “deterrent” companion crop – and nor with a Resistafly or similar variety which is resistant to Carrot Fly (and a compromise on flavour). Far better to prevent the fly getting anywhere near the crop, so it needs a complete enclosure of enviromesh (Carrot fly is small enough to get through Scaffolder’s Debris Netting), and it needs to be carefully secured at ground level because the fly will crawl towards the lovely smell of sweet carrots!

Note that people who tell you they use a low barrier / companion planting and never have a problem may not actually have any fly either! I work on the basis that discovering that you have NOW got fly, because your crop is ruined, is too late and wastes a year’s effort growing the crop. If you harvest all your carrots early (in particular you don;t leave them in the ground to harvest into winter) then you might avoid damage by Carrot fly.

So that’s Carrots taken care of for the last umpteen years … or so I thought.

There is increasing prevalence of Allium Leaf Minor and Leak Moth which attacks Garlic, Onions and Leeks. I’d not heard of it until recently, but I’ve decided not to wait until my crop is decimated – that would be a terrible waste of time growing the crop for a known, avoidable, pest to then demolish it – so those crops too will be covered in Enviromesh this year.

The good news, such as it is!, is that Carrots, Leeks, Onions and Garlic don’t grow very tall, so I don’t need a significant width roll of enviromesh to cover them safely.

I wrote an article some years ago about how my, then, 9 year-old built a frame for protecting my Brassicas with Blue MDPE Water Pipe hoops and Sccaffolder’s debris netting [LINK]

And here’s a link to Enviromesh (actually they now seem to be selling Veggiemesh, same sort of thing)

Brassica Netting - Done

Brassica Netting


How to protect Crops with Netting Monday 26 March 2012

Filed under: — kgarden @ 12:00 am

Crop Protection Netting depends on what you want to keep out

For birds use a Netting that has “holes” that are an inch or two wide, but for butterflies such as the Cabbage White or insects such as Carrot Fly you need something which is smaller, and the correct size – otherwise they will squeeze through.

Brassicas – Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflowers etc – protect against Cabbage White butterfly in summer (I use Scafolders Debris Netting which is much cheaper than Enviromesh) and Birds in Winter (remove the fine netting in Winter otherwise snow will collapse the frame)

Carrots – protect against Carrot Fly – use enviromesh. Ignore the advice that the Carrot Fly cannot fly very high so you only need a “wall” to keep it out, make a “roof” as well, it only takes a few flies to ruin your crop, why take the risk?

Parsnip – worth using the same protection as Carrots. Carrot Fly doesn’t ruin Parsnips, as it does Carrots, but it does cause some damage and this is a cause for “canker” which is a nuisance when the Parsnips are harvested.

Peas – bird protection

I use Scaffolders Debris Netting where I don’t need a really fine mesh – cheap as chips compared to Enviromesh and lasts for years (the only think I use enviromesh for is Carrot Fly). If there is a building site using it near you you’ll probably be able to blag it for free, they usually chuck it away after a job.

Go for Black – I bought Green because I think it would blend in – it doesn’t! its more of a fashion statement!

Erection of butterfly protection (suitable for any netting using pipe-hoop) on my Brassicas by a 9 year old see blog article :
Netting Crops Using Pipe-hoops

Rabbits – make a “chicken wire” fence surrounding the plot, and turn the bottom 4″ outwards and lay flat on the ground so that the grass grows through (or you can bury it, but that is more work. Do not bury it “vertically” but rather “flat” as the rabbits will try to burrow under the netting and the flat skirt will prevent them better than just vertically deep netting.

Make sure you buy “rabbit netting” rather than “chicken wire” – the mesh is smaller, and small bunnies can get through a surprisingly small hole – I know, I’ve seen them actually squeezing through my rabbit-wire!


Gardening Naturally used to be the place for Enviromesh – they say they no longer sell it and have had their own material made instead (and called it Veggiemesh) with 1.35mm mesh

Gardening Naturally – Veggiemesh

they also have an “Ultra fine” version (0.8mm mesh) that supposedly will keep out Whitefly and Flea-beetle:

Gardening Naturally – Veggiemesh Ultra-Fine

Gardening Naturally are a reputable company and, although I haven’t tried it, Veggiemesh is probably a quality product.

Veggiemesh 1.35mm mesh 2.1 x 10m = £23.99 (£1.14 / sq.M) [Range of widths / lengths available]Ultra Fine 0.8mm mesh 2.1 x 4.5m Pack = £15.84 (£1.68 / sq.M)

There is also Wondermesh :


which has speciifc sizes for some very small pests …

Looks like the products are much-of-a-muchness, and Enviromesh have probably priced themselves out of the market.

WM16 (1.33mm mesh size) 3.65m x 10m = £30.10 (£0.82 / sq.M)
WM32 (0.6mm mesh size) 3.25m x 5m = £26.90 (£1.66 / sq.M)

By comparison Debris netting from Tarpaflex

2.0m x 50m = £25.98 (£0.26 / sq.M)