Friday, 4 June 2010

Unwelcome Visitors

The sight of pretty, fluttering butterflies caught my eye yesterday, then I realised that the dancing wings were white - the dreaded Cabbage White - well dreaded to all who grow brassicas and especially dreaded to me as I've lost all cabbage type crops over the past two seasons to these pretty pests.

But not this year! I've invested in several types of frame and some butterfly proof netting. I'm going to rate the various support frameworks for ease of construction, ease of access (for weeding and harvesting) and effectiveness.

I've incorporated three types of support: cane net supports from Plant Supports - easy to use website and excellent ordering and delivery process; a metal frame construction; and
plastic hoop supports from our local garden centre.

The easiest to assemble was a tie between the cane net support (above left at front of picture) and the hoops (right). Simply push into the ground and, in the case of the cane supports, add bamboo canes of the length required.

The metal cage support (above left at back of picture) was marginally more awkward to assemble though more rigid/sturdy than the others and more flexible in height. The netting proved difficult to apply in all instances; especially if you are trying to do this on your own; I'd recommend a second pair of hands.

So much for structure, lets's see how they fair on access (for me) and effectiveness (keeping out the Cabbage White) as the season progresses.

Other unwelcome visitors to the garden are the wasps; they have built a nest in the outside eaves of the little blue playhouse where we store our garden games and cushions...time to contact the local pest control man.

Along with all the joys of gardening come the challenges!

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