Earlier this week I shared a quick DIY project to make an insect-proof mesh tunnel to cover my little raised veg bed at home. It was great for keeping birds away from pecking my seedlings AND so far it has protected my crops from bugs and butterflies too.
I’ve taken the idea one step further on my allotment and have made a larger mesh tunnel to grow my cauliflower and red cabbages in. Last year, I lost ALL my brassicas in my garden veggie patch after they were overtaken by caterpillars. It nearly put me off growing them again this year but I wanted to make the most of my new allotment plot so I’m giving it a go.
I cleared an unused space on the plot beside my new-old greenhouse and used old water pipes to form the curved tunnel, similar to the mini mesh tunnel I made at home.
I used two uprights to support the end arches of this taller tunnel and I used pipe clips to secure the mesh to the pipes, as it’s a windy spot and I don’t want the insect mesh to blow away and expose my caulis!
I’ve heaped soil and wood chippings up against the sides of the tunnel to make sure that no insects can sneak in via any gaps in the base and so far everything seems to be growing well.
In fact, my cabbages and cauli are already looking much bigger than they got last year before they experienced brassica massacre from the caterpillars! The mesh is great because it allows me to water through it (and rain gets in, too) but it keeps out the cabbage white butterflies that wrecked my crop last year.
As you can see from my latest ‘after’ pic, everything on the plot is getting much bigger AND we’ve been harvesting our new potatoes. Yes, apparently this is a new potato! I don’t know about you, but I was expecting something a little smaller!
Back at home in our kitchen garden, we were able to harvest cherries for the first time! We’ve had a few cherries on the tree in previous years but the birds have always got to them first. How do they know when the cherries are ripe? It seems like the blackbirds all get the memo in the morning that the cherries are ready and by the evening, they’ve all been eaten and we’ve just got cherry stones all over our decking!
At least this year, we got to the cherries first, yay! Let me know how your plot is getting on and if you’ve come up with a method for protecting your brassicas, please let me know in the comments below. 🙂