How to keep caterpillars off my brassicas
After following your advice, I have a veg garden which was my pride and joy. However, my brussel sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflowers are simply covered in caterpillars. There are green ones, and millions of ones who appear to be wearing a rather smart tweed.
I have tried picking them off, doing lots every day, but there are far, far too many. There are hundreds of clusters of little orange eggs on every leaf and clouds of cabbage white butterflies fill the air. When I picked some purple sprouting heads to cook, I washed them so carefully which took forever, but still found caterpillars on my plate which has put me off completely. There is something so unappetising about seeing a little dead body in my food. I don't like to kill any living thing.
Is there anything I can do to save the rest of my veg, or is it too late?
I thought that next year I would plant all my brassicas in a big fruit cage so the butterflies can't get to them. Is this the only solution? I planted calendula next to them (which are a luxuriant mass of orange), in the hope they would put off buterflies, which they obviously do not. Is there any other companion plant which does work?
I wondered if I should cut off all the leaves and hope they would re-grow when it is a bit colder and the butterflies might have gone. The stalks of the plants are very thick and the plants are about 2-3 ft high.
The purple sprouting is beginning to flower on a few stalks, so should I cut my losses, save some seed and start again?
Everything else is unbelievably successful, I never dreampt of such crops before reading your book. Thank you.