After the cabbage white butterfly decided to lay a load of eggs all over the purple-sprouting broccoli which led to an invasion of yellow and black caterpillars, i have decided to provide some protection.
The initial idea of something homemade really wasn’t very good (i got a bit confident after the creation of the cold frame!) so i splashed out on the Build-a-ball system from harrod horticultural. I think it cost somewhere around £40 for the balls and the metal parts. It was quite complicated to order, but i was happy with what i purchased. The size was 2.4m x 1.2m which is the size of our beds so i had to get the hacksaw out and chop the equivalent of the boards that surround the soil…if that makes sense.
The cage will be covered with enviromesh to prevent any beasties. We’ve tried fleece in the past to cover beds, but the enviromesh is a lot finer, so keeps more out, and is a lot tougher, so will last much longer.
I’ve since been looking on other websites and at other peoples’ pictures and have seen that some people have substituted metal poles for stiff rubber tubing or garden canes. I can see how this would be cheaper but i don’t know if it would be as sturdy considering we get quite a lot of wind in our garden (insert pun here!) or be strong enough to take the weight of the enviromesh at full height. I suppose it will also depend on if the canes fit into the holes on the balls.
Taking that on board though, i’m going to use garden canes to make a smaller cage for when the plants are young, building up to the full size one with the metal poles as the Purple Sprouting Broccoli grows. The pictures show how the build a ball as i originally installed it and the ‘new’ adapted smaller version which will still enable the greenhouse to get some light…until things start to grow…!