Cabbage White Butterflies lay two to three batches of eggs each year, and they’re out in full force during mid-summer looking for the perfect plant for their eggs. You’ll probably spot quite a few at the moment and whilst they look very lovely flitting around in the garden, they can also cause something of a brassica massacre, so it’s best to stay one step ahead. Here’s how…
- Make sure your brassicas are well netted so that it’s virtually impossible for the butterfly to land on broccoli and cabbage plants (they can easily smell them a mile off!)
- Check the stems and undersides of leaves on brassica plants every couple of days. You’re looking for little clusters of tiny yellow/white eggs. If you see them, wipe them off.
- If you see any sign of caterpillar damage, check the affected plant as there is likely to be a little gathering of newly hatched caterpillars preparing for a feast. Pick them off and move them to another part of the garden.
- It’s well worth planting some sacrificial nasturtiums nearby – the butterflies will lay their eggs their leaving your brassicas relatively untouched.
- Finally, if your netting isn’t doing the trick, or if you want a little extra protection, you can spray the leaves of brassica plants with a homemade garlic spray to deter the butterflies. Simply chop up raw garlic and infuse with water for a day or two.