Brassicas need to be protected from pigeons and cabbage white butterflies, and the easiest way to do this is to build a simple netted brassica cage. You can make your own hoop frame quite easily and it won’t take long…
All you need is a few equal lengths of old hosepipe measuring around 100-130cm (we’ve used an old drip hose) and a few short lengths of bamboo, approx 40-50cm long.
Simply push two bamboo lengths halfway into the soil on either side of the row of plants you wish to cover (about 2 foot apart should be fine, but play around with distances to suit your plot). These will form the base of the hoop, holding it steady. Now thread the hose pipe onto the bamboo at each end, pushing it right down to the soil if you can, to make the hoop. Repeat this at 2-3 foot intervals as pictured.
Once you’ve got your frames in place, you can cover them with a sheet of horticultural fleece or netting to protect plants from pests. Be sure to secure the cover to the ground – you can use heavy stones.
What to do if you don’t have hosepipe? Don’t worry, you can make some nifty net supports instead – Find some old jam jars or beer bottles, upturn them and place over the top of 1.3m high bamboo canes. Push the canes into the soil at intervals along the sides and middle of the brassica patch, then you can drape the netting over the top and secure at the sides.