Horticultural fleece offers two types of protection for seedlings…it keeps some pests away and it keeps them warm.
When you plant your seedlings out they are very young and vulnerable, and very susceptible to pests. And to getting too cold on chilly nights. One of the best things you can do to protect them is to use horticultural fleece. This is a very lightweight fabric that lets the sunlight and water in, offers a little warmth and keeps many pests out. It is nice and easy to use too, all you need to do is drape a sheet of fleece loosely over the top of your planted seedlings and secure it at the sides with a few heavy stones or bits of wood to stop it from blowing around in the wind.
It’s not going to keep ALL the pests away, but it will prevent things like pigeons from eating your lovely brassicas while they’re young and tender, and it’ll stop the old cabbage white butterfly from laying its eggs on your veg, thus protecting them from being munched by caterpillars when you’re not looking.
It’s foolproof and it’s a good way of growing without using pesticides. It won’t keep the slugs out however…for that we highly recommend a three pronged attack: first, a dusk patrol with a torch and a bucket to put any slugs and snails in (move them to another part of the garden or feed them to the birds!), second, placing some beer traps (our new slug-buster is ace!) and third, surrounding vulnerable seedlings with grit or egg shells, or a strip of copper wire if they’re in pots.