Saturday, November 3

They're on their own now

We have now removed the nets that have been protecting the brassicas from birds and insects. The plants are now too big to worry about bird damage and, in spite of the possibility that one or two hardy white butterflies may be about, they shouldn't be thinking of raising more young. If any butterflies do chance their arm (or should that be wing?) by laying eggs then I doubt that any will result in caterpillars.

The over wintering brassicas have grown so well this year that they were already pushing against the netting roof. You can see from the photo below how the broccoli has been running out of head height!
This isn't, however, the main reason for removing the netting. In the past we have left netting on over winter thinking that it wouldn't cause any problems. Some years no harm has been done but the year before last, when we had heavy snowfalls, leaving the netting over the brassicas did cause a problem.

Snow gradually laying on uncovered plants doesn't usually cause a problem but if the netting is left in place it prevents a natural, gradual build-up. As the netting that we use over the brassicas has quite small mesh (to keep out the butterflies) snow builds up on top and then as the weight increases and the netting can't take any more, it sags and a heavy weight suddenly collapses onto the plants. This can then flatten any plants under the netting.
It would be such a shame if this happened during this winter when the plants have got off to such a good start.
Other brassicas are being eaten now, or soon will be, and so removing the netting makes harvesting these plants easier especially when the weather is cold and miserable and we don't want to linger.



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author by S Garrett

21 comments:

  1. Your brassicas look great Sue. I have some good ones this year but so far I have never mass produced the wonder that I see in your photos!!

    Have you had problems with people taking your posts?? I never noticed the copyright at the end before??

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    1. To thefts that I know of but I know of Bloggers who have had ALL their posts copied onto another blog and passed off as someone elses. Just spotted how to create a template for my posts so that I don't have to type in the copyright every time so thought I'd do that.

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    2. Maybe it's something I should think of doing too...though to be honest I don't think anyone would want to steal what I write!!!

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    3. Don't put yourself down. Tanya

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  2. I have been following a similar thought process conerning brassica nets... My problem is with the foxes though. I think I'll leave the PSB netted for a bit longer - I couldn't bear to see the foxes uproot that! I've deployed my long cloches now, to protect lettuces and endives, so Sod's Law says the weather will turn warm again.

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    1. Maybe a netting 'fence' Mark - leaving the top open would work for you!

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  3. Excellent looking Brassica, and a good hint about the netting and snow. As for your comment about copyright, one thing that riles me is someone stealing blog titles as well as posts.

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    1. Has this happened to you Rooko?

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    2. Before I created my blog in 2009 I trawled the internet before putting up my blog title to try and ensure I wasn't copying any other titles. At the moment there's an allotment blog, from Brighten I think, using the same title and using one of the social networks to promote it. Sad when they can't be original.

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  4. Your brassicas look great. I never got any going this year, so it's going to be a bleak winter for us. I noticed the same thing with the netting, I've kept mine netted throughout winter in the past, but I probably wouldn't bother again.

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    1. That year before last caused the most damage, Jo. The trouble is by the time it decides to dump a heavy load of snow on us it's too late to remove any netting.

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  5. Your brassicas look so big and healthy. I don't seem to have much luck with brassicas but I'll have to keep trying. The caterpillars seem to devour them so quickly.

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    1. That's where the netting is worth the effort Kelli. The mesh is fine enough to keep out the butterflies.

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  6. A timely reminder on the netting front, Sue! Despite having suffered from snow damage in the past I forgot all about this. In fact the pigeons have already been sitting on top of the net and pecking the brussel tops through it. So it's damned of you do, damned if you don't from here on. (Although some people take brussel tops off anyway) After your prompt I'm going to have a brassica patch clearout and re-net whatever is left... with fencing posts!

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    1. At least our pigeons seem to leave the larger plants alone, Mal.

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  7. That's a really healthy brassica patch you've got there Sue good tip about the nets.

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    1. I hope it stays healthy Elaine, Certainly the home grown plants knock spots off the ones bought in last year that the companies told me were fine. They never really thrived.

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  8. Your brassicas look nice and big, really healthy. I haven't ever netted mine but I do like the idea - better than having to squish small green things all the time.

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    1. If you don't net on our site any early brassicas become pigeon fodder, Liz

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  9. The brassicas look really huge and healthy! You will have handful of harvest soon!

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    1. We're hoping for a steady supply over winter, Malar

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