Why You Must Use Fine Netting To Protect Your Greens

Protecting Vegetables with Netting

I once grew a lot of Calabrese when I first got my allotment. It was easy to sow and grow in the greenhouse and it grew well when I planted it out at the beginning of June. When it came time to harvest it, I discovered the crop had been infested with caterpillars. I then learned that butterflies land on the Calabrese, lay their eggs and so the caterpillars when hatched have a massive supply of food to make them healthy and strong. The same goes for many types of greens, such as Spinach, Cabbage, Kale, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Salad Leaves etc.

So, I decided to invest in a fine netting to protect my crops. Scaffold netting is absolutely perfect for the job. You can buy 3 metres x 10 metres on ebay for around £20, which is good value as the netting will last a very long time. I bought plastic tubing in rolls and made up a frame to protect my greens…

netting protection for vegetables
Do it yourself netting

The problem with this type of frame though, is that it can get blown over and the worst thing is that you have to practically dismantle it to do any weeding, and, believe me, you will have to do weeding throughout the season. I don’t actually grow a lot of greens. This season, for example, I’m growing three Kale Negro Toscana plants and around seven red cabbages. The best solution for me, so far, has been to attach the netting to the side of my chicken coop/shed and make a “lean to” netted grow area.

Now, you can buy all sorts of netting, but the scaffold netting is very fine and will certainly prevent butterflies landing on your crop. It will also protect against birds too. You can water through the netting and it is best to scatter a few slug pellets around throughout the season, preferably when you’ve just weeded. My “lean to” netting is great, I roll the bottom of the netting tight and pin it down with tent pegs and a few bricks. When weeding, it is quick to roll back and re-position when I’ve finished. The netting will stay in place as long as the shed down’t blow away, unlike the flimsy frames.

After my bumper crop of Calabrese all those years ago, my wife still can’t stand the thought of eating it. Too many caterpillars spoil the broth.

I’ve uploaded a video to my YouTube channel. You can see it below…


  1. Our biggest problem with cabbage and cauliflowers is wood pigeons. We tried netting but with limited success as the birds landed on it to press it to the ground then fed through the holes. We have now raised it across stakes in the soil to form a temporary frame.

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