A Tale of Eaten Brassica

We had a wonderful day getting the first sowing of brassica into open ground a few weeks ago. They had been burning a hole in their pots, getting bigger and bigger. But the ground hadn’t been fully prepared.  Once the soil was dug over, they were put into position and they looked pretty awesome and happy in the sunshine.

Sante Brocolli in position
Sante Brocolli and Romanesco Cauliflower
Plants surrounded by sawdust to deter slugs and snails


As the plants carried on growing away, life got in the way and we could not find the time to get back to the plot to put on the netting.  The sawdust deterred the Slugs and Snails but, obviously, did nothing to put off the barrage of Wood Pigeons.

Within a week, the Pigeons had had their way with them…

The cabbages had been destroyed


Every brassica looked the same. We knew we had to get the netting on, it was something that niggled in the back of my head, but work and life jumped in front.

We decided this week to give the plants the benefit of the doubt and net them anyway, hoping they would make a miraculous come back.


They have now been netted for just under a week. I am so glad we did it. It was a seriously close call.  If we had left it any later, the growth tips would have been eaten and there would have been no coming back from it.  We initially considered taking the plants out and putting out our second sowing when they were ready instead but, had we done that, we would have lost out on a possible harvest from 20 plants.

The plants have now started to regrow from the centre again and are starting to fight back from their attack.

Broccoli regrowth


What have we learned from this experience?

Always be prepared. Cover your brassica plants and be ready to do so BEFORE you plant them (obvious now, I know).  Also, don’t be so keen to give up on your plants. Nature is a wonderful thing and it’s surprising how it can comeback from an onslaught.

Trust in nature, it knows what it’s doing!


10 thoughts on “A Tale of Eaten Brassica

  1. As a fellow brassica-fan, I wish you the very best of luck! And I was wondering – have you folks heard of enviromesh at all? It’s a bit pricier than standard netting, but it provides much better protection against all sorts of nasties. Might be worth a look if you continue to have problems this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nature is wonderful, yes, but pigeons are (perhaps inconveniently) part of the Natural World too, so you can’t expect them to leave those tasty brassicas alone and eat something less attractive! Netting is the only effective answer though. Bird-scarer devices don’t really seem to bother pigeons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I was more thinking that in future I won’t give up on battered plants so easily just because they don’t look pretty. I’ve certainly learned my lesson with the pigeons. They won’t be getting at my brassicas again anytime soon! 😊


  3. Such a pain! I learnt the hard way with my broccoli in the first year I grew them aswell – butterflies are also a pain. I also plant my broccoli and Brussels sprouts to try and other pests!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s