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My brassicas are getting little clusters of tiny yellow eggs which I assume are Cabbage White Butterfly eggs. If I rub them off the leaves and they fall on the ground, will they hatch, and if so, will the caterpillers survive on the ground?
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I tend to squish them, just to be sure they don't come back, I am now netting my cabbages to keep them off.
Been gardening for over 60 years and still learning.
Just squish the egg clusters if you see them! If they fall on the ground they are unlikely to survive as will dehydrate.
I found netting did not work to any degree ,you just need one leaf touching the netting and the butterflies will lay through the it
Normal green netting is no good as they can get through the holes, but saying that I have black plastic netting with 1cm holes & they even get though that some how so trying that Grazers stuff as a deterrent. Dependent on the space chosen for the rotation I hammer in my stakes at an angle not straight so unless the brassica's get really bit it keeps the leaves away from edges.
Thanks for the responses. Rubbing off the eggs seems to be working. I've only found two clusters of caterpillars and was able to remove the leaves before they did any real damage.
it's worth trying the netting 'grow tunnel' (I bought ours from DT Brown), large enough to accommodate tall brassicas but easily dissembled to move to another bed the following year. It's been wonderful this year not to find little white dead bodies amongst the steamed broccoli in the vegetable garden at home! And no aphids either. We used this type of tunnel on the allotment for years, mainly to keep carrot root fly off the carrots and parsnips and it lasted and lasted.
Enviromesh works well as it's a fine enough guage to keep off almost anything, including flea beetle. I covered my tenderstem broccoli with it at the start of the season and it's still pest free.
It is better to crush the eggs. On the ground, they can hatch and some larvae can crawl to the plant and begin to eat it. The pest must be fought seriously. Although this is an endless process, some kind of infection will surely arrive and start.
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