Winter Brassica Protection

Wood pigeons love brassicas. In the winter, when food is more scarce for them, I understand when I see more plants nibbled than usual. I have a few brussel sprout and broccoli plants that are for them, but my perennial kale plants are still quite young ( cuttings transplanted here in Autumn 2021) and I need to ensure they have enough energy to continue to grow. I’ve partially covered my Taunton Deane perennial kale with horticultural fleece and the birds can nibble away at the exposed areas.

For the Daubenton’s kale, a much smaller plant at present, I needed to protect the whole thing. Although fleece has its place in protecting plants from frost (and I’ve obviously used it in this instance), it is a plastic and not something I want to obtain more of. I turned to a resource already in my garden to fix this problem: hawthorn. I pruned hawthorn branches and, by sticking them into the ground, made a tangle of thorns around the kale plant as a deterrent. In the future, I’d like to weave winter brassica cages but will watch this design with interest.

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