We all have new starts (Plug Plants) to go into the ground this time of year. Building a brassica cage helps to protect your plants.
These small brassicas, such as spring greens, cauliflower, kale, and the like, are a favorite of pigeons.
They love to undo all the hard work you have put into nurturing these little seedlings to a size where they can meet the world. Don’t let this hard work go to waste, Build a brassica cage to protect them, and we will show you how in this blog.
Tools You Will Need.
- Wood Saw
- Tape Measure
- Screwdriver / electric screwdriver
- Heavy-duty staple gun (10mm staples)
- 4mm drill bit for wood
- 25mm spade drill bit for wood
- Junior hacksaw
- Lengths of treated wood (in this example, mine were 3.5 meters long) 3×2.”
- Roll of scaffolding netting (you can find this on eBay in various lengths/widths, for this build, you will need a 7×2 meter piece)
- Heavy-duty Staples (10mm)
- MDPE 25mm water pipe (10 meters)
- Length of roofing baton (needs to be as long as the finished cage, so in this example, 3.5 meters)
- Black cable ties
- Wood Screws
- 4x angle brackets 2.5″ wide by about 4/5″ long
Ok, so the first job is to decide how big you want your brassica cage to be, I made mine brassica cage 3.5meters x 0.9 meters, but in hindsight, I wish I had made four smaller ones rather than two big ones; they are a little challenging to move about so smaller is better.
Measure and cut your wood to length, two long lengths for the side rails and two short lengths for the end rails. Next, using the wood screws and metal brackets, assemble the rails into a rectangular frame (Tip try to keep the brackets flush with the top of the fence, you will see why later on) You can use the tiny wood drill bit to make pilot holes for easy driving of the screws.
The following Job is to install the “Hoops” and measure and mark the long rails on the frames, starting with the middle ones, then the two ends, followed by the final two positions between the middle and ends.
Using the 25mm spade drill bit, drill down into the rails, making holes at least 30mm deep; these will receive the MDPE water pipe; next, cut your pipe into lengths of about 1.5 meters (this is not an exact science; you can make them as long or as you want, the important thing is that they are all equal in length) now push these into the holes, they should fit snug and tight.
To give strength to your brassica cage hoops, the roofing baton is fitted to the top centerline of the cages; cut the wood to the required length and secure with a wood screw at each end first (again using the small drill bit for pilot holes help but do not drill into the water pipe) When each end is secured continue securing each hoop to the baton length.
The final job is to cover the brassica cage with the scaffolding netting. I selected the green netting as the blue can look a bit much on your plot. When you’re happy with the position, secure one long edge to the frame using the staples.
I was staring in the middle and working out towards the end. Please do the same on the opposite long rail, but pull the netting tight, ensuring it’s not creased.
Next, fold over the netting at each end and secure it with the staples (having fitted the metal brackets flush with the top edge allows you to staple just below them; you can, of course, check the bracket to the internal faces of the rails)
Trim off excess netting using the scissors, leaving a 2-3″ skirt all around. Fold this under and secure it with staples to the base of the cages. Finally, fire in a few pins along the top support rail to prevent any movement of the netting.
As this could damage it. Attach wire ties to each end hoop to tidy up the netting at these points. And that’s it. A Brassica cage that will last many seasons and protect your crops.
FAQs on How To Build A Brassica Cage
How high should a Brassica cage be?
A Brassica cage should ideally be at least 2 feet (60 cm) high to provide sufficient space for the plants to grow and to protect them from pests. However, for taller Brassica varieties, such as kale or Brussels sprouts, a height of 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) may be necessary to accommodate their vertical growth. The cage should be tall enough for adequate airflow and easy access for maintenance and harvesting.
How do you make a net to cover brassicas?
To make a net to cover brassicas, measure the dimensions of your brassica bed. Cut a piece of netting or mesh slightly larger than the bed size. Attach the netting to stakes or a frame, ensuring it’s taut and secure. Secure the edges to prevent pests from entering. Place the net over the brassicas and anchor it in place. Regularly check and adjust as needed.
What mesh for brassicas?
The recommended mesh size for brassicas is typically 1/4 inch or 0.6 centimeters. This size is small enough to prevent common pests like cabbage worms and flea beetles from entering the cage while allowing proper airflow and sunlight penetration.
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