How Food Grows: Competition

Part 9: Competitors

Weather, pests, and disease are just some of the competitors that you might face in the veg patch during your growing journey. Rather than thinking about these competitors as something frustrating or devastating, we like to flip it on its head. These external factors can mean no two years are ever the same in food growing and that’s what makes it so exciting.


Carrot Root Fly

  • Cover your carrots with bionet as this will be impenetrable to the flies
  • Lay the bionet over your carrots and make sure it is wide enough so that the carrots are able to grow upwards

Cabbage White Butterfly

  • Cover your veg with horticultural fleece to stop these pests from getting into your veg


  • Put up bird netting around fruit and veg


  • Try using a rag with vinegar or place bamboo sticks around your veg so the cat cannot get comfortable
  • You can purchase a motion sense that will send out a frequency to cats to keep them away


  • The easiest way to keep your pooch away from the veg patch is to put up a fence around your veg patch

Top Tips

  • Carrot root flies can’t fly higher than 50 cm so if you are growing veg in a high raised bed or VegTrug then they shouldn’t be an issue
  • Ensure there is no gaps in your fleece as the cabbage white butterfly will be able to get into your patch
  • Bird netting will not work for carrot root fly and the cabbage white butterfly so keep that in mind when covering over certain veg
  • Motion sensors will also work on other animals getting into your garden such as rabbits and foxes

Helpful Resources is grateful for the support of our Growth Fund partners Social Innovation Fund Ireland and The Department of Rural & Community Development, whose funding has enabled us to promote and disseminate this online course, engaging thousands of people in How Food Grows.​