Wulf's Webden

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Caterpillar Buffet

Our kale plants are putting on a decent amount of growth. Or, rather, they would be if they weren’t serving as a food source for caterpillars at the moment!

We started then off earlier this year in pots at the rental house. The ones we planted there are cropping but the ones we kept in pots finally got into the soil a couple of weeks ago and, given a decent space to reach their roots into, they have got going. Unfortunately, they came with some caterpillar damage and, despite carefully going over each of them before planting and leaving them covered, we keep finding new caterpillars on them.

In part, we need to do better at securing the mesh fabric to the frame – this morning, I started by rescuing two cabbage white butterflies that were sitting inside! In fact, I’m wondering if it would be better to remove the mesh entirely? On the one hand, they would be entirely exposed to butterflies laying their eggs; on the other, the local bird life (which I can hear chirping away) could then easily feast on a caterpillar buffet rather than my plants being a buffet for caterpillars!

I don’t mind the leaves getting a bit nibbled. What I’m concerned about is them being stripped back to the point where the plant dies rather than surviving into colder months (when the caterpillars will have stopped eating) and providing a platform for an ongoing harvest.

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