Friday, 5 September 2014

Drat and double drat!!

My veggie garden suffered terribly while I was working on the upstairs kitchen renovations.
I tried valiantly to take care of my regular chores like watering, harvesting, trimming etc in between but alas the bugs won....they took advantage of my absence.
The first to go was the mizuna Japanese salad leaves, then the bok choy, kale, romaine lettuce and the arugula.

What a sad least the rosemary, chives, thyme, marjoram and dill are still alive.

The bok choy is no more and the romaine lettuce decided to bolt after being attacked with such vengeance.
I lost two okra plants as well.

The poor blue vervain herb never had a fighting chance....the fuzzy black caterpillars of the buckeye butterfly loved it....thank goodness I had trimmed off lots of leaves to dry for future use when cold and flu season comes around.

The kale suffered a similar fate.

Mama butterfly sure chose wisely where she laid her eggs, on the exact type of leaf that her caterpillars will eat when they hatched.
After the eggs hatch the larva caterpillars get to work eating the leaves they were born on.
Caterpillars of various butterflies had the party of a lifetime on my salad greens.
The Cabbage White caterpillars LOVED the mizuna and they ate the entire plants....didn't even leave me a stem....what cheek!
  Intricately eaten designs in the leaves
Here a pupa (Chrysalis) on the kale leaf
In the Chrysalis a remarkable transformation (metamorphosis) takes place.
Afterwards a beautiful butterfly emerges to start its life in the world.
Look at them terrorising my poor kale leaves....if only a plant could get up and walk away from being attacked.

Oh my goodness, more eggs have been laid!
 Yet another pupa....

.......and yet another on my dill.....sigh.

If we look carefully we can find some of the culprits.

Do you see them?

It's not a butterfly garden winged creatures!!

Yes, there they are, two more butterflies laying more eggs on my lemongrass.
 Drat!!!  No make that Double Drat!!!!
I will be planting new seedlings, but this time I will be placing a growing net over my veggies and herbs....this can't happen again.


  1. I am sorry to read about your plants, but I am excited to see the caterpillars and chrysalises! I planted various flowers for the butterflies this year, but the caterpillars have perished in the cold. I would love to find chrysalis like that!!

    1. Nick. I'm sorry I can't be excited like you regarding the caterpillars. It was my first time planting the bok choy and the kale and I hardly got any of them.
      I'm thinking about planting a milkweed bush just for the butterflies/caterpillars, because in as much as the caterpillars cause a lot of damage, I do love the pretty butterflies in my garden.

  2. sorry about your garden. Never heard of Blue Vervain before though.

    1. You probably do know the Blue Vervain herb. It's a wild weed that grows everywhere with tiny purple flowers. I had no idea of its medicinal value until a nice conversation with an old lady. By that time most folks on the island had learned of its value. It's now being sold by market vendors. It's good for the eyes, kidney stones, and general internal cleansing. Everyone is into moringa now.

  3. Monarch caterpillars do not eat these plants they only feed on milkweeds (asclepsias) it is the cabbage white that loves your veggies.

    1. Thanks for the info Helen, at least now I'm sure what I'm dealing with.

  4. That's very unfortunate Virginia.

    1. Very unfortunate indeed, but as you know we Geminians don't give up that easily, so I've got my fighting gear on, and I will be planting new seedlings shortly.


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