Gasp! What is this?!

Some of you might be having a problem with  your plants right about now. It’s hot, humid and the perfect breeding ground for these little beasts is your lovely, well watered garden veggies.

 

I haven’t checked on my tomato plants for a few days and went out today to pinch off suckers. There are a few flowers out there and I’m very anxious to get into these heirloom Mr. Stripies that are supposed to be producing by now. These caterpillars I have ensconce themselves in the leaves by folding them over and sealing them with silk. Then they have a nice little cocoon that’s shaded and made of everything delicious to eat. I had quite a few so I picked them off with the leaves they inhabited and ground them into the cement.

Left caterpillar. Right caterpillar encased in leaf.

Sounds pretty harsh? Not if you want to salvage defenseless plants. I’m what you might call SUPER old school when it comes to gardening. I do not add anything not-organic or edible to my beds and I don’t use any, at all, ever chemical (even *organic*) over the counter sprays. I could probably soap up the plants but again, if I wouldn’t eat it I won’t spray my plants up with it either because no matter how biodegradable or non-toxic. Its not food and it WILL be absorbed by the plant and introduced in the fruit. Especially when introduced into a small biological environment like a raised bed or Earthbox (the latter is what I’m using for the toms).

My other issue is the basil. It is still prolific, shooting seed tops almost daily and has good hearty growth but has some yellowing leaves. This I believe is caused by over watering in a pot. It’s raining like a madhouse here and even poured today (after me watering it yesterday, doh!) so I’m going to move it into the covered porch (the only outside non-rain place) and see how it does.

 

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