A new kind of caterpillar invaded our garden recently. Thankfully, they were only interested in the clivias, which were already established in the garden bed before we started planting it out with mint and chillies. (Click on any pic to see larger versions).
Spodoptera picta at work.
Unhappy clivias during the Spodoptera picta attack.
The voracious Spodoptera picta.
The clivias (along the fence) in happier days. In the foreground is an overflow of borage, which we planted to encourage bees.
Meg and Bev dealt with them, I just looked them up online and found out they are called spodoptera picta. They inflicted a huge amount of damage in a very short time. On the upside, they don’t eat vegies or herbs, and they gave us a good excuse to uproot what remained of the clivias and gain a bit more space in the garden bed for our own plantings.
Meanwhile, in other news, over summer we were able to harvest cucumbers, tomatoes, chillies and, as Bev pointed out in her last post, lots of herbs. We’ve been fertilising with copious amounts of juice from our worm farm, which is also pictured below.
Overgrown cucumber hiding behind the bed.
Unfortunately many of our strawberries got eaten by snails before we could get to them.
Beautiful toms, unblemished by any bugs.
Worm juice – we get several litres a week, it’s hard to keep up.
Pretty red chillies.
So far only six units in our complex are involved with the garden, but we’ve been telling other residents and we’re hoping that a few newbies will turn up to our working bee this coming Sunday.
Early on in our gardening adventures, we were dismayed to find these pesky beasts decimating our basil and mint.
They may be a pretty green, but in our view they’re criminals. When we find them, they take the fast train — that is, we throw them over the fence.
On the other side of that fence, there is a train line. What happens to them on the wrong side of the tracks is none of our business.
It may sound cruel, but it works for us. Snails and slugs get the same treatment, although we also try to deter them with broken eggshells around the seedlings.
At least it’s more humane than the ‘firm shoe heel’ method suggested on this Whirlpool forum. And less icky. I love the smell of basil & mint on my fingers after combing through the foliage for caterpillars. Continue reading Critter control