For years allotments were out of favour. No-one wanted them, and patches of mud with a shed at one end and weeds everywhere else went to waste. Then suddenly gardening became the new rock and roll, and everyone who didn't want to dig up their lawn wanted their own council-run patch of mud. The waiting lists grew faster than the cabbages. Now, after more than three years on a waiting list, Neil Shaw has been given his own patch of green and pleasant land.

Friday, 3 September 2010

The new face of evil

Seems we've spent too much time worrying about pigeons and slugs. While our backs were turned, our focus on other things, a big new bad boy was munching his way through our crops.

Catterpillars.

Went up to the plot yesterday evening, glorious September warmth bathing the hillside site, only to find all our swede leaves munched away.

A bot of investigation found an infestation of furry wannabe butterflies looking fat and guilty on the stems where big green bits used to be.

Evil little grubs. Lets just say their dreams of flying came true early when I hurled them as high and far as I could into the neighbouring field.

Problem is, the net we have over the top of the patch to stop the pigeons getting in and eating the leaves also stops the pigeons getting in and eating the catterpillars.

Might try the soot trick to see if that will keep them away, but I'm thinking its too late, the damage looks pretty severe.

If these swedes were wired up to all kinds of machines on a TV hospital drama the doctors would have stopped shouting "Get me 10cc of adrenochrome stat" and the beepy machine would be making a long, constant, ominous whine. 

Oh well, who likes delicious golden mashed swede on the side of a plate of Sunday roast anyway? Drenched in organic butter, a slight sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Catterpillars=evil. Anyone got the number for Crimewatch?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

thankyou so much for this article,I cried laughing.This is my first year on the allotment and have some great results,I felt confident I could keep on top of pests organically....the first round of pretty green caterpillars were a doddle,although I was very squeamish when removing them.THEN....the black and yellow sods turned up like a well oiled machine!now it's war!I use an artists paintbrush to brush off the eggs but turn into a bug serial killer when it comes to the fuzzy ones.I now eagerly pick them up,look them in the eye and launch them skywards!

Jo Wood said...

But they're so cute...