My poor garden was plagued by something, but I wasn't sure what it was. For weeks I noticed that my broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts were being eaten by something. There were giant holes in the leaves, and it was starting to affect both the health of my plants and the yield of edible greens! I just couldn't figure out what it was! At the bottom of this picture, you can see that almost half of the the leaves of my kale were gone! sheesh! As an aside, on the right side of the box there are orange peels because the neighbor's cat has been using my box as a litter box. It killed 6 carrot seedlings, and came only when I was at work so I couldn't scare it off. When my parents were here, we saw it come at around 9 am, and I scared it off (didn't work). Finally my plants are big enough (not pictured) that it doesn't come visit anymore.
For the insect mystery, I put my Sherlock Holmes hat on and researched and researched and thought and pondered to no avail, then one day I decided to take the orange juice jugs that I had been saving and cover the plants from the insect. I'm really trying to not use pesticides (and I'm in such a small space) because I'd like to be able to have a completely "organic" garden - that being said, I do use synthesized fertilizer occasionally, but I try for compost and other natural products when I can afford it. Anyway, as I was covering some of my plants with the jugs, I looked at the leaves and noticed:
Look at that giant fuzzy caterpillar!!!!!! It's so green - it just blends right in! And fat and squishy, as apparently it just made a meal out of one entire plant, and had moved on to this one. I apologize for the blurry picture, but I just couldn't help it I was so upset about these hungry creatures. Once I saw this, I noticed TENS of other caterpillars all over my plants. Could you imagine if I covered them with plastic, it would have just been a nice greenhouse in which to feast. I spent 20 minutes picking them off, but I couldn't bring myself to kill them. They're just cute little bugs that were hungry, so I put them in the empty pot that I killed my aloe in.
LOOK AT ALL THE CATERPILLARS! I think I counted 24. Well, I guess I solved the mystery this time. My plants are thriving now, I just had to pick off baby caterpillars every once in a while. Funny story about what I did with them after capture - I put them in my compost bin (maybe they could eat something green there?). Well, the next morning I found them crawling all over my kitchen! So that was a fail, and they went down the block on some public shrubbery instead.