What did that?

Every morning I go out into my garden with a little bit of trepidation, worried about what I might find. It’s a rare day where there is no damage from some sort of critter. Most are easy to identify. This cabbage has been trimmed by my chickens (they can just reach over the chicken wire to the outer edges of the leaves) and then had its heart munched by a possum. I think it’s time to harvest before nothing’s left.

Possum nibbled cabbage

This time of year (heck, almost all year) the white cabbage moths are really active. Their caterpillars can eat half a broccoli leaf in a day. Every morning I pick them off and feed them to my grateful chickens. Not that they appreciate the pupae enough to leave that cabbage alone! Oh gosh, now that I look at the photo I see an egg just above the caterpillar – it’s that small white speck. I’d better rush down and squash it before I have something else to pick off my plant in a couple of days.

Caterpillar from the cabbage white moth

What I can’t figure out is what in the world snipped off my bean leaf? There was no sign of animal or insect activity on the plant or anywhere in this bed. A possum would have eaten more, a snail would have left a trail, a caterpillar would have munched through multiple stems and parts of leaves, a leafcutter bee would have cut a hole in the leaf… What did this?

Bean leaf – collateral damage?



About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
This entry was posted in Chickens, Garden, Nature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What did that?

  1. i tell you what it’s a problem the world over! everything i grow gets eaten, just not by me and mine!

  2. chickenshitz says:

    Your photos are beautiful! What a mystery…looking forward to finding out!

  3. cohutt says:

    I’ve seen cabbage worms do that and more in a day or so.Organic solution BT worms like a charm and is harmless to anything but caterpillars.

    As for the bean leaf….. ?

    • Yes, but cabbage worms always leave a trail of droppings. Possums and chickens take their droppings away.

      Thanks for the tip about the organic solution. So far I’m staying on top of my caterpillars by watching the leaves and plucking any offenders before they do much damage. There’s no way I could manage this if I had a full time job but since I’ve got time, I enjoy the hunt and my chickens enjoy the spoils.

      • cohutt says:

        Agreed, no frass = no worms….

        Here the brand names are “Dipel” for the dust and “Thuricide” for the liquid.

        Even though the names sound ominously close to chemical pesticides, BT (bacillus thuringiensis) is benign stuff to everything other than plants munching worms….

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