– WORMS like Green Walls too!

The thing about growing food is that you never know what other creatures will want to eat it too. I don’t mind sharing a little, but I would like to eat some too. We refuse to use any chemical treatments, whats the point, I might just as well go to the supermarket and buy vegetables from the industrial agricultural system. So whatever we grow here will be grown organically, but that presents unique challenges.

Black swallowtail caterpillars love munching on Parsley

I found these Black swallowtail caterpillars on the Parsley growing in our WALLfarm. They seem to love munching on Parsley, but so do we. Looking into them further it appears that these little guys grow into a beautiful Black swallow tail butterfly that has the benefit of pollinating other plants.

The Black swallowtail caterpillars invited friends over to feast on the Parsley

Not wanting to kill them I evicted them from their home on the Wall and relocated them on the Green roof in the Carrot greens. They also like munching on Carrot greens and I don’t. This will give them an opportunity to fully develop and provide some other benefits for the garden.

Black swallowtail caterpillars relocated to Carrot Tops

The little green worms on the Broccoli are another story. These little creeps are eating all the leaves and they don’t provide any benefits.

Cabbageworm (Pieris rapae) eating Broccoli leaves

I have picked them off but additional treatment may be needed. I prefer introducing parasitic wasps that will feed on the larvae of these worms. But until I get the wasps I may have to slow them down with insecticidal soaps or some Organic BT Bacillus thuringiensis (a bacterium makes worms sick, eventually killing them, but it’s safe for humans and plants. But we have to be cautious, some varieties of BT may have chemical additives and are not organic). Broccoli Worms

Summer chafer (Amphimallon solstitiale) sitting on the roof

This guy showed up in the Roof top Farm. Looks like a Summer Chafer. I haven’t yet seen any damage by these bugs yet, but some soapy water or Insecticidal soap will control them. Its good to catch them early, they can quickly multiply and devour a lot of veggies.

Since we have had such a warm winter we expect many more of these creatures to show up. Without a deep freeze the larvae of many insects survived the winter and should be prolific in most gardens. Chemical insecticides can get rid of these insects quickly, but if we are not using organic methods of treating insects and diseases whats the point of growing your own food.

If you see some of these pests in your own garden consider your health and the environment and using the one of many Organic Treatments available or releasing Beneficial insects to control them.

g_space wallFARM unit partially planted 6-8-12 Garlic top right was planted December ’11

 

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