The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Southern cabbageworm eggs

Very young cabbageworms

Despite the name, I've found southern cabbageworms to be more of a pest in our new, northern homestead than they were in Virginia.

I think the deal is that the Ohio growing season is a little shorter. So the crucifers, by necessity, poke further into the summer in both spring and fall gardens.

Since southern cabbageworms are at their peak in hot weather, that means daily caterpillar-squashing sessions to ensure the nibblers don't entirely consume our broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Southern cabbageworm eggs

The squashing sessions became more efficient last week when I realized where the butterflies in question lay their eggs. Unlike the older caterpillars, who usually show up on the undersides of young leaves, the eggs are laid under older leaves that aren't yet senescing but are no longer tender and fresh.

Now that I know what to look for in the egg department, I'm probably nipping 90% of the infestations in the bud. Which is a good thing since our crucifer planting just ballooned out to three times its previous size last week!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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