dinosaur caterpillars are my enemy

It's been about 3 weeks since the last garden update. Ever since that date, a whole lot has changed.

The garden literally exploded with produce. Specifically tomatoes. It legitimately happened the very next day. I was in the garden and began to pull out my expected 2-3 ripe tomatoes and just did not stop until the little folding table was filled. Since then I've eaten some seriously beautiful tomatoes on the regular. Since I'm unable to eat all the tomatoes, I chose to give them away to people that I like and want to be my friend. Not just anyone either, I'm pretty discriminating about who gets tomatoes.

But the real story here is the giant murderous caterpillars that have recently taken up residence. I'm not a friend to insects, things without legs, things with lots of legs, etc. I have gotten much better with bees this year because they are always buzzing around the garden - but the day I discovered the caterpillars was not the best. As testament to this, I was walking back from the mailbox this weekend when a car pulled up to me with a person I had never met before.

Guy: Hi, I'm your neighbor Don... and I just have to ask you something.
Me: Sure...
G: So the other morning, I was standing on my steps and I saw you in your garden. Then you yelled "oh my god". What happened? I thought it must have been a raccoon or a snake...
Me: <nervous laughter> .... I saw a giant caterpillar.
G: oh.
G: Well, glad you are okay.
So there was that.

But here are some of the other progress updates.

  • ONIONS // overall looking good. Some of the bulbs are really big and some are very small and might be dead. Red onions are looking healthier than the white. I believe I might need to do some research on when and how to harvest these loves. I did gently tie some of the tops back together to keep them from falling in the path.
  • PEPPERS // I am very confused about the peppers. I specifically picked the "yellow sweet & yummy" variety because it was smaller and yellow - but all of the peppers look exactly the same. None of them look yellow and none of them look small. Additionally, there is something that is beheading the pepper plants. It took off several limbs of the California variety and when I got back from Maine had moved onto the Cayenne variety. I hope eating a bunch of hot peppers has scared off whatever attacker has been visiting.
  • CARROTS // So I still regret not thinning them out when I had the chance months ago but the carrots are actually doing pretty well. I had some new friends and their little girls over one Sunday. I helped the little girl pick the first carrot and she was so excited... so she went back for more ... with both hands... and pulled up a whole bunch covered in dirt. You probably had to be there but we couldn't stop laughing. So they walked home carrying a pile of carrots with the big leafy tops gently moving in the wind.
  • CUCUMBERS // I think this season is over. The boothby blonde vines have dried up a bit and I think I picked the last 3 fruits this weekend. The "straight 8" variety never took off either. So, I think cucumber season must end in early August.
  • TOMATOES // All doing very well. Last week I was a big fan of the tie dye variety but this week the black truffle has taken off and now I am a fan of that. 
  • KALE & ROMAINE // Absolutely need to relocate these babes next year. The tomatoes are totally killing them with closeness. I did cut them almost all the way down to give the tomatoes more space... and they are growing back which is a great lesson. Might get one more batch of healthy kale before the season ends.
  • NEW? // I planted some sweet potatoes because they were $2 at the hardware store. I also tossed in a few new rows of radishes, carrots, and beets. The beets were never going to be successful in the planters and I really wanted to hold a big ole ruby red beet in my hand.

[1] alleged "yellow sweet and yummy" peppers that won't turn yellow
[2] beautiful black truffle tomatoes... with some garden peach ones in the background
[3] red onion bulbs
[4-5] 3 new rows for a fall harvest: beets. carrots. radishes. Finally learning my lesson and thinning out the crop earlier.
[6-7] I already miss these sunflowers. I've been cutting off the deadheads as they go. Last weekend, I cut off 94. I counted them as I tossed them into the compost barrel.
[8-9] Tie dye tomatoes have thrived the hardest. They grew over the bean trellice and won't stop. I love their color.
[10] Garden peach tomatoes
[11] Some tie dyes with black truffles in the background
[12] It might be hard to tell but this is where the animal has been breaking down the pepper plants. Can you see the leaves at the bottom on the left?
[13] Cherry tomatoes are killing it. So many.
[14] Giant caterpillars. I was able to take care of two myself with only moderate yelping. Dad happened to walk by at an opportune time toss the third in the marsh.
[15] That is just the most beautiful pile of tomatoes. When I pulled off that one of the left, it was like it was meant for modeling. Everything about it was a perfect gem.
[16] The babes.


  1. I could never get used to those big green buggers. Nightmare material. I am not sure what their intended purpose was for being put on this planet. Hopefully someday we will find their DNA has material to cure some horrible disease. Shiver...

    1. The worst. I'm never going to be the same.


© WHAT JEN DOES • Theme by Maira G.