This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Veg Holes are always Suspicious

On a dry day, I walk around the garden, admiring the lovely chard which over Winters well, and is now beginning to actively grow again. 

Hmm.. I think.. those holes in the leaves don't quite look right. Something must be nibbling. I begin to inspect but don't see anything. I usually blame slugs and snails for everything in the garden. I keep looking the plant over, very thoroughly, and I eventually come across a few little green caterpillars of varying size. I also come across a black caterpillar. 

Caterpillars really helped themselves to my non-netted plants over the summer, and I'm wondering if some of them or eggs have hibernated over the Winter (not that we've had much of a Winter)?

Variety: Chard 'White Silver 2' grown from seed in April and planted outside in June.

Has anyone else noticed caterpillars this time of year?

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. Yes, I found a similar one last week whilst I was turning the compost heap. Blinking things!

  2. No, I haven't seen any caterpillars yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some, since the weather has been so mild. They would probably be of an amphibious variety though!

  3. You must have pretty hardy caterpillars in Ireland - all my chard is under nets but if they are hungry enough I guess they will find it.

  4. Certainly seems a strange time to be finding any. I would have thought that they would be Chrysalis or hibernating adults rather than caterpillars.

  5. Noup, this is the only time of the year caterpillars and bugs don't party in my garden. They sleep waiting for my seeds.

  6. No. No caterpillars here. Too much snow and no greens under neath.

  7. We're still tight in winter's grip so all the insects are asleep but some caterpillar eggs do overwinter. I'd check to see which of your native butterflies/moths overwinter their eggs.

  8. Yup, I have found a very similar looking thing on my geraniums. Even here in warm Southern California that is early! But we kind of had a hot spell lately and that brings all the insects, good and bad, out.