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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all...<br><br><br><br>
I think this is my second or maybe even third thread about caterpillars... it'll be my last, I promise... I hope! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br><br><br>
I've been having problems with caterpillars in my garden since first starting it last winter/spring. At first I thought they had come with a tomato plant I bought (they were hawkmoth caterpillars, I'm pretty sure).<br><br><br><br>
Since then, I've been transplanting (or just uprooting) certain plants to the compost pile area that the caterpillars were munching. They seem to be reproducing faster than I can relocate them... I wouldn't mind them being in the garden except that it's very small and I don't have enough plants to be losing even a couple to caterpilars.<br><br><br><br>
I'm new to gardening and I want to learn a lot - but I'm not getting much out of the experience when the caterpillars eat everthing bare before I can learn how to take care of the plants.<br><br><br><br>
I have black and lime green caterpillars now - they ate three bell pepper plants bare and are now in the process of demolishing an entire herb plant. I'm starting to think these caterpillars are coming from somewhere else, because there seem to be at least three different kinds of caterpillars in the garden right now.<br><br><br><br>
I'm just wondering if anyone has dealt with something like this before. I don't want to hurt them, but I'm starting to think that relocating them isn't doing any good.<br><br><br><br>
Any suggestions for what to do??<br><br><br><br>
Thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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You might look into making some repellents sprays from hot pepper or garlic. Here's some recipes I found:<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Garlic Spray<br><br><br><br><br><br>
To make: Combine 3 ounces of minced garlic cloves with 1 ounce of mineral oil. Let soak for 24 hours or longer. Strain.<br><br>
Next mix 1 teaspoon of fish emulsion with 16 ounces of water. Add 1 tablespoon of castille soap to this.<br><br>
Now slowly combine the fish emulsion water with the garlic oil. Kept in a sealed glass container this mixture will stay viable for several months. To use: Mix 2 tablespoons of garlic oil with 1 pint of water and spray.<br><br>
When working with oil sprays you want to monitor the climate conditions so your plants won't get phytotoxic burn. Use this simple equation: Take the current outdoor Fahrenheit temperature then add to this the percentage of humidity, if the total is more than 140 don't spray.<br><br>
Example: Temperature of 80 degrees plus humidity of 67 percent equals 147, don't spray. You also do not want to spray when temps are above 80F.<br><br><br><br>
Pepper Spray<br><br>
Target insects: All-purpose<br><br><br><br>
Just like the pepper dusts a spray made from hot peppers will release the capasaicin compound to repel insects.<br><br>
To make:Mix 1/2 cup of finely chopped or ground hot peppers with 1 pint of water. Let this sit for 24 hours. Use as is for a soil drench application or strain the mixture through cheesecloth until you have a clear liquid. Add a few drops of castille soap and use as a foliar application. Keep away from your eyes and skin when using.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.ghorganics.com/page14.html#Garlic%20Oil%20Spray" target="_blank">http://www.ghorganics.com/page14.htm...%20Oil%20Spray</a>
 

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Ah, always to my rescue! Thank you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I'm going to look into that second idea tomorrow (seems simpler to start off with than the other...). I am worried that it might kill the existing caterpillars, or do they just not like the smell or something?<br><br><br><br>
I'm starting to think it might be worth it to have two gardens - the main one, and then another next to the compost pile. Then I could try to keep the caterpillars distracted sort of <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> Have you heard of anything like that before? Maybe it's just a silly idea, but it's all I can think of other than spraying to keep them out.
 

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Planting lots of different things, and more of everything, will probably help. Especially planting a lot of aromatic herbs and flowers, which might confuse them, though insects are very good at finding what they like. But if you have a very "busy" garden, it will give them more places to live and maybe they'll leave your favorite plants alone. Don't put similar plants next to eachother, but mix them up in the "polyculture" idea, which is supposed to help protect from pests while also being more nature-friendly.
 
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