Caterpillars on my broccoli

(3 Posts)
FireflyGirl Tue 02-Aug-16 07:06:18

So, I am venturing into the world of vegetable gardening for the first time this year. I've actually been pretty successful - decent carrots, radishes the size of large plums, a decent crop of peas. The sweetcorn stalks are a decent size as well, and my tomatoes are looking promising. The cucumber plant doesn't look healthy, but has 3 short fat cucumbers on it so it can't be too upset.

I also bought purple sprouting broccoli, not realising you don't harvest it until the spring, but I didn't think there'd be a problem.

However, the leaves are all holy and infested with tiny, green caterpillars. I'm pretty certain the culprits are cabbage white butterflies (there are always at least a couple fluttering around and there are yellow, skittle-shaped eggs underneath as well). As I won't be eating the leaves, and won't be looking to harvest until next spring, do I just leave the caterpillars to help the butterfly population or would that be a bad idea?

(I'd be just picking off the eggs/caterpillars if I did get rid, as my veggies are in containers right next to the back door and we have cats and a toddler.)

TIA grin

PeaceOfWildThings Tue 02-Aug-16 07:10:35

Much as I love butterflies, cabbage whites are ubiquitous and I wouldn't go out of my way to populate a vegetable garden with them!

Yes, pick them off!

FireflyGirl Sun 07-Aug-16 01:02:23

Thanks Peace, little buggers have been relocated to the sacrificial nasturtiums which are being decimated by aphids anyway. Lots of different types of caterpillars now, so felt bad sending all those butterflies to the compost heap!

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