Thursday, July 21, 2011


A while back I'd been watering the garden and noticed that when I got to the cabbages there was a small cloud of white-winged insects. I didn't think much of it. After that I noticed that the leaves had holes in them and again didn't think much of it. Today I noticed little dark green round things in the spaces between the leaves and because it looked gross, I freaked.

It turns out that those green things are "frass", or caterpillar poo. I'd never heard of frass before but it's the kind of word that a person could use in everyday life: "Excuse me, I have to get rid of some frass", "Oh, frass!", "Whew! It sure smells like frass in here!" I'm sure if I say it enough it'll catch on, right?

Anyways. The frass is an indication that those white-winged insects I saw way back when laid eggs which hatched caterpillars which ate holes in the leaves and turned the leaves into frass. I did rinse off all the frass when I watered this evening just because it's disgusting. I don't know which kind of caterpillar we have but as long as they haven't eaten their way into the core, we can save the cabbages. I don't think they've bored their way in so all I have to do is pick off the caterpillars and squish them. I hope they squish more like aphids than grubs. Squishing grubs feels gross.

I have to say that my current approach towards things that happen in the garden doesn't seem to be working. Noticing things and thinking, "hmmm, that's interesting" isn't good enough because by the time I freak out, it's getting a bit late to deal with the problem. Therefore, when I see things in the garden I should be thinking "emergency emergency" along with some emergency sound effects in my head like a fire engine and car alarms (seriously, when I think "emergency emergency" it always comes with those sound effects). Then I should rush in to the house, look up the thing I saw, and take steps to deal with it.

Gardening is hard. I take solace in the fact that I'm new at this gardening thing and I learn more by making mistakes than by getting it right.

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