Tuesday 3 May 2011

Captain's Log

A very pretty caterpillar

Position unknown, crew disaffected, date immaterial really but it's at the bottom of the page.

Today we* did a bit of hoeing, gave up on the parsnips and blitzed the row to sow something else there, spent a bit of time locating oca in the bed assigned to them and noted how many much more healthy volunteers there were in the bed not assigned. Not quite sure what to do about that, move them or work around them. I can't bring myself to hoe them out, it just seems so wrong. Also hoed half the potatoes. Some rows rather sparse and pathetic, most significantly the Pink Fir Apples. I'm reluctant to suggest it but I think the seed potatoes were of poor quality. Even the home saved Arran Victory seem healthier.

Also planted out various flowers around the place, opium poppies in the veg. patch, weed mallow between the fruit bushes. NOTHING is growing, there still hasn't been any rain to speak of and there is NONE forecast for a week at the earliest.

Into the heated propagator went ridge cucumber seeds and some cuttings from the new lavenders and lemon verbena. I think the verbena will take, not so certain about the lavender.

In the greenhouse 46 tomato plants are jostling for position. They can't all stay there, it seems so cruel to throw them away. If it stays dry like this it might be worth trying them outside but I don't want to create a blight reservoir risk. On the other hand the tomatoes destined for outdoors are looking a bit weedy and starved. It might be better to chuck those and substitute the more tender ones BUT they are all cordon and I hate managing cordon tomatoes outdoors. Decisions, decisions.

*that's a Royal We by the way, since I am most definitely on my own for the foreseeable. Apart from cats and caterpillars that is.

And this caterpillar, I have no idea but it is rather pretty.

A very pretty caterpillar


Robert Brenchley said...

What was the caterpillar feeding on?

Catofstripes said...

Robert, I don't know. When I found it was moving with purpose along my washing basket in a corner of the garden beneath a sloe bush, with grass, nettles, docks, dandelions, and plenty of other stuff even Calla lilies and daffodil leaves. So I've no idea. I've asked on http://www.ispot.org.uk/
but it's my first time there, not sure how helpful it will be.

Robert Brenchley said...

It looks like a lackey moth, which feeds on a range of trees and shrubs.

Catofstripes said...

You're a genius, that's wonderful. Malacosoma neustria, feeds on blackthorn. Thanks so much.

Robert Brenchley said...

No, I've just got a good book. Collins' Field Guide to caterpillars.

Catofstripes said...

I shall put it on my wish list immediately. Thanks again.

Peter Mulryan said...

Nothing was growing here - until this week, then the rain hit. I guess your garden just needs a little cloud juice - shame I can't export it.

Catofstripes said...

Ah, but the rain has come. Not enough of it but it's a start. Blessed relief.

Rhizowen said...

Definitely lackey moth - with the bright warning colouration. You should see some tent like silken structures on trees and shrubs nearby which is where it will have come from.