broccoli and butterflies
I transplanted my young broccoli seedlings from their seed tray to the garden this weekend. I gave them a space between a row of dill and one of kale. I spaced them about 5 inches apart. They seem pretty happy. I noticed that the fall crop of broccoli at a nearby farm is only a little bigger than mine now.
I've been enjoying several small white butterflies that bounce and flutter and play over my garden in the mornings. This pretty white butterfly is called a Cabbage White (Pieris rapae). It is one of the most common butterflies in North America. The photo shows one sipping nectar from one of my cucumber flowers. A little research showed me that this lovely insect has caterpillars that enjoy eating kale and broccoli. Ah-ha! So that's where the holes in the leaves have been coming from. The solution seems to be row covers. A little leaf damage doesn't affect my broccoli florets, but now I know that if I want un-holey kale I should consider row covers.
Kale (Brassica oleracea, Acephala Group)
cabbage white butterflies (Pieris rapae)