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Butterfly-Good Bug or Bad Bug? #GardenSense

butterfly noseWe love butterflies. Bright yellow and black striped Swallowtails softly landing on a butterfly bush. Orange Monarchs feeding on milkweed. Red Painted Ladies visiting every flower in the garden.
But do we love their munching larvae?
Caterpillars can devour plants in no time. Those cute white Cabbage Moths lay green eggs that hatch into eating machines. Bye bye cabbage.
Butterflies pollinate as they feed on nectar. A very good bonus to have some butterflies around.
As gardeners we need to create a delicate balance.

Here are some tips to help you balance butterflies and caterpillars that visit your garden.

  • Plant extra caterpillar food plants just for their munching. Locate these plants away from your main garden. Here is an excellent source on what to plant to attract specific butterflies. The Butterfly Site
  • Hose eggs off vegetable plants. Get between the leaves of lettuce and cabbage.
  • Be careful raking leaves. Many species of butterflies overwinter in leaf piles.
  • Put water out in your butterfly bed for thirsty flyers.
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    About the author

    Cindy's Recipes and Writings

    As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
    esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
    Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
    Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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