A few weeks ago, in August, the Cavolo Nero kale plants that I have been growing since last autumn got well and truly annihilated by cabbage whites…they were CRAWLING in caterpillars!
Having been growing for so long, they were pretty tall – about a 100-120cm tall- with several very mature leaves at the top as well as new ones still coming through thick and fast. I was thinking they would be able to keep on going until winter, but after the caterpillars got them they were eaten right back to the big central vein that runs down the leaves.
“Game Over,” I thought, and since then I have been meaning to pull them up and chuck them on the compost heap. But of course I never got around to it, what with summer BBQs to enjoy, new autumn veg to plant and work to do. So the poor things have just been standing there, naked and exposed, waiting for me to rescue them.
Then the other day I was amazed to see that there are new leaves appearing!! So far they look quite healthy too.I need to wait for them to get a little bit bigger, but I’m intrigued to see if they come back to life properly, at least for a few weeks until late autumn.
I think it has been a good lesson in just how resilient plants are and how much they want to survive, and I’m wondering whether sometimes I’m a little too quick to give up on them. Maybe I’ll give those brassicas a bit more time in the future when they’ve been attacked by pigeons, or caterpillars, or slugs!