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Look what I found on my carrots!

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Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  unmadecastle on 7/20/2011, 10:06 pm

I have found 3 of these caterpillars on my carrots. These guys are huge! I can't believe how much and how fast they can strip carrot leaves! Will the carrots that have no leaves (just stalk) be ok or should I pull them? Sorry about the blurry picture.

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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  littlejo on 7/20/2011, 10:12 pm

the carrots will grow more leaves. We used to cut off the tops to get the carrot(root) to grow longer!
Jo
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  camprn on 7/20/2011, 10:14 pm

The carrots will be fine. The caterpillars will stop eating the carrot tops in a few days and then turn into this, I think.
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  unmadecastle on 7/20/2011, 10:29 pm

@camprn wrote:The carrots will be fine. The caterpillars will stop eating the carrot tops in a few days and then turn into this, I think.

Ohh! That would be cool! I am trying to talk my self into leaving them there! Yes no yes no . Oh geez! What to do.....
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  camprn on 7/20/2011, 10:34 pm

Yes! the carrots will be fine! Wink
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And here it is

Post  unmadecastle on 8/4/2011, 9:33 pm

Well we decided to keep one of the catepillars in a huge jar to see if it would pupate and turn into a butterfly. Today about 5:30 pm we had this!





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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  camprn on 8/4/2011, 9:38 pm

OH! How beautiful!

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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/4/2011, 10:15 pm

Beautiful and so exciting for the kids too!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  duhh on 8/4/2011, 10:32 pm

Beautiful! I would let one of those live if I found on in my garden just to see the butterfly!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  unmadecastle on 8/4/2011, 10:39 pm

I have found about 10 of them now. Smile I'm sure there were probably more that we didn't see. They really like my carrots.
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  sceleste54 on 8/5/2011, 1:35 am

Beautiful !!

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Beautiful, but oh so hungry!!

Post  godschild_veb on 9/5/2012, 1:10 am

Reminds of of the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" that I read to my grand-daughter. These caterpillars are ravenous!! I hope my carrots will rebound. Right now though, it looks like a lot of damage. I like butterflies, so am glad I didn't spray my carrots with BT to kill them.
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  CharlesB on 9/5/2012, 8:37 am

So good to see gardeners who let a balance of nature flourish. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  Pollinator on 9/5/2012, 9:52 am

That's a delightful experience, and great for the kids!

To save your carrots another year, you might try planting one of the other favored foods of the swallowtails. We have a bed of parsley that we planted six or seven years ago (reseeds itself), and the swallowtails love it. Other favored foods are dill and fennel. Queen Anne's lace also is used - although that's the same species as carrot.

Perhaps one of them might be more favored and draw the activity away from your carrots.
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  cheyannarach on 9/5/2012, 10:09 am

What a beautiful butterfly! My kids tried so hard to find a butterfy catepillar this year but we never did. They got mad at me because I got "rid" of the other ones, lol, like cutworms, cabbage loopers, etc. Glad you all got to see the transformation!!!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  gwennifer on 9/5/2012, 11:23 am

Very cool! And nice job camprn for nailing the caterpillar identification!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/5/2012, 12:07 pm

@littlejo wrote:We used to cut off the tops to get the carrot(root) to grow longer!
Jo

Does this really work??? My infant finger carrots can use all the help they can get!

CC

PS Love the butterfly story!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  littlejo on 9/5/2012, 12:51 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@littlejo wrote:We used to cut off the tops to get the carrot(root) to grow longer!
Jo

Does this really work??? My infant finger carrots can use all the help they can get!

CC

I don't really think it worked, but it gave the carrots more time in the ground!
I grew those little finger carrots last yr. and it does take more time to grow them than the pack says, but, I let mine stay in the ground into winter for they just wouldn't grow. Well, they were about 4 inches when I pulled them and they were the sweetest carrot I've ever eaten!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/5/2012, 1:34 pm

Oh that's too bad. I was hoping we'd found that magic secret to bigger carrots. My little carrots aren't supposed to be finger carrots. They are regular scarlet Nantes. But they are only the size of fingers whenever I pull them - infant fingers! Rolling Eyes

I guess I'll just leave them in for a couple more years...

CC

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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  ericam on 9/7/2012, 6:08 am

rofl I hear you CC, my carrot week carrots are still in the ground, don't think I'll be picking them for a while yet, I like big carrots not baby ones!
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  Goosegirl on 9/8/2012, 8:15 am

@unmadecastle wrote:I have found 3 of these caterpillars on my carrots. These guys are huge! I can't believe how much and how fast they can strip carrot leaves! Will the carrots that have no leaves (just stalk) be ok or should I pull them? Sorry about the blurry picture.


Ann - I just found one of these on MY carrots last night! Can't wait to see it change!

GG
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  darci.strutt on 9/8/2012, 10:31 am

Very cool thread! It took four months before my carrots got "real" carrot size for me. I didn't get any fun side benefits like butterflies. Good to be reminded of things to plant to give them other things to eat!
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Maggots Eating My Carrots

Post  Bmelcer on 4/7/2013, 7:19 pm

The butterflies are beautiful and the catterpillars only eat the tops. My carrots look good on top but when we pull them we find that maggots have been eating them.
Anybody know what we can do to stop them or get rid of them?

The preceeding comments are enjoyable to read. Thanks. Smile
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 7:21 pm

@Bmelcer wrote:The butterflies are beautiful and the catterpillars only eat the tops. My carrots look good on top but when we pull them we find that maggots have been eating them.
Anybody know what we can do to stop them or get rid of them?

The preceeding comments are enjoyable to read. Thanks. Smile
Do you happen to have a photo? That may help ID the pest.

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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

Post  Bmelcer on 4/7/2013, 7:27 pm

I do not have a photo. We have had this problem every year and are deciding if we should plant them again this year. I am using raised beds now. Have the wood cut to make 2 square foot beds.
Thanks for your quick response.
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Re: Look what I found on my carrots!

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