Blast them caterpillars!

One week ago, the Early Russian sunflower was reaching happily for the sky.

When I started growing sunflowers about a year ago, one of my biggest problems was when caterpillars ate so many of the leaves that the plants couldn’t sustain themselves, and eventually died prematurely.

I didn’t have a problem with caterpillars with my earlier attempts this year, and so I “conveniently” forgot about them.

Do you see the two hairy caterpillars on the edge of the leaf they'd stripped? :(

Checking on my lovely Early Russian sunflower plant today, I was horrified to see several leaves eaten away, with others in the process of being eaten. The culprit was once again my nemesis, the hairy caterpillar horde.

There were small ones, medium ones, and tiny ones that if they were toys, would have had me cooing over how cute they were. Unfortunately for them, I whipped out the insecticide and went a little berserk with it.

The Early Russian plant with leaves in various stages of being eaten by the hairy caterpillar horde

Thankfully, the plant is well established at about 2 metres high, and it still has a number of nice, big (if slightly holey) leaves to sustain it. I’ve got my hopes pinned on this giant sunflower plant to fulfill its destiny to be BIG. It’s already so impressive that the neighbour has hinted for seeds… :D Of course, anything can still happen to the plant, but I’m optimistic that I’ll soon be able to share pictures of my first giant sunflower with you.

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