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What’s eating Gilbert Marigold?

By Penny Stine

I neither read the book nor saw the movie, so I hope any die-hard fans of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” will forgive me, but the name stuck somewhere in the back of my mind and I wanted to borrow it.

Seriously, though… what’s up with this?

I thought marigolds were supposed to be a bug deterrent, not an appetizer for the main course, which seems to be all of my basil plants that are scattered throughout my garden. Most of them now look like this:

But to show that whatever is munching my marigolds and basil is an equal opportunity devourer, it’s attacking the zinnias, too.

I don’t usually spray or use any kind of herbicide or insecticide in my garden. It’s not that I’m a die-hard organic kind of gal, since I rarely buy organic produce at the store, it’s just that it would be one more thing to learn about and one more chore, and I find myself already overloaded.

Anybody have a clue what’s eating everything in my garden? I haven’t actually seen any type of creepy-crawly out there, but whatever it is also ate a couple of squash and melons right when the first came up and destroyed them.
 

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