Sowing a Second Crop of Swallowtail Caterpillars


I admire all of you vegetable gardeners out there, you know who you are; I’ve read your tweets and your blog posts detailing all the corn you put up for winter, the pounds and pounds of tomatoes you’ve harvested, your piles of zucchini and squash, and I sit in awe and wonder. A lifetime flower gardener, I’m only just beginning to get on board with growing our own food, and while we enjoyed some success in early summer, our second crop for autumn harvest has so far petered out (although I hold out hope for the leeks). One thing I have been successful at, albeit without any real effort on my part, is growing butterflies. We have so many butterflies. Not long ago, I brought in a handful of dill for cooking and observed, in the nick of time, that there were dozens of tiny swallowtail larvae on the leaves. Didn’t we just have an abundance of these little guys on our carrots? Evidently they’re back for another round. Well, of course carrots and dill are both in the Apiaceae family and are host plants for swallowtails, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by their reappearance, and I certainly am happy to see them. OK, so maybe as a veggie gardener, I could use a few more years practice, but at least I know how to sow a second crop of butterflies!

A Magical Dill Forest

5 thoughts on “Sowing a Second Crop of Swallowtail Caterpillars

  1. Question… How do you keep your dill umm looking good? Do you trim it or just let it grow with out messing? I have had one Black Swallow I think lurking around and I just want a good dill plant so I can get some caterpillars 🙂

    1. We don’t have dill this year because I forgot to sow the seeds! They’ll keep for next year. But as far as how I cultivate, I don’t really. I just let it do it’s thing. The butterflies discovered it with zero assistance on my part.

    1. Well, I sowed the seeds a while back and they just started springing up. It always amazes me how long it takes for dill to germinate–close to a month! So we should have some this year. How about you?

  2. Yea a bunch that came up from last year and every time I look to see how its doing I see more.. so hopefully I get some butterflies and cats 🙂

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