Could use a little encouragement if there is any to offer at this point...
I have a small 4x8' raised bed, and I've put a lot of money, effort, and love into it thus far.
I've *attempted* to grow carrots, radishes, garlic, onions, bush beans, romaine, a few pepper varieties, and an eggplant. I also have basil and cilantro which are nice and healthy.
I sowed my bush beans two weeks ago, they came up fast, strong and healthy in about a week. Honestly, it was the produce I was most looking forward to. The seedlings were about 3-4" tall, some of the biggest already with 2" leaves. In the last 3 or 4 days, caterpillars have eaten almost every single plant down to its stem, some even down to a nub that is level with the soil.
I sowed radish seeds about a month before the beans. the seedlings were also growing fast, but once I thinned them, they too were eaten down to stems/nubs.
my eggplant has gaping holes, and my pepper plants have smaller but numerous holes.
so far they haven't messed with romaine, herbs, garlic or onion (last two, probably because of odor?) but I would be so disappointed to put all of this effort and hope into a garden that only produces some bulbs...
I go check the garden every morning when I wake up and every evening when I get home from work, and no matter how many I pick off, there are caterpillars on EVERY plant by the time I arrive, just sitting there FEASTING.
will neem oil repel them? I also heard of a garlic-pepper spray. which is more effective?
For the seedlings of which they've eaten off most of the leaves (bean and radish), is hope lost or might they re-grow themselves? should I just pull all of the sad little nubs, spray neem oil on everything, and try re-sowing seeds again?
I'm feeling so defeated