We are growing two different kinds of beans: bush beans and soy beans. The soy beans have been repeatedly attacked by plant-eating pests, while the bush beans have escaped unscathed. Some weeks ago, with the beans just poking their heads out of the ground, one gardener was concerned that the leaves were being eaten already. But these were not true leaves, but cotyledons, which come from part of the seed. In the two weeks which followed, though, as the true leaves emerged, pests continued to eat at the soy bean plants. I wonder what they know? Nevertheless, the soy bean plants themselves have been producing more leaf than is being eaten.
This situation makes a point about pesticide use as well. Yes, perhaps a heavy dose of pesticide might have eliminated any leaf-eating. But the soybean plants are clearly thriving despite the pests. Maybe pesticides aren’t as useful or needful as advertised.