While real caterpillars may well be unwelcome visitors in some gardens, caterpillar-style coverings can vegetables keep safe all year round.
That is according to one Alaskan gardening expert, who has advised green-fingered enthusiasts in Kodiak to build their own 'caterpillars' – essentially little more than small tunnels crafted from plastic sheeting secured over PVC hoops.
According to the Kodiak Daily Mirror, local expert Lila Schwantes credits the simple contraptions with helping her vegetables grow to award-winning sizes, regardless of the tough conditions experienced in this part of Alaska.
Addressing a meeting of the city's most-enthusiastic gardeners, she explained that covering her plants "makes all the difference", with vegetables in particular benefiting from being protected from wind, rain, snow and frost.
Meanwhile, gardeners in the state are also being advised, via a column in the Anchorage Daily News, to stop feeding birds now that spring has arrived as bird-feeders can attract bears.