Either The Hornworms Go, or The Tomatoes


| 8/18/2010 2:34:28 PM


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Aah, the rewards of summer. Peach juice trickling down my chin, blackberries staining my fingers and time spent with friends. I’ve coaxed tiny seeds into tomato plants that are seven feet tall. I’ve carried water, scratched in fertilizer, and to be completely honest, I’ve spoken love-words to my tomatoes hoping to entice them into a love-love relationship with me. 

“How about some extra water today,” I say as I pour water around the base of my plant, never on the foliage because that might burn delicate, undeveloped fruit. 

The plants responded. Clothed in yellow blooms, they grew tall, dark and deliciously attractive. As the plants matured, my anticipation increased with each passing day. 

I had waited, patiently watching the largest tomato change from lime-green to pale pink. With heat scratching my neck, I grabbed my bucket; my mouth-watering…today would be sandwich day. 

Foliage the hornworm stripped.Imagine my surprise when my precious Park’s Whopper met me with stripped-bear stalks. The tomato I’d admired for weeks hung half-eaten with a large green worm munching happily. 

I was excited the first time I encountered a Tomato Horn Worm. A gardening newbie, I naively thought the pudgy caterpillar hanging on the stalk before me would morph into a Luna Moth. I photographed the creature and emailed all my friends that soon I would “be the proud parent of a Luna moth.” 

s.m.r. saia
8/25/2010 7:42:39 AM

Ah, I haven't met the hornworms yet, but I sure have had similar experiences with other pests - Harlequin beetles, Colorado Potato Beetles, Squash Bugs. I suppose the hornworms are only a matter of time. Thanks for the information and good luck!!!


s.m.r. saia
8/25/2010 7:42:39 AM

Ah, I haven't met the hornworms yet, but I sure have had similar experiences with other pests - Harlequin beetles, Colorado Potato Beetles, Squash Bugs. I suppose the hornworms are only a matter of time. Thanks for the information and good luck!!!


renea_1
8/24/2010 5:28:05 PM

Cindy thank you for your comment, and for educating me on the proper usage of the death-worm poop, commonly known as frass. How funny. I can't wait to ask my dad if he knows what frass is? Happy gardening.


cindy murphy
8/19/2010 8:36:16 PM

"Death-worms"! That gave me a good chuckle, Renea, and such an apt description! I haven't had to go into battle this year (with the tomato worms, anyway), but I'll be sure to diligently check my plants, just in case they're planning a sneak attack. Great post. Oh...and if anyone ever asks, worm excrement is called "frass". Or death-worm poop.





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