Fighting the Tomato Hornworm With Borage


A photo of Allan DouglasFor years now I have done battle with the tomato hornworm. You know him: big, green brute with a spiky horn on his butt. Sort of a cross between a backward rhinoceros and The Hulk. He can get to be 4 inches long and will decimate a tomato plant overnight.

Found hornworm

In the past I've used a number of methods to try to keep this marauder at bay.

• Sevin Powder: works pretty well but is a chemical insecticide.

• Neem oil: works pretty well and is a natural repellent, but has to be reapplied after every rainfall.

• Hand picking: It is harder than one might think to spot these well-camouflaged beasties. Even as big as they get, they can be hard to see in amongst the leaves. I look mostly for the leaf damage and poo-pellets they leave, then go hunting in that region.

7/21/2015 7:57:52 AM

Allan, thankfully, I have never had to deal with the dreaded horn worm. In fact my gardens have been bug free going into the fourth growing season. I contribute it to the flock of wild turkeys that groom the bugs off the plants. I rarely see any kind of bug, tick, or worm on my plants. The turkies don't seem to really bother the plants other than insect control. Now the deer are a different story. They have expanded their foriaging this year expotentially. The one thing they totally decimated was with strawberries. Fortunately, they haven't acquired a taste for beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, or green peppers. I'll have to think seriously about planting borage with my tomato plants next year. It sounds like a really good natural way to minimize insect devisiation. ***** Have a great winning the insect battle day.

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