Friday, July 20, 2007

There's a slug in my garden...

and it's me. Weeds are getting out of control (I ran out of clove spray), there's lots to deadhead, and I still have plants not hooked up to drip despite the fact that I'm leaving for Mendo (woo hoo!) in a couple weeks. On the plus side, there's plenty to harvest in the way of peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, chard and herbs. Strawberries have taken over two of my flowerbeds. Oh, the horror. I am a little leery of harvesting them in areas the dogs "frequent". I really want to try growing strawberries vertically. I tried them in hanging baskets, but the soil dried out too quickly. I'll figure something out.

This morning, I spotted a tomato hornworm on one of my tomato plants! I'm really hoping to see it become parasitized so I can get some good photos. No, I will not squash it or cut it in half, you barbarians. Ew. Double ew. How would you feel if someone cut you in half? Besides, tomato hornworms are amazing looking!

4 comments:

  1. You are too generous with the tomato hornworm, I despised the little buggers. In my garden is off with their heads, I find that not even the birds like them.

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  2. They are amazing looking, but if you have more than one they will destroy your tomatoes before they can be parasitized.

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  3. Upon closer inspection, I have what appear to be a mommy, a daddy and a baby. ;-)

    But I just... can't.

    Anybody know a parasitization prayer? I'll continue to watch, in horror and wonder.

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  4. Evening hornworm update: Of the three, "Mama" ended up in the gravel next to my tomato plant. "She" couldn't have been there long because she still looked quite plump. She wasn't wriggling around, so I assume she's ailing or had very recently "crossed over". How did she end up on the ground?! Did a bird pluck her off? Did she fall?

    In other strange news, "Baby" hornworm moved next door to 'Early Girl', even though there was no plant to plant contact. I didn't think tomato hornworms were that mobile...

    Big Daddy hornworm is still on 'Sungold'.

    Stay tuned. 1 down, 2 to go. # of hornworms deaths on my conscience = 0. The plant is looking a little stringy, but I'm hopeful it will recover.

    I'm counting on the following: "There are several important naturally occurring parasites that help control hornworms in tomatoes. Hornworm eggs are attacked by Trichogramma parasites and the larvae by Hyposoter exiguae. Trichogramma released for control of tomato fruitworm will also attack hornworm eggs."-- http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r783301111.html

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