Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tomato hornworms

I am not much of a gardener. I really don't have the patience for all that pruning and watering and weeding. However, when it comes to growing things that I can eat, I make an exception. In my very small garden at my weekend house, I grow tomatoes, basil, chili peppers, oregano, thyme, parsley, sage, mint (well, actually the mint grows itself), blackberries, raspberries, hardy kiwi and table grapes.

My plants all happily toodle along, growing without much of a challenge other than the occasional snail or slug.......except for the tomatoes. The tomatoes are the yearly victims of the dreaded tomato hornworm.

If you've never encountered a tomato hornworm, then you're lucky. If you have, then you know that this obnoxious pest can completely camouflage itself as a tomato leaf and then eat an entire tomato plant to the bone in a matter of hours.

So starting in mid-July I turn into a horticultural vigilante. I am normally very respectful of animal life. I avoid killing spiders and feel bad if I brush an ant away with too much vigor. But I have absolutely no sympathy for the tomato hornworm.

Anyway, a friend of a friend has a wonderful little video blog called where he holds forth on all sorts of things, including how to deal with tomato hornworms.

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