The Geraniums grew in really well this year. I can say that I did not kill everything this year, but these turned out beautifully with almost no care. Sadly the Sweet Peas died during the drought.
These are the tomato plants that have just grown wild. No one ever staked them, so once most of the hornworms died it just grew every which way…my husband is very annoyed since it makes cutting the grass more difficult. Meanwhile, I think that I will cage them next year just because they started growing over each other and I never know where I’m going to find the grape tomatoes. Sadly I have a great crop of Delicious Tomatoes growing in now and I’m afraid that the early frost is going to kill them off. Ah, well the joys of gardening. 🙂
I wish that I had gotten a better picture, but I can’t find this little guy in my garden right now. Can you find him? I know he’s still in there, eating up my tomato plants. He’s really hard to spot because the pattern on his back blends in with the leaf pattern. I don’t have any idea how much of my tomato plants they’ve already eaten. Apparently this is a tomato hornworm (could also be a tobacco hornworm, they eat tomatoes too). I knew that something was eating away at my tomatoes because whole stalks would go missing. I just chalked it up to rabbits, but it turns out these little guys have a voracious appetite. I originally noticed them because of a parasite that is apparently common, the braconid wasp. The presence of cocoons on the caterpillar that looks like rice grains means the parasite has already taken over. I found four of these in my garden just two weeks ago. I immediately went to look it up (gotta love Google). Several sites mentioned that the parasite would kill the hornworms. They recommended picking them off the plants, but I just wasn’t for it. These guys were 3 or 4 inches long and covered in parasitic cocoons. Blah!! I watched for a couple of days and they didn’t move locations. Then in almost no time they died. Great, right? My tomato plants are flourishing again. But alas, I found this little guy on my plant over the weekend. I didn’t see anymore, but it’s late in the season, and I’m hoping to just collect this last batch. Besides, despite this hungry fellow and his brothers, my tomato plants have grown like crazy. I don’t care to invest in pesticides this late and the primary organic solution is the wasps. I guess if I see him again, I can pull him off, but what to do with him? References say squish, but he looks kinda meaty for squishing…just gross.
Perhaps more interestingly is that they have hardly bothered my grape tomatoes. I have at times noticed something had munched away at them too, but the damage was not nearly as severe. All so very mysterious since they don’t really seem to differentiate by species (it would seem they like peppers too).
I’ll try to get a better photo if I spot him again…I do hope it’s just the one left.
More info on these garden pests can be found here or here. Of course you are always free to search on your own, there’s plenty of info out there. 🙂
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Tagged braconid wasp, delicious tomato, gardening, grape tomato, green, hornworms, plants, tomato, tomato hornworm, tomato hornworms, tomato plants, tomatoes, updates
I finally got the redbud trees planted. I’m still a little concerned that they were in the pots for so long, but they still look okay. It’s supposed to rain here tomorrow, and when it rained the other day my poor trees were all turned over in their containers. Hopefully now they’ll hold up better and root well. I’ve been so excited about these trees, I’ll just be devastated if they don’t take.
The rain also laid down all of my tomato plants, but they still look healthy with some new growth, and the grape tomato plants have at least four tomatoes each. I did some checking online regarding pruning and the most common recommendation was to prune new stems that tried to grow beneath the flowers and this seems to have worked. So far, at least the plants look healthy, we’ll see how the fruit comes out. Meanwhile the strawberries had a few rough days. They weren’t looking too well, but they’ve perked back up now, except for one, and they are still growing berries.
Now the watermelon bed is the only thing left and that’s on the to-do list for tomorrow if the rain holds off long enough, or stops early enough. Either way.
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Tagged eastern redbud, eastern redbud trees, gardening, grape tomato, green, plants, redbud trees, tomato plants, tomatoes, trees, watermelon