When Giant Alien Green Worms Attack
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When I went to let Molly and Dakota out before dawn one day last week, I knew there was something strange about my three potted tomato plants that sit on the party deck.
As I stood there, keeping one eye on the dogs and one eye on the tomato plants, I thought I saw one of them move.
After letting the dogs back in, I grabbed a flashlight and went back out to get a better look.
Sure enough, something was eating the plants and most of the tops were already gone!
Dale soon joined me. “What are you doing out here?”
“Something is eating my plants,” and I proceeded with a few explicatives not suitable for a family oriented blog.
As we studied further, we found these huge, green munching worms. They were fat and disgusting and worse yet, they were dropping these huge, rabbit sized pellets all over the deck.
We both grabbed paper towels, as neither of us wanted to touch them and started pulling them off and throwing them as far as we could into the woods.
Dawn revealed the extent of the damage.
Days before, my tomato plants were huge and very healthy. Dale even asked, “Are you growing tomato plants there or trees?”
These ugly insects worked fast. Just the evening before, Dale was out at dusk admiring the plants. I watched him look over the plants from the kitchen, where I was doing dishes.
I wish I could show before and after photos of the plants, but I’m having trouble getting my older SLR digital Canon to communicate with my new laptop with Windows 7. Canon says there is no “driver” for the device with Windows 7. (?)
Throughout the day, we pulled probably at least a dozen of these disgusting things from the plants.
I also read up on green tomato hornworms. These critters are pretty common, although we had never dealt with them before.
Per a couple of organic website instructions, I once again crushed a clove of garlic and mixed in a tablespoon of cayenne pepper with a quart of water. I sprayed the plants, waited for them to dry (not hard in this heat, even in the morning) and then liberally sprinkled the plants with cornstarch, which is suppose to smother the worms.
It must have worked, as later in the day, I saw only one more worm and it was dead at the bottom of the pot.
Last night, we enjoyed our first three tomatoes on BLTs, so all is not all lost. We still have a half dozen large tomatoes that will come on soon (knocking on wood) and quite a few cherry tomatoes. There should also be plenty of time for the plants to recover and bud a few more.
What kinds of garden pests do you deal with?