Sunday, July 25, 2010

Invasion of the Giant Man-Eating Worms!

I have been fairly lucky up until this point to keep my garden pretty bug free.  I mean sure some Japanese Beatles have snacked on the green beans a bit but other than that I have only had to even spray for bugs one time at the beginning of the growing season.  So imagine my surprise, dismay, complete revolution when I found these guys on my tomato plants.  The Hornworm.
I was just taking a quick glance at things before heading out of town and I noticed the tops of two of my plants were missing.  I have been having trouble with them leaning a bit and growing above the cage so I figured the plant had just broken off.  But I was perplexed when I couldn't find the top of the plant on the ground laying there.  After a bit more careful searching I found some of these guys perfectly blending in with the giant stems they were devouring.  They had eaten about half of the ENTIRE PLANT!  Leaves, stem, tomatoes-everything!  After removing these four mid-day, and two more later in the afternoon I applied a quick spray of Sevin bug spray and hoped it would keep them away.  No such luck.  While I have been out of town Leslie has removed about 6-8 more of the suckers.  I guess they don't mind Sevin products, maybe they found it to be a tasty condiment to the large quantities of tomatoes they have devoured.  Maybe something like a balsalmic?
In other garden news I have decided that next year all green beans will be planted in one long row instead of two rows as my two current rows are almost meeting in the middle.
Picking them has become an exercise in total claustrophobia.  Bean vines sticking to my body, grabbing at the widest parts of me from all angles.  Production has been fair, I'll be interested to see how they are after I have been gone a week.  A neighbor came by to pick some once but I'm not sure how deeply he picked into the maddening cluster of vine-y terror.
The okra has grown quite tall and soon will block the sprinkler pole.
It is always so strange in April or May to look out at this huge expanse of dirt in the backyard and think to yourself-wow I have plenty of room this year, no garden crowding, no stepping on plants to pick other plants.  The July comes and everything is growing on top of each other.  I have to admit that pulling the dead squash and planting new sort of gave the garden this "re-awakening" in a way-it's fun to see something sprouting again mid-season. 
I'm going to close for now but hope to post this week about last weekend's canning, pickling and preserving marathon (approx. 18 hours of kitchen work over two days.)  It was quite the experience.

Watch out for Hornworms this week-vicious, greedy, hungry bastards.

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