Vegetables and Fruit forum: I gave up and let the hornworm have the tomato plant...

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Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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Intheswamp
Aug 14, 2017 12:32 PM CST
nodding

Thumb of 2017-08-14/Intheswamp/82e3a8

South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Aug 14, 2017 1:57 PM CST
Oh my look at all those eggs on it from those parasite wasps!!
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
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McCannon
Aug 14, 2017 3:43 PM CST
Might as well have picked that one off. It won't survive long.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from that!
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Aug 14, 2017 8:20 PM CST
Hornworms are so big it would be difficult to miss them. I use the two brick method of eradication. They are voracious feeders and the natural enemies are wasps like you have and humans. I never give in to those devils. Thank goodness we don't have very many. Cool photo.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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Intheswamp
Aug 14, 2017 8:24 PM CST
Rita, you know the issues I've had with my tomatoes. I don't know why but I started picking worms off today, probably should've gone fishing this afternoon...I would've had plenty of bait. I kept looking for cocoons but didn't find any until the very last plant. I'll leave it be...those wasps may be the only good things to come from those tomato plants!
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 14, 2017 8:35 PM CST
It may sound crazy but I think sometimes the problem with finding them are that they *are* so big. In my mind I'm looking for a small caterpillar...when suddenly a caterpillar big enough to chew a yearling pine tree in half materializes before my very eyes!!! You're right, Paul, they get BIG!!! Blinking I do give them a fighting chance...I throw them 15-20 feet out of the garden in the bahia grass...if they can figure out the direction to go into and can run the gauntlet of ants and birds back to plants then they might survive. Or, I simply see if they can pass the pressure test with my boot...they tend to fail the pressure test 100% of the time. Thumbs up
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Aug 14, 2017 8:38 PM CST
Someone over on the August 2017 Butterflies, Moths & Larva thread: https://garden.org/thread/go/7... mentioned growing a separate, dedicated tomato plant, away from the other tomatoes, and transferring the hornworms to that plant, for the beautiful Sphinx moths they will become: http://texasbutterflyranch.com...
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from that!
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 14, 2017 8:53 PM CST
I can see where that would help them to become the "hummingbird moths". The moths are cool...the worms, not so much. I actually got to thinking of leaving them on the plants today (my tomato season has been a nightmare). But, it seems to me that doing that might increase the number of hornworms to contend with on tomato plants next year. Or, maybe it wouldn't matter one way or the other.
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Aug 14, 2017 9:04 PM CST
I'm sure that's a consideration. We haven't had any hornworms in around 5 years. I'd gladly trade some of the bugs we have had for a few hornworms. We get a few hawkmoths here but they're from a different group. The Sphinx moth is a good pollinator.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from that!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Aug 14, 2017 9:21 PM CST
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

The tomato worms do turn into very interesting moths!

Mac, what "different group" do your hawkmoths come from? I would gladly suffer a few hornworms on my tomatoes to have the hummingbird moths in the flowers. Some years we do have them, usually not.
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
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Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Aug 14, 2017 9:34 PM CST
They're all from the Sphingidae family, made up of around 1450 different species. We had one that bore a strong resemblance to the "Death's-head hawkmoth" but I couldn't confirm that. It was around 3½" to 4" in length. I couldn't positively identify any of them because finding even a close match requires a lot of time. They're interesting creatures, good pollinators, and I wouldn't mind sacrificing a few plants to have them around.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from that!
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 15, 2017 6:19 AM CST
Being down here in south Alabama we tend to grow bumper crops of pests in our nice, humid environment...this year has been extreme in our local area. Never the less, I may leave any worms I find alone for the rest of the season...I like to see the moths, too,...to a degree. Smiling
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
[Last edited by Intheswamp - Aug 15, 2017 12:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Aug 15, 2017 6:58 AM CST
An odd year for bugs here. Things we usually get lots of we got very few, things we seldom get we were inundated, and a bunch of new bugs the we never encounter. We have had more butterflies and far fewer Japanese beetles so I'm not complaining about that.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from that!
Name: Susan B
East Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member
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lakesidecallas
Aug 16, 2017 7:34 AM CST
We've had a bad year for bugs here too. Aphids we could not get rid of! I only saw one hornworm this year and it was actually on a tomato, eating it. I thought they only ate the foliage. I too love the moths.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 16, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Aphids!!!!! <UGHHH!!!!>

The only really bright part to my garden was the zipper cream (southern) peas that I planted. I got a few pickings off of them and then...the aphids invaded in a big time way!!! Ants and aphids...misery.

This morning I went to dump some muskmelon rinds and noticed the little survivor bell pepper plants had started putting on a lot more blooms than in the past and already had a few small peppers coming on. I also noticed that something BIG had been chewing on them...something as in a BIG CATERPILLAR!!! The worm pellets were as big as a new pencil's eraser and the ground was littered with them!!!! One small pepper already had a hole chewed in it. I figured it was one of those dark green army-looking caterpillars...that's what I've found on the peppers in the past. I looked and looked and looked on four small plants and I haven't found a worm yet!!!! Grumbling
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2017 10:53 AM CST
Maybe the birds ate the worms off?
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 16, 2017 3:40 PM CST
Maybe they did. I'm going to look again this evening when I get home...by the size of the droppings that worm would feed a family of buzzards!!!! Blinking
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2017 3:54 PM CST
Intheswamp said:Maybe they did. I'm going to look again this evening when I get home...by the size of the droppings that worm would feed a family of buzzards!!!! Blinking


Hilarious! Hilarious! Those Hornworms do make big poops.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Aug 16, 2017 6:25 PM CST
LOL -- I think the hornworms will eat peppers as well as tomatoes... right?
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2017 8:15 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:LOL -- I think the hornworms will eat peppers as well as tomatoes... right?


I think so.

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