REMEMBER...

LIFE IS A GARDEN; ENJOY THE STROLL.

July 10, 2017

MY, WHAT FASCINATING PESTS....

Devoting the weekend to yard work was both, blissful and tiring, and many tasks were accomplished. I was just about wrapping things up late Sunday afternoon, when I spotted this little creature hanging out at the entrance to my vegetable garden - a hawk moth.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
A quite striking specimen, no?  Well... striking, interesting and quite lovely as she may be, she's also the egg layer of the tomato horn worm.  And, you know what that means.  Your prized tomato plants will be eaten while your back turned, by a green, horned and quite grotesque looking finger-sized monster.  But, I hadn't encountered any green monster worms while tying up my tomato plants earlier in the day.

I took a closer look, and lo and behold, I found tomato horn worm eggs.  My, oh, my, are they tiny! They're roughly 1/16" in diameter; I removed ten of them from my four tomato plants.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, look what I also found... baby tomato horn worms!  They were just barely 1/4" in length with a horn almost as long as their body.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Though I don't like plant destructing pests in my garden, I found the afternoon's experience quite fascinating.

Last year many of my pumpkin/squash plants had succumb to the squash borer (another pesky garden pest).  This season I'm just sticking to squash species that the borer tends to ignore - butternut squash and Long Island cheese pumpkin.  I got the cheese pumpkin seeds at a seed swap back in February, and pictured below is one of the plants.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Two years ago I acquired three little 'Pixie' grape plants.  And, yes, I do mean little.  The plants obtain a height of only 18-24" at maturity, and they do not produce twining tendrils like standard size grape vines do.  Do you see the little grape cluster?  Adorable.  There are two other clusters on this plant (which is only 12" tall!) hidden behind the leaves.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Did you ever sow seeds, forget to label them, and then find yourself unable to identify the seedlings? Well, something similar happened to me with the plant pictured below.  Back at the seed swap in February, which was the first time I ever attended one, I failed to bring ziplock baggies.  Lesson learned! Some folks offers seeds in envelopes, and, well, many seeds found their way out of the envelopes and ended up..... in the bottom of my purse.  I knew these particular seeds were bean seeds, but I had more than one variety in my possession, and they were all mixed up..... in the bottom of my purse.  As it turns out, I'm growing heirloom Oregon Giant pole beans!  I did some research on them..... looks like I'm going to need a much, much taller trellis :D
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
And, last, but not least.... the art of shell gardening.  It's pest-free, maintenance-free and doesn't break your back!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2017
Well, that's all for now.

Enjoy this beautiful summer day!

2 comments:

  1. Fortunately, my guineas find all these destructive insects/worms a most tasty treat. My vegetable garden is a virtual bug buffet for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky for you, they do their job and earn their keep. Unfortunately for me, the neighborhood birds prefer my blackberry patch over insect meat. Thanks for stopping by.

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