Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ho - Ho - Hornworm Alert!

So here I was, into hour 3 of weeding the nasty mess of a vegetable garden awaiting me when I returned home from Disney World. I was pulling grass out of the paths and tying up tomatoes and cleaning off dead leaves and then...

I saw what looked like a weird, spotted tiny green tomato.

But it wasn't a tomato -- it was the HEAD of a tomato hornworm.

Aaaarrrghhhhh.

Nasty little fellow, isn't he?

See the beautiful tomato plant he came from? It's the one back against the wall -- my first tomato grown from seed in the greenhouse, so I am quite fond of him.

And, since it was 100 degrees (no, that wasn't a typo), and I didn't see any more of them, I finished my weeding and waited until 8 p.m. to go out with a fresh batch of BT to try to save my beautiful crop of tomatoes.

After I found the hornworm, I found a little treasure while I was ripping out the bolted lettuce -- a beet! A big 'ol honkin' beet. With beautiful leaves and perfectly shaped - it was so pretty - I wish I'd taken a picture of it when I picked it.

Instead you get a picture of it roasted and dusted with Kosher salt in the bowl! It was very yummy. I don't remember planting beets ... I did think I pulled one up several weeks ago, thinking it was lettuce ... who knows! But it was so good, that when the weather cools down, I may actually plant some and try to remember they are there!

So, I think there is about another hour or work to be done in the veggie garden and then tomorrow I'll move on to weeding the rock path tomorrow. It's garden clean-up week next week. Kallie is in VBS for 1/2 day all week and I am committed to gardening for that time to get all caught up. (Ha!)

But then again, are we ever really "caught up" in the garden? Have YOU ever been caught up in your garden?



14 comments:

Layanee said...

Love your artistic posing of the hornworm. It was chilly and rainy here once again but I know that hot weather will be here soon. No, I am not caught up and it doesn't seem possible this year. I am still enjoying the garden.

Diana said...

Artistic posing, ha! He is interesting looking, though. And now he is in the weed can, never to return to my tomatoes again. I'll send you some of out heat -- we can spare it! And I did actually sit out by the pool and enjoy my gardens today and it was delightful.

Carol said...

Caught up? Never! And don't remind me... I have to watch carefully for hornworms around here!

Janet said...

I love big ol' honken beets! Too bad about the hornworm. Pick those bad boys off....NOW! Yeah, summer in TX, 100 or more. blah. I equate it to being in a blast furnace. Stay cool.

Diana said...

Carol -- but you know, in scrapbooking, the mantra is that it's the JOURNEY, not the destination...yeah, right!

Janet - blast furnace - that's the perfect description!

Annie in Austin said...

Who but you could accidentally plant and harvest a delicious beet, Diana?

There could be hornworms in my garden - so busy keeping watch for Leaf-footed Stink bugs that I forget there are other insects wanting those tomatoes. Thanks!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana said...

Annie -- Well, you're growing a volunteer squash that looks very yummy. And I need to remember to look for stink bugs -- they really got me at the end of the season last year and between that and the heat, I finally gave up. I'm not giving up now, though!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Being "caught up" in the garden is a dream I had once. That is about as close as it gets around here, a dream.

These hot days of summer sure encourages the bugs. This hornworm is quite handsome.

getgrounded said...

Welcome home, Diana. Oh, I hate those worms! Have fun weeding in the lovely summer sun - ha ha. Remember to hydrate!

Gail said...

Yikes that is a great looking caterpillar/worm! I love roasted root vegetables and they taste so good with a sprinkling of Kosher or sea salt~~it must be lunch time because all this talk of tomatoes and beets has made me hungry...Have a good week in the garden. gail

Linda/Patchwork said...

Looks like you found the hornworm before he did too much damage.
And catching up in the garden....aahh..wouldn't that be nice...

Diana said...

Lisa -- It is a dream, isn't it? We have company coming in 2+ weeks and I have set a goal to at least have all beds weeded between now and then. I was highly motivated yesterday and today, but with this heat, I'm not sure how long I will hold up! Maybe I'm just dreaming!

Thanks GetGrounded. I hydrated with Coca-Cola, water, Sunny D and beer yesterday! (Does beer count? That was while I was actually sitting and enjoying the garden for a little while, not while I was digging!)

It is lunchtime Gail, and I am about to eat some tomatoes. And maybe those leftover few bites of beets. There's just something about food you've grown yourself.

Linda, it would be nice to catch up, wouldn't it? I didn't see any of Mr. Hornworm's friends and I did spray, so I've just got to keep an eye on the plants now. But they are getting really big and that makes it tough to do...Just one more thing to do on the list of garden chores!

Pamie G. said...

I thought that Texas Star petals were further apart. This looks like the Moy Grande developed by Dr. Moy at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens many years ago. He gave me one and I had to leave it at my last home but I have seeds!! Your garden is beautiful! Pamie

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/hibiscusmoy/hibiscusmoy.html

Diana said...

Pamie G. Thanks. Glad you came to visit. You're right - it looks just like the Moy Grande. Wow. And it IS muy grande! Sorry you had to leave yours but seeds are the next best thing, aren't they?