Tomato worm invasion

Megan Mahaffey - Guest Blogger 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010

How, in all my life, had I never seen a tomato worm?

You remember me mentioning that I thought, perhaps, I had a deer nibbling on the tender leaves of my plants?

I was wrong. Seriously wrong.

To date, I’ve removed at least seven tomato worms of various sizes from my plants, as well as one HUGE moth. While the overall damage has been fairly minimal, I simply do not want them in my plants. I’m not interested in applying chemical treatments, so for the time being, physical removal is my solution of choice. If I start to find that I cannot keep up, I may have to reevaluate that stance, but for now, it’s working out. Call it our truce.

Despite the best efforts of the worms, and now the heat as well, I’m still harvesting fairly large numbers in the Napa Grape tomatoes. Just a few weeks back, I would take a large drinking cup with me to the garden. Then I needed two. Now, I carry out a 1-gallon ice cream bucket, and am filling it over half-way most days. I’m beyond pleased with the quantity and quality of these fruits – the plants have produced far more than I imagined they might.

I’ve started a new side project as a function of my now abundant crops. Over the weekend, I dug through my mother’s garage and hit a store for supplies, and began canning. I’m starting fairly small, but I’ve discovered that there is something immensely satisfying about the sound of the jar lid “popping” to a seal. So far, I’ve canned basic pasta sauce and some salsa, made with the help of the Burpee Home Gardens “Hottie” hot pepper. (Just for the record, yep, it’s hot!)

I love that I’m getting creative with meal ideas, thanks to the goodies in my garden, and with some help from my local farmer’s market. I REALLY love that my kids are enjoying helping, both in the garden and at meal times. This has been a fantastic experience for all of us, and we’re already planning next summer’s garden.

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