Friday, August 21, 2009

Garden Invaders

Some sneaky things have been happening in our garden lately. Not the cute sneaky gnomes that you would hope to see but pests, poison and mold oh my! The garden and flowerbeds are admittedly overgrown. It just breaks my heart to pull out or cut down a full grown plant. I usually come up with a grooming plan during the summer and then try and remember it once all the blooming has stopped. But I have had some new 'volunteers' this year that I did not recognize. I figured the birds helped to plant them and let the plants do there thing. That was until one particular volunteer vine was climbing all over my rose plant. The rose was not getting enough sunlight and powdery mildew was growing. Ugh! I can't stand powdery mildew, it even attacked my lilac tree. Enough was enough I pulled the plants out! Afterwards my father and all around garden guru came by for a visit (and to add to my recycling can). He identified the plant as Night Shade, a cousin to the Morning Glory. Any then proceeded to tell me the plant was poisonous! To make it even more tempting for my toddler, Night Shade has small, dark, poisonous berries that can be picked and digested. Night Shade Be Gone! And stop trying to sneak your way back into the flower beds, I am onto you. My son and I made the pest discovery when picking tomatoes. You may of already guessed, it was a tomato worm. I have around 8 tomatoe plants scattered around my back yard. I was curious if I would get them as visitors being in town instead of the country. I don't know how they found me, but they did. A big, fat, juicy tomato worm just waiting to urinate on me as I picked it up to show Clayton. Truthfully, I like them. They are strangely cute. They have amazing camouflage. When my brother and I were little our grandfather's neighbor, Mr. Cory, would pay my brother a nickel for every tomato worm he caught. Sometimes he would even pay a dime for the fat ones. Mr. Cory swore on tomato worm for fish bait. My brother happily kept him in full supply. I would go out to the garden as try my best to find them with minimal luck. My brother could spot them a mile away. I guess a nickel can do that to you...Anyway, back to Clayton's introduction to a tomato worm. I put it on a broken branch and we sat on the lawn looking at it. It did not move and that was puzzling to him. What the heck was he looking at? I told him it was a tomato worm and showed him he could pet it. His curiosity welled up and he touched it. Then he grabbed the branch from me and marched around the yard. That tomato worm was hanging on for dear life! I enjoyed watching him study the tomato worm, a creature that had always fascinated me when I was younger.

What's this?

Clayton feeding the tomato worm.


  1. I loved hearing the story of your brother collecting tomato worms for a nickel : ) How sweet your little one was able to meet a new 'friend' : )

  2. Thanks for posting your idea on Likely Classroom! I commented back if you care to read. Your idea was fabulous!

    You are a fun Mom.

  3. Wow! I've never seen anyone feeding a tomato bug. Neat! We had lots of basil and garlic interplanted with our tomatoes this year, and no bugs/worms showed up. Wheww! Love your blog...I'm going to start following it. --Jennifer

  4. We caught one of these last year and kept it for a science experiment. Tomato worms are called Horn worms in the books at the library. We read up on them and created a habitat for it. We filled a clear file box with garden dirt and tomatoe branches. The worm burrowed in after a few days. 3 weeks later he emerged as a HUGE moth. Big as my hand. We have pictures on our blog if you want to see.