Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tomatoes and Roses and Hornworms, Oh My!

This started to be a post about herbs and gardening ........

See--here we have three kinds of basil---lemon, Thai and African Blue--plus pineapple sage, lemon verbena, dill, bronze fennel and some thyme.

And I couldn't resist the beautiful bud of my climbing Don Juan.

This is the main 'kitchen' garden.  The deck to the left is right off my kitchen and the steps go down to both sides (my design).  The soil here is horrible plus there are all kinds of cables and lines so we did a raised bed.  It was not deep enough for the big tomatoes so they are in a huge pot at the back toward the right.  That tall mass of green is mostly one 'cherry' tomato that has gone off the chart in the Miracle Grow Moisture Control garden soil.

I noticed immediately that something had been eating at the cherry tomato.  This was not good.  At first I didn't see the culprit, its got pretty good camouflage. 

So I walked on back to take some pictures and check out my big tomatoes.

This first ripe tomato is the Better Boy.  The other tomato in this pot is a Brandywine.  Between the heat and the Miracle Grow Moisture Control potting soil they are growing and setting tomatoes like crazy.

As I stood up from picking that beautiful tomato I spotted the voracious marauder--a tomato hornworm--the larval stage of a hawk moth.  Of course I took a ton of pictures and then had to figure out how to get rid of it.  If it dropped down into that thick tangle of vines below I'd have to wait until it came up to eat again.

I eventually snipped off the branch it was hanging on and gave it a ride to the yard waste cart.  But of course not before I made Brad stop mowing the lawn so I could show it to him and do the 'eeewwwww -big-squirmy -icky-critter' dance.  I grew up in the country but these kinds of thick squishy things with a lot of legs have always given me the heeby jeebies.

Eventually I made it in to slice the tomato and make our brunch.  The texture of the tomato was nice and the flavor was typical for a Better Boy--not too acidic but great for a June tomato.  They make a great sandwich tomato.

I swear there is lettuce on there *smile*


sybil law said...

That hornworm is ewwwwwwwwwwwwww, indeed!!

But otherwise, this post made me drool, as usual...

Finn said...

Ew. Critters.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

HA...I do not see any lettuce...but bacon, tomato and mayo works for me

Scot said...

Hi Liz! It's Scot from the old College Bowl days. the pics of your food are being blocked by my server at work for "inappropriate content". You're not posting pics of naked vegetables, are you?

Liz Hill said...

Sybil: It was gnarly.

Finn: I know, right?

Vinny: It was gooooood!

Scot: HI!! I do post pics of naked veggies!

Geeky Tai-Tai said...

Gawd, I hate those kinda icky bugs. That's why I don't have a big garden. Too creepy-crawly!