Hornworms - HATE THEM!

Do you ever feel like you're trying to climb the steep mountain only to keep falling down each time you're so close to the top? That's how I sometimes feel whenever there's yet another failure in the garden. In this case my tomatoes. They've been decimated by hornworms in less than 2 days that I wasn't actively looking for problems.  Can you spot the culprit in this shot?
 Here's up close and personal with the same one.
 not much is left behind after they mowed the plant down - this was san marzano plant.
 Sadly this group all came from the same plant. And what's even worse all plants have been attacked.
sometimes I wish I wasn't doing everything organic because it would have been so much easier to pick up a spray bottle and get rid of all slugs, rollypollies, cabbage and hornworms that keep attacking my garden this year. Alas, healthwise I need organic food. And there goes my entire evening - picking one worm at the time and hope I didn't miss too many.

14 comments:

  1. I feel your pain! I don't have a problem with horn worms. I'm just battling fusarium wilt. I know how upsetting it is when you nurse something to the point of almost harvesting it only to lose it. I'd be out there hand picking them too!

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    1. Ugh, that's another thing that also hit them this year - at least 4 of my plants have it. Looks like all Black Krim plants. Will have to do research on how to get rid of it.

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  2. UGGGHH! I'm sorry to hear...so far I haven't seen these, and I hope i don't! are there any organic ways to get rid of or prevent them? beneficial nematodes?
    I'm battling cucumber beetles here with them.

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    1. Not that I know off! I did plant marigolds but that didn't slow them down.

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  3. These are pain. I hope you will find some organic way to get rid of them

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    1. short of spraying everything I can only pick by hand. ;(

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  4. Sorry Jenny! You are the third or fourth person I've read about that hornworms are back again this year. I havnt seen any on my plants, but when we were digging potatoes I found several pupas. I hope they don't show up at my garden again. They are terrible to get rid of without using seven dust.

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    1. Lisa - that just means that they'll be there in a short time as they're about to hatch. :( I will keep picking them out.

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  5. I go out to the garden with a cup of coffee in the morning every day-and just stare at my plants. Just watch for the "poo" piles on the leaves, look above, and pluck. They blend in well, but they always leave those piles below.
    Please don't get discouraged with organic gardening--eventually, nature comes in to the balance. I now have birds galore that pretty much clean up my problems for me. It takes time but is SO worth it to eat healthy food.
    Another trick that works great is to allow some natives like goldenrod and milkweed have a patch of your garden. Those two plants are FULL of bugs in mine--they seem to prefer those over my veggies---YAY!

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    1. Thanks, I might have to plant some of the wild flowers to keep all bugs away.

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  6. I bet some ducks would slurp those guys up!

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    1. Too bad we don't have any ducks or chicks.

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  7. Oh man, so sorry to hear you are invested with horn worms. You have really persevered this year against some really tough circumstances. Don't give up, you are still doing great!

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    1. Not giving up, just very frustrated. This has been a hard year for gardening. But thanks for the encouragement.

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