Over the long holiday weekend after the rain died down, my husband, David, and I found time to work on our much neglected garden. We had let the weeds run rampant and they had completely taken over. We have an organic garden, choosing not to use synthetic products like pesticides on our plants, so we figured we may have to deal with invaders at some point.
David started working on the garden while I was finishing up some things inside, and he came back inside after just a few minutes saying, "Grab the camera. There are HUGE green caterpillars on the tomato plants." I said, "Will I be creeped out?" and he replied, "Yeah, most likely."
Ok, sufficiently creeped out! Am I the only one who sees all the "eyes" staring at me? I did some research on these caterpillars and found that they are known as tomato hornworms due to the red horn on their tail end.
These worms eat the tomatoes and the plant itself, leaving the plant looking like the branches were cut off with scissors. Apparently the best way to prevent them from snacking on your plants is to keep the weeds from growing around your tomatoes. Oops. The weeds act as a breeding ground for these little buggers. Also keeping a close eye on your plants so you notice any worms early on will keep them from decimating your harvest.
These caterpillars eventually morph into the five-spotted hawk moth, but David didn't let ours get that far. Let's just say the chickens had some special treats over the weekend.