The Tomato Quandary

I haven’t had one home-grown tomato all summer. My favorite food, my one true love. I could eat tomatoes every day…forever. Two summers ago, I made a valiant attempt to grow my own, despite the shade of our backyard and absolutely no clue how to grow anything. I failed. Miserably. And I haven’t tried again, because I had a most scarring, traumatic tomato experience.

This:

I may puke

I might puke.

Yeah, pals. Disgusting. This is a tomato horn worm, and these little fucks sit on your tomato plants, lookin’ all villianous, eatin’ your hard-earned produce. Sure, you can just pick ’em off and stomp the buggers, but seriously? I. Do. Not. Touch. Worms.

Don’t worry, it gets sicker. Sometimes, mother nature steps in and sends in her own worm killers — and this — this is truly horrible. My horn worms had tiny egg-shaped objects all over their backs. Uhhh, yeah. Not part of the worm. These miniscule white things are pupal cocoons of the Braconid Wasp, a parasite of Horn Worms.

Oh, sweet Jesus

Oh, sweet Jesus

 And this is why I cannot bring myself to ever again try to grow my own sweet tomatoes. That being said, if you have extras, do feel free to share. Tomorrow?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Tomato Quandary

  1. Annette

    Even wierder — I plant 10 corn plants in the middle of surburbia. go out and get my first mature cob only to find a giant corn worm has already digested most of it. How in the heck does a corn worm find a few stalks of corn in the middle of a congested neighborhood on a tiny 1/2 acre plot of land???? Do the seeds come with the worm papules already inside???

    • sarafraser

      Annette, I looked this up! Apparently, the moths can quickly find their favorite plant, and they lay their larvae under the leaves. Bam. Welcome to the world, sneaky worm. And those ear worms that love corn plants? Yeah, they really like the more high-quality, sweet corn. Here are some ways to control ’em.

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