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Monday, September 12, 2016

IF YOU PLANT IT, THEY WILL COME

IF YOU PLANT IT, THEY WILL COME 
I sometimes forget how incredible nature and it’s many creatures are.
A few years ago a friend built a small fish pond that he filled with beautiful Coy.  He grew quite fond of his fish.  One day he went out to give them a feed and several were missing.  Predator birds had found them.
I had not seen a blue bird for decades.  I read once that their habitat was being destroyed but if you placed a bird house in the right place the blue birds will find it.  My son has a bird house on his kids play house in the back yard.  For the past few years the bird house has attracted a family of blue birds.
This morning I went out back to check on my tomatoes.  One beautiful piece of fruit had been damaged…eaten by something, and then I saw it.  A well camouflaged caterpillar type worm was feasting on my beautiful green tomatoes!
This is the first year I have planted tomatoes in the yard.  There have never been tomatoes or any other crop planted in this small yard.  How did this worm find my tomatoes?
It’s not like it hatched from the ground after previous generations feasted on tomatoes.  Where did it come from?  How did it find my tomatoes?  How far away did it come?  It takes a worm several hours to move a few yards, did this thing come from my neighbor’s tomato patch two blocks away?
If you leave sugar water outside, humming birds will find it, even if you have not seen humming birds around before.  Plant a rose, bees will feast on the nectar, if you don’t keep your kitchen sparkling clean, ants will be your guests.
If I make a wrong turn on rt. 71 I cannot find home without Siri, and yet a lowly slow moving worm can find my tomatoes as soon as they start to ripen.
Now if only the birds would find those destructive worms before they take out all my tomatoes!

23 comments:

  1. Sorry about the 'worms' but if I'm not mistaken, they are butterfly or moth larve and their mommy saw your tomatoes. Every time I plant tomatoes - I get them.

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    1. Don't count on the birds getting them - you have to pick them off yourself.

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  2. Can you equip the birds with a GPS?

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  3. I hope it wasn't a tomato hornworm! Those things are hideous! I grabbed a tomato the first (and only) year we planted a garden, and my finger went into the back of it. I turned it around, and there was that beast looking right at me! I screamed so loud that Hick ran out to see what was wrong. He squooshed that hornworm between his thumb and finger (it was as thick as his thumb, and as long as his finger) and it pooped out a bunch of tomato seeds.

    Birds ate our tomatoes, too. Not the whole thing. They just pecked a hole in each one.

    The deer ate the baby watermelons. We finally figured out that it's not real smart to plant a garden in the country, unless you want to fence it and pesticide it, or get better cats and dogs that don't lay beside it and watch the rabbits feasting.

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    1. Pecked a hole in each one? That's more likely an adult or hatched worm exiting to eat and grow then cocoon and become another moth.

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  4. Nature must have an incredible instinct to always be directed to a food source, even if it is a new food source for it. I remember it taking a few days for the birds to find feeders we had put up, but once they did, they were frequent and hungry visitors.

    betty

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  5. The worm's parent, a moth or butterfly, found your tomato plant and laid its eggs there. the worm hatched and ate its way to current size, so that you could finally see it. Look closely especially the underside of the leaves and you may find more.
    I've always wanted a Koi pond, I'll probably have to wait until my next life.

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  6. The worst predator I have is the squirrel, but then I don't grow anything that's edible to humans. Mind you, I wouldn't mind eating roast squirrel if only to get vengeance.

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  7. Don't you just love nature and man's ability and inability to deal with it?

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  8. that was another movie line i had thought of... :)

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  9. We've had problems with chipmunks taking one bite out of each tomato.

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  10. I always joked about hosting an all you can eat salad buffet for area critters. from my last garden, 2014, I got not a single green bean, leaf of lettuce, carrot, or tomato (blight got those). The following summer I sold the house and moved into a condo. Now I grow herbs in a planter on the deck and buy lovely vegetables at the farmers' market.

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  11. Many moons ago when my folks had a market garden we all took turns picking off the tomato caterpillars and dropping them into a can of gasoline. Dozens of the nasty things. Ick. On the other hand...nature is amazing isn't it?

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  12. I know it's gross, but if you stick a bird feeder outside full of dried mealworms and leave it near your garden, it will attract the type of birds that eat those pesky caterpillars.

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  13. Looks like Mich has the answer to your tomato issue. I wonder what other awful would happen with his idea though. Seems nature has a way of doing weirdness.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

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  14. I know how important your tomatoes are to you so I know how troubling this must be. The only think I'm currently growing is parsley, which is hard to kill and doesn't seem to attract bugs.

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  15. If you can't stand to pick the worms off then sprinkle them liberally with a flour and salt mixture. Now if I can figure out how to keep the 'cute' little bunnies away from my cherry tomatoes. Rabblefrabbitz!

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  16. Curses-- and you babied them so well. Looks like time for fried green tomatoes.
    I do like Mich's idea though. Worth a try. I had a 4 legged moocher with fingers get mine. It really is a challenge isn't it?

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  17. I've had Tomato Hornworms (VA) and ground squirrels (AZ) eating on my tomatoes (ages ago) but never these little crawly critters you have. I've, also, wondered how they know where to go to find food on which to feast. It's like they have their own GPS onboard ready to go :)

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  18. The case of the wandering worm. The latest mystery, sponsored by Nature Valley, starring J.J. Audubon.

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  19. Well, it's a good thing you have plenty of scissors to chop those babies in half and get 'em outta' there! :D Just make sure you use the GARAGE scissors..

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  20. I can't say anything, because I'm laughing about Angel Stew's comment regarding the GARAGE scissors.

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  21. If left alone that worm will eat the entire plant and get as big as a Ford Focus. Sometimes they are hard to spot because they turn the same color as the plant. That's when you you look the turds on lower leaves and the ground. Birds will get them eventually but not before they eat your tomato garden.

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