Florida Raised Bed Garden and the Deadly Accessories

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Remember the monster tomato plant? Well, it’s still growing.

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This ‘Mortgage Lifter’ is super tall. Production is low, but there is at least one tomato on it.

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That’s not all I found on it.

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That is a tobacco hornworm. It can absolutely decimate a tomato plant. At first I thought it was a tomato hornworm, but my research assistant, Mr. Wikipedia, informed me that the tobacco hornworm has 7 stripes, whereas the tomato hornworm has 8 stripes.

Go ahead, count the stripes. 🙂

Those white pearly studs are its deadly accessories, the pupae of a parasitic wasp that will kill the caterpillar. Mr. Wikipedia went on to tell me some pretty gruesome facts about the wasp’s life cycle in the caterpillar. Apparently a virus is injected with the wasp eggs and 2 molts actually occur inside of the caterpillar before the wasp larvae spin the cocoons on the outside…it actually makes you feel a little sorry for the destructive garden pest.

So if you see a tobacco hornworm flaunting some bling, let it be- Nature’s Pest Control is on the job.

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Let’s end on a happy note, shall we?

Many cherry tomatoes are being harvested and enjoyed. The green bean plants have produced much for them but are ready to be converted into wonderful homemade compost!

It’s almost time to start the fall garden!

Here in North Florida, we can plant many spring crops again, as well as start many of our fall crops. If you are in Florida, be sure to consult the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide provided by the University of Florida.

Have you been thinking about what you want to plant in August and September?

 

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4 responses »

    • June and July have bee a little slow in the planting department, but I have been harvesting quite a bit. August and September will be have more planting and starting seeds.

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