Tomato hornworms are here!

Sphinx larva-tomato hornworm

Well I knew it would be too good to be true! The tomato hornworms are here-late but here. Picked off about 15 today that were found on the tomato plants. Boy are they hard to see. Great camouflage artists. I haven’t been in the garden much this past week due to a lot of art events around the SOFA show that just ended here in Santa Fe. As a result, three of us-Caleb, Elodie and myself found about 15 hornworms on the tomato plants. The hornworm is the larva of the Sphinx moth (also called the hummingbird moth but not related to hummingbirds). I was hoping that maybe they wouldn’t show up but they’re here! They can be seen in the top of the plants, not deep in the interior, thank god, where I wouldn’t be able to find them and they are almost inevitably always found hanging upside down on the branch they are munching on. When I find them, I pick them off  (wearing gloves) and under my shoe they go! I think their instant death is better then giving them to the chickens who would peck them to a tortuous death. I do try to be humane in their demise! They aren’t hard to control by handpicking, it just takes a little time. Glad one never finds more than one or two in each plant. So tomorrow and everyday this week I will go hornworm hunting until I can’t find anymore..

Tomatoes Starting to Ripen

My tomato plants are looking good and are loaded with tomatoes although mostly green. I was starting to get one ripe tomato here and there a couple of weeks ago and now I get several a day-not enough to go to the SF Farmers Market yet but certainly enough to have every night now with dinner. AHHHH! I wait for this time in the garden! I have yellow, orange, black, green and of course red starting to ripen.

To beat the birds from pecking holes (I don’t always win) I am picking the tomatoes a little early when they first start to get a little color and let them finish ripening inside.

I love to slice them and put over a bed of lettuce and drizzle a little balsamic vinaigrette over them. I’m also thinking I need to make some grilled cheese sandwiches with sliced tomatoes inside. YUM!

Bacterial wilt on tomato

tomato bacterial wilt

Here is a picture of one of my tomato plants that was fine one day and the next day it was wilted and dead. I think it was baterial wilt which comes from a leafhopper. Leafhoppers carry bacterial wilt virus and when the taste the tomato they infect it. Notice the other tomato plants around it are ok. I hope I don’t get more..