Tip for today for our gardening friends: Save your eggshells for a nutritional boost in your garden. Let them dry out in a container and then pulverize them in your blender to use as a calcium source for your tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot, the dark rotted bottoms that can occur if your soil is lacking this critical mineral. When planting, place a sprinkling of the pulverized shell in the hole. Or, simple mix in with the soil surface after planting.
If your garden is prone to slugs and snails, roughly crush the eggshells and encircle them around your plants as a deadly barrier. The soft bodies of these pests are sliced as they pass over the jagged edges.
Best of all, this recycles what might otherwise end up in the trash and is a natural alternative to using chemical products!
I have seen signs of tomato hornworms on my tomatoes. Dead and dying stems are the sure sign that they are invading. But today I discovered one of the invaders! It turns out that he is being invaded by his own attackers: a small wasp that is taking over and consuming his body. I was very happy to see all these little white eggs on his back when I discovered him today. As these hatch more will be available to help take care of any other tomato hornworms that may be lurking. This is one of the reasons I do not use chemicals on my plants to take care of pests, mother nature can do a pretty good job on her own if you just give her a chance! Patti
I need help BIG time! I believe that all the deerses in this area have had a smorgasbord these past few nights. I have ALL the leaves chomped off of at least 30 some odd hostas. And that of course means my garden looks like it has single celery stalks sticking out of the ground.
I have never had a problem like this in the almost 30 years of living here. Obviously, they can’t be salvaged for this year, but what about next year? What can I do to prevent their ravenous chewing?
Any suggestions will be certainly appreciated! Please leave a comment, give me a call or send an email.
Just before Christmas I noticed that many of my blueberry bushes (that have beautiful red twigs in the winter) had been neatly cut down. And on the diagonal like most gardeners would do when pruning.
So my first thought went to someone who wanted the twigs for a holiday decoration. But it was still puzzling that someone would come up into my yard to do such a thing. Turns out that it was a neighbor, but instead of ones with clippers, it was a tall, four-legged one!!
At a recent meeting of the EAGC, I learned some interesting information. It turns out that although deer do not have top teeth they have a dental pad that is hard. Their teeth slope at an angle and so, yes indeed – the twigs are cut on the diagonal!
If you are seeing the same kind of “pruning” to your blueberry bushes, euonymus, arborvitae, or whatever, it is time to look into deer away methods!
Why am I posting a photo of this big ugly tomato hornworm now in late October?? Because much to my surprise when I was cleaning up my garden this weekend, I came across this bugger in my tomatillos!!
Just about the same time, Max came by to clip some sage for the herb wreath program so I brought her back to see it…she can attest that the thing REALLY blends into the foliage as she was putting her face closer and closer to the plant until she realized it was right in front of her!
I was also surprised to learn that the tomato hornworm and the related tobacco hornworm are pests of the “nightshades,” or Solanaceae family of plants. These include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatillos, tobacco, and petunias. I have encountered these very creepy creatures before on my tomato plants in the summer but was totally shocked to find this 5 inch monster in my tomatillos this time of year.
They grow from a tiny egg that is the size of Lincoln’s chin on a penny so I am not surprised I missed that. But as adults they are hard to miss. They are very creepy looking in a bright green skin with small spots along the sides that make it look like it has many eyes and an actual horn on its backside!
The good news is that when I turn over my garden in the spring, it will kill about 90% of any larvae that have overwintered there so I have a fighting chance to keep them out next year.
For now, I am just thankful that I was wearing gardening gloves that day…