Bin Gardening

Bin Gardening

Friday, July 13, 2012

Organic Tomatoes

My apologies for no blog post in June – a resistant pneumonia went through our family with fevers hitting 105, dehydration, and a hospital stay. My daughter suggested that I write a retroactive blog for June and title it Been Coughing! Thankfully, we are all doing much better now. Through it all, I was pleased to be able to water our gardens (within county restrictions) to keep everything growing. And grow it did, especially the weeds! They have actually thrived in the 108-degree Fahrenheit weather we have had this month, not to mention our severe drought conditions. (Since writing this a few days ago, we have been blessed with a couple of days of rain – the plants are grateful!)
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I was happy to see this sight on one of our hanging baskets of tomatoes:

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One of the best things an organic tomato grower can hope for is a hornworm full of cocoons from the small braconid wasp. The larvae hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm and feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasps pupate. If you see a hornworm covered with white projections, it is best to leave the hornworm where it is and allow the wasps to emerge in a few days. The wasps will kill the hornworm and will parasitize other hornworms in the garden – a great benefit if you have been planting tomato crops in succession.


So far, everything is doing well with no chemicals or commercial fertilizers – just fish water, rain water, and compost!
Blessings on your gardens,


  1. I am not a fan of the hornworm, wasp-cocooned or not, but I'll keep an open mind now! The first time I saw these oddities invading my tomato plants (and eating all my precious little fruities!), I thought it might be an alien invasion. They are strange creatures indeed. Beautiful, if you go on color alone. But creepy.

    1. I agree - they are creepy to see on food that we will potentially eat! I visited your blogs - very interesting and diverse!!