Monday, April 06, 2009

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie - Update

...he'll eat your whole garden.

So we had a gardenpocalypse last night. Rodents got at the poblano chiles, taking little nippy bites out of the tops of the fruits. On top of that the Tobacco Horn Worms returned with a fourfold vengeance and went to town on our lovely ripe red heirloom tomatoes. On top of that, thanks to the heat and humidity we've had of late those tomatoes that weren't chewed on have either moulded or begun to. And a lot of the red serrano chiles are now past their prime, but the humidity is too high to dry them adequately. On top of that, it's supposed to be 93 today, but drop to the low 50's by Tuesday night. Not sure what that will do to the remaining plants.

So anything that is ripe is going to be picked and frozen. I'm thinking the salvageable tomatoes might go into a tomato sauce, which I can then freeze. Any poblanos that can be saved will be roasted and put in some sausages.

Guess I can see why the CSA season ends when it ends! South Florida's growing season is crazy.


Here's some photos. On closer inspection I think I may have been too quick to blame the mouse. Found four more horn worms on the tomato plants...camouflage little bastards. They were only about 2" long, so I'm thinking they're only a few days old. Not like this fat bastard.

The leaves of the poblanos had been eaten as well, so I'm guessing it was horn worms not rodents. I've read that they will occasionally jump over to chile plants. Didn't find the actual culprit but there were some casings around.

Finally here's the red ripe refugees...

Ugh what a pain. Maybe I planted the tomatoes too close together? Or didn't trim them back enough to contain the worms to one plant? Oh well, have to be more watchful in the future. I'm sure there's more where that came from. Going to redistribute the pots in a more loose formation today. Hooray for container gardening!


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