This is the second in a series on how to deal with garden pests chemical free.
Garden pests—we all get them, but how do you deal with the pests without spraying chemicals on your food? No worries we are here to help!
One fine summer morning I strolled out to my garden only to find my tomato plants nearly half eaten. The tomato hornworm strikes again. Easily identifiable the plump bright green with white and black markings the tomato hornworm (also known as the tobacco hornworm) can destroy a tomato plant in a no time at all. If you find one be assured, there are others lurking nearby. Especially check the underside of leaves and the stems of your plants to find these pests.
So what is a chemical free gardener to do? Handpicking is the best organic solution to these pesky caterpillars. Simply pluck them off and either crush or drop into a bucket of soapy water. Don’t be alarmed by the fierce horns the tomato hornworm displays they cannot pinch, bite or attack you. One way to prevent tomato hornworms from ever striking is tilling your soil as this kills larvae before they become the dreaded caterpillars. Another method is to plant marigolds, basil or dill to deter these pests from entering your garden. Finally, a product called Bacillus Thuringiensis is great for killing caterpillar-stage insects.
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.