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Old 07-17-2006, 04:03 AM   #51
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Some people are squeamish (although most gardeners aren't) about squishing bugs and such in their fingers. I carry a pair of scizzors when I hit the garden -- helpful for minor trimming and harvesting -- and cut worms and bugs in half with them. For the first time since I moved here I found a toad in my garden! I assume that is a good thing.
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:06 AM   #52
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The oddest predator I had was when I lived in Florida. I was growing cabbage (when you live where I did in Florida -- right at the freeze line -- cabbage, cauliflower, brocolli, brussels sprouts all make great winter crops). The heads looked so beautiful. When I went to harvest them, I pulled away the outer leaves and found big bites taken out of them. HUGE bites. What on earth? I called the extension and was told I must have a gopher turtle. Thank heaven I never saw the creature. It must have some mouth on it.
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:40 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
Some people are squeamish (although most gardeners aren't) about squishing bugs and such in their fingers. I carry a pair of scizzors when I hit the garden -- helpful for minor trimming and harvesting -- and cut worms and bugs in half with them. For the first time since I moved here I found a toad in my garden! I assume that is a good thing.
Hi Claire!

I use my fingers in two manners. The first, with most bugs, is to fold the plant leaves over the bug and squish the bug, I like to leave the squished bug on the leaves as a reminder to the other bugs to beware. I have one bug that I must pick off and remove to a can of oil. Blister beetles are too fast to try to smush on the leaves. And they are voracious, they can defoliate a tomato plant right before my eyes. Oh, and if I find a bug to big to squish , I will pick them off the plant, drop them to a hard place on the ground and step on them.

Good idea about the sizzors, Thanks....
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:30 PM   #54
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OUCH! ERRROR! ERROR! I would never, never, ever destroy an earthworm. I mean catipillars! I actually take earthworms on my shovel from one garden patch to another hoping to start a new colony (or whatever it is called). You know you're a gardener when you go from a girlish "oooo yuck" when you see worms, to rescuing them from the sidewalk and putting them in your garden!! I'm surprised no one caught me on that one!
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:29 PM   #55
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Well, earthworms are one thing. Tomato worms are another.

My oldest girl was a real Ellie Mae, and I'll never forget once when she was about 8 years old, she rescued a tomato worm from the garden for a pet. It sat next to her bed in a peanut butter jar with holes punched in the lid, fed daily with tomato leaves, until I convinced her dad to let her have a REAL pet.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:01 PM   #56
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Claire, I instinctively knew you were not referring to earth worms. And yes, toads are a good thing. I will transport stray toads to my garden whenever I come across one. I will even stop on the road to collect a box turtle to put in my garden, or if I am not on my way home, I will put the box turtle safely on the other side of the road so it does not become a roadkill.
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:21 PM   #57
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I'm already thinking about what to plant next year. There is a 1 X 3' patch with nothing in it (I thought the cukes would need more room than they did). It's against a wall, so can be something vining. Maybe green beans? Maybe peas in he spring (always a gamble as far as I'm concerned, and do you get enough to make it worthwhile?) The women I call "my ladies" (a woman who is totally crippled by arthritis, and one who is legally blind from macular degeneration) are looking forward to cucumbers next week! I highly recommend all of you with gardens find someone to give the excess to. Yes, you can preserve it, but giving it away to someone who cannot garden is very gratifying. My ladies are older, but it can be even more fun to invite a child who has never seen a vegetable outside of a grocery store to help you harvest. You can actually encourage an interest in healthier eating when you encourage children to see where these vegetables come from.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:10 AM   #58
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Constance, I cut that very animal in half this week. I called it a catipillar, but it had eaten half of a green plum tomato. Guess I need to pay attention to them. So that's a tomato worm? Thanks. I've gardened in Hawaii and Florida, but in spite of having lived here for five years, am still learning.
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:21 PM   #59
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For those of you who are expecting a tomato explosion, but don't can:

Halve the tomatoes and put on a baking sheet (one that has sides). Add cloves of garlic (don't need to peel), and thick slices of onions. Sprinkle with herbs, a sprinkle of salt, lots of ground pepper, and, since you're all gardeners, a couple of hot peppers. Put in the oven at a fairly low temp (maybe 300) and very slowly cook them (this'll be an hour or more). When all the liquid dries up from the pan, take out, cool, then run through a food mill, ricer, or seive and freeze. When you thaw, they will STILL be watery. Don't stir them, simply drain the water off of the top. You will have the most flavorful tomato sauce you can imagine.

This is so simple, and the sauce is to die for. Grow pepper, basil, oregano, chives, etc and do it all at one time. A freind who was sick asked me why my lasagna was so much better than anyone else's. This was in March, and it was this simple, easy-to-make sauce.
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:56 AM   #60
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If you have a tomato hornworm that looks like this, leave it alone, it is already dying a slow death as a host for a parasitic wasp. And it you leave it alone, those wasps will return next year to again kill all your tomato hornworms.......organic gardening at its best!
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