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        posted Hide Post
        the good ol' beefsteak tomato is a reliable standby, a hybrid made the old-fashioned way, by covering flowers and introducing only the pollen you want.

        there is a Big Beef variant that may have been, shall we say, "optimized" that is also tasty. but I'm not sure if it lurches through the kitchen at 2 am looking for victims Wink


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5475 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by nona:
        here in Fla. tomatoes are in abundance in the stores and very cheap, BUT, they are absolutely tasteless. I guess the growers are more concerned for shipping ability than taste. I don't know why people buy that cr#p, when it is easy to grow your own most anywhere and you will find out what a tomato is supposed to taste like. Unfortunately, WE live in a small community with small lots, so we can't grow all we would like to so just having delicious tomatoes will have to suffice

        They do sell those Florida tomatoes here in Central Penna all the time. Very tempting to make a purchase, based on looks alone. To bad they have the flavor of the cardboard shipping box they arrived in. We have some Better Boys that are making great progress. Can't wait for that first "summer sandwich". Mayo, cheese and tomatoes on wheat bread. No salty processed lunch meat needed. Big Grin


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1389 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Sparky, put a little salt or pepper on the shipping box, it'll taste better than the tomatoes.
        We've tried almost all the varieties that's been mentioned,but we have, what I call monster grasshoppers ( real name " lubbers " ) and giant cattapillars that I like to call "squashed " that attack most common backyard veggies. Sometimes we can wrestle a veggie from them, but not often. I would love to know what we could use to get them either away or dead that the commercial guys use. Most of that stuff is restricted from homeowner use
        Here's another one for you. I know earthworms are good for your soil so we must have the best soil in the world. We have so many worms that they crawl into our alluminum screen room which isn't built too tight at the door as it's dimensions change with the temperature. They get in, die, and stick to the tile with a glue like substance that rivals epoxy. I would love to find something that chases or kills them, I'd prefer to buy the castings than get it first hand

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: nona,
         
        Posts: 2501 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Nona, do you know the specific name of your large caterpillars? Are they tomato hornworms?

        Even though organic methods aren't as powerful, there might be something that can at least deter them so you can get some good veggies. I'll check my organic sources and see what I can find, but it would help to know what kind of huge caterpillars you have.

        I've never heard of earthworms crawling inside. That's a new one on me. I wouldn't want them in my house either.

        In this area, they crawl up out of the soil when there's a heavy rain. Are you in an area of heavy rainfall? Or perhaps the soil is too warm for them?

        I have a vague recollection that earthworms, like slugs, don't like sharp objects and won't crawl across something sharp or scratchy.

        You might try putting something like that at the threshold of your door and see what happens. Maybe even sandpaper might deter them. If I was a soft bellied crawly critter I wouldn't want to crawl across sandpaper.

        I'm wondering also if something like fly or flea paper might stop them. The glue might at least deter them.

        I wonder if your local extension service would have any suggestions.
         
        Posts: 1725 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        you nailed it sprite, they're hornworms, or at least they look like the image results. I wonder if thuracide would work on them as it does on regular c'pillars. Gotta look it up.
        I'll also try your idea of an abrasive material to discourage the worms. I understand that D.E. (diatomaceous earth ) is mildly abrasive
        I'll let you know when I get off my butt and try it out
         
        Posts: 2501 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Nona, I found some material on (relatively) organic control of hornworms. I know little about the types of chemicals commercial entities might use, so I just looked for what I would use.

        Bacillus thuringiensis is one method:
        http://www.organicgardening.co...to-control-hornworms. I do recall reading other articles on using this.

        The article also references spinosad, with which I'm not familiar.

        As this article states, parasitic wasps are also a method, but I assume you'd have to order them from a garden supply company. I don't know whether or not they then become a nuisance to humans.

        Another article:

        http://www.organicgardening.co...rol-techniques?page=

        (I had some trouble getting back to this article; I think there's a problem with the link.)

        Covering your tomatoes as suggested in that article might work, since you probably have limited numbers of plants due to space issues.

        I recall these fat squishy monsters were on our tomatoes as well. I think as kids we did the "kid thing" - put our hands in baggies and squished them. You can also pick them off and drop them in something toxic, like bleach.

        Another possibility: borage. I've grown it; it's a relatively small plant (as plants go) with pretty little flowers that attract bees. I also found an article indicating that dill (umm, think of those home pickled cukes!) deters them. I was unable to actually get to the links for these articles. either my computer is lazy today or the links are bad.

        As with anything, size, space and timing all make a difference.

        I've also read that DE is effective for a variety of applications. It's worth a try.

        Now, what's this about loafing and sitting around on your butt? Think of what those worms are doing to your tomatoes!

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
         
        Posts: 1725 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        [
        thoracide is the commercial name for Bacillus thuringiensis, and I looked it up and it will kill hornworms.
        After I read your last post I put some of my diatom. earth around the door, we'll see if it works after the next gully washer
        Meanwhile, we planted some tomatoes and haven't seen any hornworms yet
        Now if the "lubbers " stay away we'll be good
         
        Posts: 2501 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Did some research on lubbers.

        http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in132

        These things are huge - 6 to 8 cm. And apparently they're hard to kill, other than death by tachinid fly. They also can be toxic to birds and some animals. They regurgitate their food and secrete a foamy spray. Really gross and almost indestructible.

        For anyone who wants to see a giant grasshopper, check out this video:

        http://www.realmonstrosities.c...ber-grasshopper.html

        Nona, do these lubbers attack your vegetables?

        Are the worms coming into your house primarily after heavy rains? Maybe you can fix up a dry place for them before they reach your house.

        It occurred to me that kitty litter might also be used; it could be abrasive enough to deter them, if the DE doesn't.

        I thought palmetto bugs were about the most offensive insects in the south, but these giant grasshoppers and huge tomato hornworms are pretty obnoxious.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
         
        Posts: 1725 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I once saw a "lubber " attack and kill an alligator, naw, not really., but you never know. Lubbers can strip a plant of foliage in just a few hours Too bad the hornworms wont eat the lubbers or visa-versa
        For the record, our house is a concrete block home with the aluminum screen room as an addition, which is common here. We have a 4 foot overhang of the roof over the slab in front of the door. So there already is a dry area for the worms to get to.
        You know,Florida is a state of extremes, when it rains, it pours, when its dry, you'd think you were in death valley, whatever bugs we have are huge, even our athletes feet are professionals, but with it all, I wouldn't live anywhere else (except maybe Hawaii )

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: nona,
         
        Posts: 2501 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        [QUOTE]Originally posted by nona:
        I once saw a "lubber " attack and kill an alligator, naw, not really., but you never know. Lubbers can strip a plant of foliage in just a few hours Too bad the hornworms wont eat the lubbers or visa-versa


        ... whatever bugs we have are huge, even our athletes feet are professionals...

        QUOTE]

        I think lubbers could be considered a biological WMD. Big Grin

        I've heard some Floridians refer to these attached aluminum screened porches as lanais, after the Hawaiian open air patio. Are they similar to your screened addition?

        Thanks for my laugh of the day with your observation about athletes' feet!
         
        Posts: 1725 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Sprite, after a hurricane blows out the screening and windows the screen room is called a lanai
         
        Posts: 2501 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by nona:
        Sprite, after a hurricane blows out the screening and windows the screen room is called a lanai


        Ah, the easiest way to convert a room - let nature do it!
         
        Posts: 1725 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Frodo
        posted Hide Post
        he he he


        https://www.youtube.com/*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E


         
        Posts: 3843 | Location: I live in southern mississippi | Registered: Jun 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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