Tag Archives: grapevine

Hornworms in my Garden!

Hornworms earn their common name by the hornlike structure at the tail end of the caterpillar.   The tomato hornworm is actually the larva of the Five spotted hawk moth (Manduca quinquemaculata), whereas, the tobacco hornworm develops into a tobacco hawk moth or Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta).

Tomato Hornworm (2)

Typically, the tomato hornworm is found in the northern part of the United States, while the tobacco hornworm is found in the southern.  Not sure how north Missouri is defined, but all i’ve ever seen on my tomato plants are tobacco hornworms.  Hornworms are not defined by what they are eating, however, since they tend to defoliate potato plants, eggplants, moonflowers, peppers, as well as tomato and tobacco.

TW10
Destructive little buggers!

Eggs deposited on the plant hatch into larvae in about a week in late spring, grow to maturity at about 10 cm (3-4 inches), then drop to the ground to pupate into moths.  They overwinter near the host plant – ready to infest the next year’s crop.

Control of the hornworms is essential if you want any crop production.  On smaller garden plots like mine (only 25 tomato plants), i pluck them off by hand and feed them to the laying hens.

IMGP4294 (2)
Parasitic wasps are a natural control.  I didn’t introduce this wasp, but it found this worm in which to deposit its eggs.   After hatching, the wasp larvae will feed on the internal organs of the hornworm.  On the back and sides of this hornworm are visible the cocoons of the wasp larvae.
Hornworm - Sphinx
Another species of hornworm without the horn!  This one is found on a wild grape vine, Virginia Creeper, and such.  It is an Achemon Sphinx. 
Hornworm - fuzzy
I added this photo for fun, though it is not a hornworm, but the larva of a Luna Moth!

On Safari in Missouri!!!

tauna

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades)

Stuffed Grapevine Leaves

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook recipe by the same name on page 165.

IMG-4155

Place about 1 tablespoon of meat (lamb or beef) mixture on doubled leaves and wrap, place in skillet, seam side down.

IMG-4156

img-4157.jpg

Using my Kitchenaid Mixer,, i whip the eggs and add the organic lemon juice.

IMG-4158

Pour the egg mixture over the stuffed grapevine leaves.

IMG-4159

IMG-4162

Here are the alternative meatballs only – better for people who have difficulty chewing.