by Charlene Burgi
Manduca quinquemaculata—otherwise known as a tomato hornworm—can be found lurking in your garden . . . specifically dining on your tomato plants. These critters are as long as their name. Despite their size, they are so well hidden that you will notice missing leaves and their droppings before you notice them. They have an enormous appetite and will devour tomato leaves first before supping on the tomatoes. White-rice looking parasitic wasps might attach to them. They are reputed to be the hornworm’s advisory. To control this pest, hand pick the worms off of your tomato plants. Pinch the damaged foliage back to the main stem. Hunt for additional worms if more damage occurs.
Save water with check valves
Did you ever notice that the sprinkler heads located at the lower elevation of your garden leak water after the irrigation system shuts off? Water seeks its own level and if you do not have check valves installed in your irrigation lines, you can expect to lose as much as 200 gallons of water each time your sprinklers turn off. This water loss can be a simple fix. Our Bay-Friendly Landscape rebates can assist with purchasing the necessary equipment that can hold the water in the line.
Mark your calendars now for these future educational events designed for residential customers. On September 19, 26, and October 10 we will present three Bay-Friendly classes at Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. The Bay-Friendly workshops will cover ways to promote a healthy garden for a healthy environment.