Beware the mighty marigold

I was finally able to track down the Sweet 100 tomato plants I’ve been searching for since we recently replenished our garden. We had tremendous luck with these last year (I highly recommend them!) and were eating their sweet little fruits well into fall so I was determined to find more for this spring. I snatched up the last 2 plants when I came across them at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago and let Hayden do the honors of planting both since he was sick when we planted the other veggies in February.

We also planted a marigold at each end of the garden between our tomato plants to deter pests, namely tomato worms. My mother-in-law sent me a link to an article on companion planting that suggested adding the marigolds so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes this year, but we had quite a time with these scary-looking worms last summer. They start out small, but have ferocious appetites and grow large very quickly. Because they are green and like to hang out underneath the leaves, they are incredibly hard to spot. One day the boys and I walked outside for our daily garden check and noticed all the leaves gone from the tops of our tomato plants. When we came up empty-handed after our search, my husband decided to investigate. That’s when he found one big, fat green worm with a horn on its’ head. Unsure of how to dispose of it since we didn’t want it to find its’ way back to our garden, we took it out front and placed it in the middle of the street to see if a bird would find it enticing. Almost immediately after going inside to watch from our front window, a bird swooped down and pecked it while another came by interested in it also. We watched the birds squabble over the worm before one finally took the giant worm in its’ beak and flew to a nearby rooftop to enjoy his hearty meal in peace. This became a routine at our house since we found these disgusting-looking gigantic worms constantly on our plants. It was an interesting learning experience for the boys on life cycles and survival of the fittest, but I’d be happy to never see those bugs again. Here’s hoping the marigolds work.

So far so good; here are some pictures of  the strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers that are starting to grow. We also have lots of green beans that the kids are eagerly picking almost every day.

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2 thoughts on “Beware the mighty marigold

  1. Oh my goodness, and here I have two extra Supersweet 100 tomato plants that I started from seed in my basement, wondering what I could do with them. Now that I see that you had such success with them, I will probably find more space to plant them somewhere since they are so tasty.

    I am gardening with my little boys this year, and enjoyed your story of how you dealt with those worms, especially because we have tons of birds who would LOVE a tasty treat like that.

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