Earlier this summer Pete noticed that a couple of tomato plants had sprouted in our compost bin and also in the alley right next to the bin. We haven’t tended to the compost much lately so he just let it go to see what would happen. (We recently purchased an indoor composter which we keep on the back porch. I’ll blog about that at some point.)
We didn’t plant anything in our raised vegetable bed this year because of all the yard work we were doing. The debris from one of the sumac trees we cut down was piled up in there for a while, and by the time we tied the branches up for landscape removal it was too late to grow anything.
Anyway, these plants must have sprouted from tomatoes we bought at the store, but I thought it wasn’t easy to do that. In any case, we’ve enjoyed some little plum tomatoes already (funny, I don’t remember buying plum tomatoes lately), and the plant in the alley is finally getting some bigger green tomatoes on the vine. Not sure what variety those will be.
But while Pete was weeding yesterday he discovered some type of caterpillar/worm on the plant with this spiky back.
A quick Google search revealed it was the tomato hornworm (not beneficial to the tomatoes) and the spikes on its back were wasp larvae. Ewww. But, nature’s way of taking care of the hornworm as the larvae feed on it, gradually killing it.
The Google source said it was best to let the life cycle take its course at this point and not to bother getting rid of the hornworm as it was no longer a threat to the tomatoes.
Hopefully we will be the only ones benefitting from the tomatoes from here on out.