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Planning the Spring Vegetable Garden

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
16 years ago

Time to be making plans, ordering seeds, etc.

Here's my veggie list for 2007.

I'll apologize in advance for its length. I grow a LOT of veggies.

I don't grow winter veggies like broccoli and cabbage because I can't keep the deer and rabbits from eating them down to the ground.


CARROTS: Purple Dragon, Yellowstone, White Kuttiger, Nutri-Red

BEANS: Roma II, Contender Bush, Super Marconi Pole Bean (a roma-type from Franchi Sementi Seed), Wonder of Venice (yellow roma pole bean from Franchi Sementi Seed), and Magirius bush roma, also from Sementi.

WATERMELONS: Blacktail Mountain (our all-time fave), Janosik (a 4-5 lb. yellow-fleshed one), Asahi Miyako Ibrido F-1 (a 7-8 lb. red-fleshed watermelon from Japan), Orange Sunshine, Royal Golden, and Sugar Baby.


EUROPEAN: Pineapple, Zatta (Italian, known as bruto ma buono, translates as "ugly but good"), Delice de la Table,

Charentais, Prescott Fond Blanc, Early Frame Prescott, Petit Gris de Rennes

ASIAN: Collective Farm Woman, Tigger, Sakata's Sweet

AMERICAN: Green Machine, Kansas, Pike, Schoon's Hardshell, Emerald Gem, Bidwell Casaba and Minnesota Midget

WINTER SQUASH: Sibley or Pikes Peak, Guatemalan Blue, Spaghetti Squash, Triamble/Shamrock, Jaradale, Black Futtsu, Sucrine du Berry, Marina di Chioggia, Turks Cap, Galeux d'Eysines, Golden Delicious, Green-striped Cushaw, Orange Cushaw, Red Warty Thing, Lakota

PUMPKINS: Dill's Atlantic Giant, One Too Many, Howden, Lumina, Jack-Be-Little, Wyatt's Wonder, Wee-Be-Little, Sugar Pie Pumpkin, Winter Luxury Pie

SUMMER SQUASH: Cocozelle and Cucuzzi

CORN: Country Gentleman/Shoepeg, True Platinum

HOT PEPPERS: Orange Habanero, Brown Habanero, White Habanero, Red Savina Habanero, Orange Thai, Purple Jalapeno and others I haven't decided on yet

SWEET PEPPERS: Undecided on these, but definitely will include Romanian Rainbow--they produced like crazy last year, even after I ceased watering the garden (however, they were on the edge of the garden nearest the lawn and may have gotten a little moisture from the once-a-week watering of the lawn)

ORNAMENTAL PEPPERS: Starburst, Bolivian Rainbow, Riot, Pretty Purple, Poinsettia, and Marbles

TOMATOES: I have finally narrowed down the list of "must-have old faves" and "got to try these ones" to the following list. It is VERY LONG. I generally only grow 1 tomato of each variety, except for very special favorites and Roma/Drying tomatoes, of which you need a lot.

You'll see many more heirlooms than hybrids as they have vastly superior flavor. I've tried to put them in categories to give you an idea of what produces early versus late. On some, I include the DTM--date to maturity from transplantation into the garden to first ripe fruit.

EARLY TOMATOES: Coyote (50), Early Girl (52), Kimberly (54), Matina (58), and Sun Gold (57)

CHERRY TOMATOES (other than those listed in Early): Bi-Color Cherry, Black Cherry, Cherry Brandywine, Dr, Carolyn, Dr. Carolyn Pink, Galina's Cherry, Ildi, Red Fig or Pear, Rosalita, Snow White, Sweet Million, Sun Gold, Tiny Tiger, and Yellow Pear.

PASTE TOMATOES: Amish Gold, Bisignano 2, Black Plum, Ernie's Plump, Heidi, Martino's Roma, Orange Banana, Purple Russian, Roughwood Golden Plum

DRYING TOMATO: Principe Borghese

LONG-SEASON TOMATOES: Maturity dates on these range from the 60s to the high 70s, except for Ark Traveler which takes 80 days or longer. These tend to produce smaller tomatoes than many of my main season tomatoes, but usually produce fruit for a longer period of time, often up until frost and in spite of the 100+ degree temps. These are truly hot weather champions! Arkansas Traveler, Beefmaster, Better Boy, Big Beef, Carnival, Celebrity, Champion, Black Krim, Box Car Willie, Homestead 24, Mule Team, and Persimmon

MAIN CROP: Maturity dates on these are generally in the 70-90 day range. Most tomatoes that have maturity dates in excess of 85 days have a hard time producing here. However, I often find that tomatoes grow and produce faster here, so a plant listed as having 90 days to maturity may produce in 75 or 80 days here. It seems very dependant on the weather.

Ananas Noire,Aunt Gertie's Gold, Aunt Ginny's Purple, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Babywine, Black, Black Ethiopian, Black From Tula, Black Prince, Black Sea Man, Black Zebra, Blue Fruit, Heart-Shaped Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine--Platfoot Strain, Bulgarian #7, Carbon, Caspian Pink, Cherokee Chocolate, Cherokee Green, Cherokee Purple, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Dad's Sunset, Druzba, Earl's Faux, Eva Purple Ball, Livingston's Gold Ball, Livingston's Golden Queen, Green Giant, Indian Stripe, Indische Fleish, Japanese Black Trifele, Kellogg's Breakfast, Kosovo, Lillian's Yellow, Lime Green Salad, Little Brandywine, Little Lucky, Lucky Cross, Marianna's Peace, Millionaire, Neves Azorean Red, New Big Dwarf, Noir de Carmes, Olena Ukrainian, Pierce's Pride, Pruden's Purple, Purple Brandy, Purple Calabash, Purple Pear Brandywine, Purple Perfect, Sutton, Tappy's Heritage, Tiffen Mennonite and Zogola.

NOTE: Many on the Main Crop list may make it onto the Long Season list one of these days. I like to grow a new (to me) tomato for several years to see if it CONSISTENTLY produces in our summer weather before I move it to the long season list.

FALL TOMATOES: Planted in June for a fall crop. Not totally decided on these, since I won't start seeds for them until mid to late-April. Solar Fire, Solar Set, Sun King, Heat Wave II and Sun Master are possibilities.

LONG-KEEPING TOMATOES: Will plant these with fall tomatoes, and hopefully harvest fruit at the appropriate time to store it in the cellar for winter eating. Not sure of varieties, but will grow 2 or 3. Red October is probably one I'll grow for this purpose.

Okra, Black-eyed Peas and Sweet Potatoes go in late compared to the rest of the garden, so I haven't settled on varieties yet.

And, what do we do with ALL THOSE TOMATOES? We eat all we can, and we also cook 'em, can 'em, dry 'em, sauce 'em, freeze 'em and, most importantly, share tons and tons of them with our families, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. The deer, rabbits, turtles and various other wildlife, including tomato worms, get their share of them too.

What are y'all going to grow?


Comments (17)

  • Macmex
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wow! That's quite a list. I can't take time to do a full list right now. But here are some things I hope to grow.

    Baker Family Heirloom
    Tomato Rocky - paste tomato with intense flavor, but a little temperamental to grow.
    Sunray VF - yellow/orange, which is tasty and also a long keeper.
    Prudence Purple - large beefsteak.
    Rutgers - main crop
    Improved Porter - for fall crop
    Tuxhorn's Yellow & Red - bicolor beefsteak.
    I'll probably also grow at least one other variety from my collection, perhaps Ixmiquilpan Pink Cherry, which I collected a few years ago, but haven't grown.

    Winter Squash:
    Warsaw Buff Pie Pumpkin - main crop with superb flavor, texture and borer resistance.
    1 plant (I have one seed) of Bush Pink Banana
    Scarchuks Supreme (acorn with borer resistance)
    1 experimental pie pumpkin I'm working on.

    Okra: Stewart's Zeebest

    Tennessee Cutshort Pole Bean
    Barksdale Wax Pole
    Fowler bush
    Childer's Cuthort (pole or half runner)
    Ruth Bible (pole)

    Black Greasy Pole
    Long Cut Olde Timey Greasy Bean (white seeded, pole)
    at least on other variety from my collection, probably Ralph's Italian Heirloom (pole)

    Penny Rile
    Zongozotla Pintitos
    Georgia Long (yard long/heirloom)

    Calico Willow leaf Pole
    Flossie Powell (pole)
    1 experimental bush variety

    Sweet potatoes:
    Red Wine Velvet
    Brinkley White

    Mesquakie Indian

    Watermelon: Moon & Stars (white seeded)

    Cantaloupe: Evans Sweet

    Well, that's it for now. I can't go into carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, beets, asparagus, chayote, soy, peas, etc.!

    Tahlequah, OK

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    Wonderful to see all the heirlooms!!


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  • Macmex
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks! I grow and maintain a number which hardly get grown by anyone else, though they are usually available through the Seed Savers Exchange.

    I forgot to include Polish Pastel Tomato. This, I'll grow for a fall crop. Jerreth, my wife asked me to grow it again (last summer was a first with it) because it processed so very well for salsa. Polish Pastel might also be good for drying. It is the driest fleshed tomato I've ever seen. I haven't grown Principe Borghese.


  • barton
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    OK, y'all are WAY of my league. Okiedawn, how big is your garden anyway? Do you have a good well or do you spend a zillion dollars on water? I am impressed!!

    I bought a packet (30 seeds) each of 4 tomatoes from Tomato Growers Supply co. They sent a bonus pack of a variety called Marianna's Peace. I don't know anything about it. I also bought classica, Arkansas Traveler, Celebrity, and Jet Star. I have on hand some yellow pear (I think) and sweet 100, and Buck's County Hybrid.

    For eggplant, I saved seed from a Black Beauty that survived aphids, drought and heat. I bought 2 eggplant varieties: Lisdata de Gandia (cute little striped ones) and Vittoria PS Hybrid.

    I will trade a few of any of these for some good hot pepper seeds, not real hot, something like a hot wax pepper that would be good dried, and to add to the pickled okra for a little zest. If anyone has a nice medium-hot pepper they like for drying, canning, and salsa, I could use maybe 6 seeds. I can send a few of any of my seeds.


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    My garden is big and it gets bigger every year! When I first planted it here eight years ago it was about 30' x 30'. I haven't measured it lately, but I guess will be about 100' x 100'. That's just the main garden, fenced to keep out most of the wildlife (sadly, it seems impossible to keep all of them out).

    I cram a lot into that space by:

    a) following the principles of Square Foot Gardening by having raised beds with highly enriched soil and planting seeds/plants more closely together
    b) using raised beds, varying from 3.5' to 4.5' wide, with small pathways 18" wide between them
    c) growing plants vertically on trellises and cages whenever possible, including pole beans, many melons, smaller pumpkins and icebox watermelons--using slings to support the heavier fruit
    d) interplanting, such as letting pumpkins roam through the corn, or planting basil, borage and other herbs underneath taller plants like tomatoes, peppers or okra. Some years I grow a 'Three Sisters' garden where the corn goes in first. I plant pole beans a little later and let them climb the corn stalks, and the pumpkins creep and crawl through and around it all, which helps keep the raccoons out of the corn.
    e) succession planting crops that mature fairly quickly like bush beans
    f) pushing the weather limits to get crops into the ground as early as they will grow in order to beat the heat
    g) growing some of the determinate tomatoes, paste tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and many of the peppers in LARGE containers
    h) "hiding" attractive veggies in other areas, like the rose garden or shrub beds.

    For example, all pepper plants are beautiful and I plant them as a 'border' around the roses in the rose bed.

    I sometimes plant my sweet potatoes in an area of sandy soil in the dappled shade of a pecan tree. Why? Because it is one of the few parts of my yard with sandy soil instead of clay, and they do fairly well since they get morning sun until about noon, and then dappled shade after that.

    I grow gourds for autumn decorations on the fence that surrounds the dog pen and I always grow large pumpkins on the working compost pile hidden out of sight behind the dog pen.

    i) I also have a strip of soil that runs between our fenceline and the driveway. It varies in width from 10' to 16' I till up the part of it that has decent soil and use it as my 'overflow' area. The soil there hasn't been improved like it has been in the main garden, and it isn't fenced to keep wildlife out, but I get surprisingly good production there anyway.

    j) I plant a 'fall garden' which gives me a chance to grow more of what I need to fill up the freezer for fall and winter, and, of course, more tomatoes. This means spending a lot of time and effort getting fall things started in the heat of the summer, but it is worth it (most years--didn't even attempt it last year).

    k) When all else fails and I need more space to grow, I drag out the rototiller and till up some more of that evil bermuda grass and replace it with veggies.

    Watering: No, we don't have a water well and I wish we did. Luckily our rural water system is fairly affordable, and they haven't had any watering restrictions in our 8 years here. The watering can get expensive, but I use drip irrigation and soaker hoses to keep costs under control. Also, for the huge amount of food the veggie garden produces, we can justify the $$$ spent on water, since we're not spending it in the produce section of the grocery store. Everything is heavily mulched and I am careful not to overwater. Also, we dug a small retention pond at the lower end of the garden, which sits on a slope. It catches excess run-off when it rains, and I can pump that water up into the garden if I need to.

    MARIANNA'S PEACE is a large, vigorous potato-leaved plant which produces dark pinkish-red tomatoes which can easily reach 1 lb. or more. This plant produces a lot of tomatoes, which is unusual for potato-leaved plants as they tend to produce less than regular-leaved plants. These tomatoes are a nice balance of sweetness and acidity, and are quite attractive.


  • oakleif
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dawn, Saw the tomato Drusba in your list. I really fell in love with it. It bears early takes the dry hot weather and always had tomatoes till frost and i liked the taste well tho they are'nt a very large tomato. Do you like it as well.

    Have'nt gardened since my husband died and i do miss my fresh veggies.

  • claudosu
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I usually grow herbs in containers. This year, I plan on doing some leaf vegetables, peppers, maybe tomatoes. I'm thinking of planting a variety of lettuce types to harvest as baby greens throughout the year, has anyone tried doing this? Will baby lettuce plants be okay in the summer?

    Also, has anybody tried other vegetables in containers. Could I grow carrots or beets? I think it would be cool to have a combination of ornamental and edible plants.

  • susanlynne48
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Baby lettuces won't do very well in the heat of our Oklahoma summers. I've grown large pots of leafy mesclun and start them early, around March. By June, they are usually pooped out.

    I think you can grow just about any veggie in a pot, especially if it is deep enough for root vegetables. Carrots would probably do much better in pots or raised beds than in the ground in Oklahoma.


  • organic_gardengeek
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    My spring garden is already growing under covers. It's at the back of our city lot, on a former gravel parking lot, and gets too dry and too much shade for a really good summer garden. I've been harvesting spinach, lettuce, arugula, chard, radish, mustard, turnip greens, and cilantro since December. The arugula grows like crazy under covers. The mesclun mix lettuces do well also, especially as it gets warmer.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    Sorry to hear that you lost your husband. Feeling ready for some fresh veggies? There's no time like the spring to start gardening again? Maybe you could have a smaller garden that would be easier to maintain. Even a tomato plant or two in a large container would give you a great deal of enjoyment every time you bit into a fresh tomato! Druzba is truly wonderful, but then, so are many other heirlooms as well!


    "Will baby lettuce plants be okay in the summer?" Not really. Lettuce is a cool-season plant and the cool season in Oklahoma doesn't last long enough to get much of a harvest, as the lettuce tends to bolt quickly once our weather warms up. I believe lettuce grows best when the temps are between about 50/55 and 70/75 degrees. Also day length may be a factor in lettuce bolting.

    You can grow lettuce as a cool season crop in the spring or fall, and there are some varieties that tolerate heat more than others. 'Jericho' is one such lettuce. Also, looseleaf lettuces and butterheads tend to do better than head lettuce (like Iceberg).

    Lots of people grow all kinds of veggies in containers. You might want to visit the Growing in Containers forum to benefit from their expertise.

    As far as having a combination of ornamental and edible plants...lots of people do it. I mix ornamentals in with the veggies in my garden and in my containers. The key things to remember if you want to do this:
    a) choose ornamentals that have the same watering requirements as the veggies you plant with them
    b) chose your ornamentals carefully so they don't 'outgrow' your veggies, shade them and thus keep the veggies from yielding a crop.

    If you are interested in interplanting edible crops with ornamentals, there is also an Edible Landscaping forum here at Garden Web.

    Carrots and beets can be grown in containers successfully, and both are very attractive plants too.


  • breasley
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dawn... I grew Brandy Boy in the fall last year. They did great but I planted too late and they did not have time to mature. I ended up with a VERY heavy crop of green tomatoes that had to be picked green. I made the most of it and canned lots of green tomato pickles and Fish House relish. Brandy Boy as I discovered was not a good choice for the fall due to the maturity date. What is your criteria for variety of a fall crop?

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Finding tomatoes that do well in the fall is a HUGE challenge and is so dependent on the summer and early autumn heat.

    Here are the criteria I use when trying to select tomatoes for fall:

    1) Days to Maturity
    2) Flavor
    3) Ability to set flowers in heat

    In a way, you could say Days to Maturity is the MOST IMPORTANT factor and, technically, you would be right BUT it seems more important to me that the tomato be able to flower AND set fruit while the weather is still quite warm. Some tomatoes that have the "right" DTM still won't produce a good fall crop because many of their August flowers don't set fruit until the temperatures are more to their liking in mid to late September. And, there is no way to know in advance which tomatoes will or won't set fruit in heat, except perhaps based on the experience of other tomato growers in the hot regions of the country.

    Based on my experience in growing tomatoes in Oklahoma and Texas, I would say the best fall crops come from plants that:
    a) produce smaller rather than larger tomatoes
    b) produce on determinate plants set out earlier than what is usually advised for fall tomatoes
    c) are often advertised as "plants that produce all summer long", like Arkansas Traveler, Porter or Homestead 24

    I generally choose for flavor, and tend to avoid all those tomatoes bred specifically to produce in the heat like Heat Wave or Sunmaster because they lack flavor.

    For fall cherry tomatoes I favor Sun Gold, Rosalita, and Black Cherry.

    For smaller slicing or salad tomatoes I usually go with Porter, Black Plum, Martino's Roma or Heidi.

    For larger tomatoes, I usually go with Purple Cherokee, Earl's Faux, Black Krim, Persimmon and Better Boy. Although Better Boy lacks the outstanding flavor of the heirlooms, it sometimes produces like gangbusters in spite of our extreme heat. Two of my best producing years with Better Boy, I had spring-planted plants produce tomatoes until the first frost in October, and had to pick dozens and dozens of green fruit the day before the freeze.

    Last year, Persimmon, Black Krim and Cherokee Purple set fruit in August and September despite our high temps that kept hitting 110 to 114 degrees. I thought that was amazing.

    This year I am going to try a lot of heirlooms for fall tomatoes, especially the heirloom winter storage types.

    I also am especially interested in seeing how Neves Azorean Red, Cherokee Chocolate, Champion and Little Brandywine do as a fall crop. In the past, Bucks County produced well all summer and into the fall but it appears to be "gone" this year, and there has been speculation in the tomato world that Little Brandywine is, in fact, Bucks County simply re-named.

    To get a fall tomato harvest, I do ALL of the following:

    In early- to mid-July, I cut back a few of the healthiest tomato plants to 12" to 18" tall and feed them a good balanced fertilizer. I keep them well-watered and they are usually flowering sometime in August and producing fruit in September

    In early to mid-June, I set out fall tomatoes that I have raised (in 4" pots) from seed outdoors in the heat. Raising them outside in the hot weather is hard, but it ensures they can handle the heat. I like to get these in the ground as early as possible in June. Setting them out later in June makes it more likely we'll get fruit before a freeze.

    I always set out a couple of fresh plants in VERY LARGE containers that can be pulled or pushed into the garage to avoid the first freeze and then brought back outside as soon as weather allows.

    If an early frost is threatening, I will cover two to four of my most productive fall plants with a blanket or heavy 6mm plastic. If you can protect them and get them through that first really cold weather spell of autumn, we often have 4 to 6 weeks of "Indian Summer" and will get a lot more ripe fruit during that time frame.

    Finally, if really cold weather is inevitable, I pull up the tomato plants that have a lot of fruit and hang them upside down in my tornado shelter or garage. A lot of those fruit will continue to ripen, sometimes for weeks! This is especially true for cherry tomatoes.

    Many years I pick a lot of green ones in the fall, but would rather have ripe ones than green ones (!) so anything that can be done to stretch the harvest is worth the time involved, I think. And, once in a blue moon the first fall freeze will be VERY, VERY LATE here....sometimes after Thanksgiving, and in a year like that, I have a huge fall harvest and am pretty much the happiest woman in Oklahoma!

  • susanlynne48
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Well, you must be correct in saying that smaller tomatoes do best in fall because my Yellow Pears really starting putting on tons of fruit this last fall!


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    Any of the cherry/pear/grape tomatoes that get through the summer usually do go nuts in the fall and produce like crazy and they are always my "insurance" in case the larger tomatoes aren't producing well.

    I always grow Yellow Pear because it is my DH's boss's favorite tomato....and you have to keep the boss happy!

    This year I am growing a huge number of the smaller tomatoes and one of my favorite things is to have a big salad for dinner that has 6 or 8 kinds of little tomatoes in it: Sun Gold, Yellow Pear, Snow White, Sweet Million, Green Grape, Black Cherry and Rosalita (a pink grape) for example.

    I also like to pick them and snack on them in the garden as I work, which is one of the joys of gardening organically!

    By the way, the number of tomato worms and their resulting moths was the lowest last year in my garden that it has ever been, which I attribute to the horrendous drought. I'm hoping for more tomato hornworms/moths this year.


  • susanlynne48
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I only had 5 manducas (both quinquemaculata and sexta), but I only had two tomatoe plants (which provided plenty of foliage actually), and 3 big daturas. Both species will eat either one, so it doesn't really matter.

    I had an enormous number of eumorpha achemon sphinx cats on my Virginia Creeper. These cats are stunning, as are the moths.

    Here's a pic of the cats.


    Aren't they gorgeous?

    Also, pic of my hummingbird clearwing cats (still hibernating in the fridge):


    Monarch cats:


    ....and manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm); note the red horn. The tomato hornworm has a black horn.


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    What lovely photos of the cats!

    With 300 tomato plants last year, just try to guess how many tomato hornworms (and eventually moths) we had?
    A lot. Still, though, less than you'd expect to see in a garden where no insecticides of any kind were used.

    Of course, the drought was hard on lots of living things, wasn't it? And, I can't help but wonder if the winter wildfires took out a lot of the overwintering cats. (We had a LOT of wildfires in our county last year.)

    The sun is FINALLY shining today, and I am itching to get outside, but it is still too cold. It was 9 degrees here this morning, but we expect a warm-up these next few days.

    I have two Better Bush tomato plants sitting in a sunny bay window, and they are blooming, so maybe I'll have my first ripe tomato in early April.

    And, apparently the little honey bees don't know it is winter. I see them out every day on the cracked corn I put out for the birds and the fawns. (I put out whole corn for the adult deer and the bees stay away from it.)

    Hoping for spring gardening weather soon,


  • susanlynne48
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    In case you're interested anyone, the hummingbird clearwing cats eat honeysuckle; the eumorpha achemon cats eat Virginia Creeper, grape, porcelain vine, anything in the grape vine family; and the tomato and tobacco hornworms eat stuff in the solonaceae family (like tomatos, datura, brugmansias, shoofly plant).

    Usually, there are not enough of the cats on these plants to warrant destroying them, and a lot of people have begun to grow extra tomato plants (of the sort they don't particularly want to eat) especially for the hornworms. They just transfer the cats from their good plants to the ones they don't want. The adult moths are gorgeous and they pollinate deep-throated flowers that bees and butterflies cannot get to, so they are actually beneficial to the garden.

    The thing I noticed this year, Dawn, was less parasitization of these caterpillars than I find some years. You will recognize a parasitized cat by the tiny little oval white cocoons covering the caterpillar.

    I noticed that about the honey bees. I had been putting out some rotting bananas for the overwintering butterflies, like the Mourning Cloaks, Goatweed Leafwings, etc., and the honeybees were all over it, too.