Giant Green Tomato Worms, Where Do They Come From?

Can they motivate us to plan ahead?

tomato work moth adult_female Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

It’s summer, so time to write about giant green tomato worms again.

This time I want to answer the question, “Where do they come from?”  When I had a tomato garden it was small enough (3 plants) that I could easily patrol it daily to remove the gorging worms.  Yet I never saw a worm smaller than my thumb.  My friends and I wondered if they spring from the ground fully grown?

In preparation for writing Over the Hump I did a little research in the Old Farmer’s Almanac and Wikipedia.  I am happy to report that they do tomato wormnot spring from the ground fully grown, so there is little chance of a mass invasion with no warning.  They come from moth larvae that breeds in the ground, even over the winter.  So one of the best ways to prevent giant tomato worms is to till the soil vigorously in the spring before planting.

Seriously, that’s all?  Talk about about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.  And when it’s a pound of red, luscious tomatoes…

Naturally this got me thinking about where can I use an ounce of effort to prevent a pound of trouble in my work:

  • Communication, especially communicating with forethought.
    • Like confirming meeting times and locations, or phone numbers a couple of days in advance
    • Having an overview of the topics and goals for any discussion, no matter how short. Even for the most important meetings this takes a maximum of 15 minutes and can save hours–especially when the time of all the participants is considered
  • Asking others what they would like to get from a conversation, meeting, or workshop
  • Planning my day and my week so that I am working on the most important tasks (MITs).
  • Pausing for a few seconds before leaving the house to be sure I have everything for the journey ahead, even if it just to the post office.

KC_OverTheHump_Masthead 230x200Yes, I know these are easier said than done. However, now that I have equated the outcome with fewer giant green tomato worms that make me so nervous, I will make more time for the ounce of prevention, or to till the soil well.

Where do you find that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of tomatoes?  Please help us all learn by commenting below.

Joyful regards,

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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