After all of that bragging about my gardening skills, I went out this morning to admire my flowers and noticed little holes nibbled in several of my white petunias :(. I patiently examinted the blooms for the culprit and several small worms (inch worms/tent worms) of various sizes and colors scooting around and munching as they went along. Well, of all things! I carefully removed them with a popsicle stick out of the kids' craft bin and placed them in a used butter tub while I went to my computer to research what to do about the situation. Since I'm an amateur gardener and would rather not have chemicals lying around the house, I didn't have any Sevin Dust (I only know about that stuff because I've heard my dad mention it), but I'd heard of home-made concoctions that will get rid of the pests without harming the plants. Here's a recipe I found at http://eartheasy.com/grow_nat_pest_cntrl.htm#c, a website that boasts "solutions for sustainable living" (note: there are underscores between grow_nat_pest_cntrl):
1 Tablespoon canola oil
a few drops of Ivory dish soap
1 quart warm water
Combine ingredients and stir gently. Pour into a spray bottle and spray affected plants (including under leaves) early in the morning or just before the sun sets in the evening. I'm guessing those are the times the little critters are out doing their damage. I mixed up a batch with a couple cloves of crushed garlic just for good measure because I heard most pests don't like that too much, and sprayed it directly on the worms in my butter tub. Within minutes three of them were dead, one was stunned (as I discovered when after several minutes he was trying to crawl up the sides of the tub again), and one climbed to higher ground on a small leaf that was in the tub with them. I might've sprayed a bit much and drowned them, or the oil interfered with their ability to breathe or the soap irritated them in some way. Whatever the case, the spray had the desired effect! My spray bottle and I will be taking on the rest of the critters in the morning. Thanks for stopping by. Until next time...