Well, we seem to have the hornworm situation under control. I picked the last one off the yellow cherry tomato plant last Sunday and have not seen one since.
However, that's not the end of the bug problems. Now, aphids are attacking my Rose of Sharon bush. I've snipped infested buds and blooms and wiped the little pests off the plant to no avail. So, I had to resort to chemicals. At first I used Safer 3 in 1 organic spray, but it had little effect. This week, I moved on to the Schultz Insect Spray, which showed quick results. Even so, aphids are pretty hard to eradicate completely. I'm still picking off the random bud covered with the tiny pests. Ugh. I only hope they die off in the winter and don't come back!
On top of the bugs, I found our old nemesis - powdery mildew - on our Black Cherry tomato plant this morning! The silvery, whitish film is now evident on leaves, stems and even the tomatoes. The debilitating disease appears every year around this time, when the plants are tall, gangly and showing signs of age. Many of the branches and leaves get dry and brittle by late August and that's when the mildew moves in. It doesn't kill the plant, but it weakens it and makes it less productive. Once again I've resorted to spraying - this time with our Safer Fungicide. The spray helped get rid of the fungus and rust affecting our basil, so I hope it works on the powdery mildew. I'll let you know!