All I wanted to do was help the Monarch population. Now, it appears I may have inadvertently created a battle zone.
I may have to end my love affair with the hornworm.
Every year I plant hardshell gourds which flower at night so it makes sense to encourage night flying Sphinx moths to lay eggs near the gourd patch. At a Pueblo in NewMexico I learned of companion planting tomatoes with the gourds. That makes sense and for years in various states I have done so with great results. Note please that the hornworms have their tomato patch and I have mine and transportation is provided to those who wander in the wrong direction.
For the first time in more than a decade of gardening with hornworms I am seeing all them covered with parasitic wasp larvae. The count is nine as of today which is every one I have seen in the garden. I know this is suppose to be a good thing, but....
This year I planted milkweed in various spots in the yard and garden to help the monarch population. The Travels of Monarch X was a favorite book when my kids were young and really, if something as simple as planting a few milkweed plants with help save the Monarchs then I am all in.
So here is the big question- rather than helping the Monarchs have I created a death zone for their caterpillars with my parasitic wasp nursery?
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