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Old May 8, 2012   #1
babice
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Default Marigold to thwart green hornworm?

I've read marigold is good to plant with toms to hopefully prevent green hormworms (ooops..I mean tomato hormworm). Anyone doing this? I am planning to. What I'm wondering, though, is -- should I use tagetes (I have some seedlings) or just any ole marigold I can get?

Last edited by babice; May 8, 2012 at 02:22 PM. Reason: oops - correction
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Old May 8, 2012   #2
Crandrew
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Babice,
I had also heard this...then by accident started researching marigolds and to my surprise found more negative literature regarding them attracting mites. From what I could find the negatives far outweighed the positives. So i've decided to remove the 6 that I planted near my tomatoes.
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Old May 8, 2012   #3
babice
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Originally Posted by Crandrew View Post
Babice,
I had also heard this...then by accident started researching marigolds and to my surprise found more negative literature regarding them attracting mites. From what I could find the negatives far outweighed the positives. So i've decided to remove the 6 that I planted near my tomatoes.
Hmmm...I planted them last year with my 6 toms that I had in the ground and to my knowledge didn't have the tomato hornworms nor the mites. But I was such a newbie (and not aware of this site!) that I might not have known? That's why I was going to do it again but am having a hard time figuring out if there's a specific kind more recommended than others.
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Old May 8, 2012   #4
babice
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I suppose I could just use BT preventatively like I see peeps discussing in this forum. Ugh - I totally don't want to see one of those nasty t.hworms but EVEN MORE don't want one munching away on my toms! I do remember last year having something that my friend at the nursery thought was potato beetle but: (1) I don't think it had as many stripes as I've seen in pics of the potato beetle and (2) I really thought those were actually all over the tomatillos I grew last year (I'm not growing any this year). Obviously I don't want to use any pesticides. BT is organic, right?
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Old May 8, 2012   #5
JamesL
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My very limited knowledge of companion plants -
Borage and Basil to deter hormworms, Petunias to attract them.
The point of attracting them is of course is so you can lure them away from the tomatoes and then "deal with them" as you see fit.
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Old May 8, 2012   #6
Chrissykin
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I am trying it this year!

Last year I picked over 100 hornworms off from three measly tomato plants. The kids and I kept track because I was obssesive about checking my plants. I kept a bucket of soapy water next to the plants and changed it everyday.
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Old May 8, 2012   #7
Crandrew
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Yes my understanding is BT is organic. I have BT ready to go soon, and im not sure whether to remove the marigolds. I need Ami or Raybo or some of the pros to comment.
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Old May 8, 2012   #8
JamesL
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I found two blurbs on Marigolds -
"Marigolds help deter harmful nematodes from attacking tomatoes. The pungent odor can also help confuse other insect pests. To deter nematodes, the best practice is to grow the marigolds, then chop and till them into the soil at the end of the season."

"The marigold is probably the most well known plant for repelling insects. French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Mexican marigolds are said to offend a host of destructive insects and wild rabbits as well. If you choose marigolds for your garden they must be scented to work as a repellant. And while this plant drives away many bad bugs, it also attracts spider mites and snails."
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Old May 8, 2012   #9
Crandrew
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I can attest to it attracting snails. From my research on the boards, they helped cause huge mite infestations.
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Old May 8, 2012   #10
JamesL
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Pretty good list of companions here
http://www.gardentoad.com/companionplants.html

Nasturtiums seem to get high marks as well.
http://igrowveg.com/2010/07/5-reason...ar-vegetables/
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Old May 8, 2012   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
My very limited knowledge of companion plants -
Borage and Basil to deter hormworms, Petunias to attract them.
The point of attracting them is of course is so you can lure them away from the tomatoes and then "deal with them" as you see fit.
I've heard they really prefer datura over tomatoes. Haven't tried it yet.
BT is easy and organic.
I would like to grow datura sometime, although kept away from the dogs, of course. Very toxic, along with brugsmania. ( Angels Trumpet)
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Old May 8, 2012   #12
babice
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I went back to where I read this and am both clearer on things and more confused at the same time. So - where I read this (my companion planting book Carrots Love Tomatoes) actually specifies pot marigold which it says deters tomato hormworm (among others) and it lists marigold separately which it says deters nematodes (also among others). So, then of course I searched for the difference between these two. The pot marigold is apparently the same as calendula; yet, although it's recommended in this book as deterring tomato hornwoom one site I read said not to plant it near vegetables because calendula is used by larvae of species such as cabbage moth.

Then there's this old t-ville thread (link below) I found where some folks (looks to me mostly by folks in the warmer states) warn against using marigolds because they attract spider mites. The last poster in that thread seems to say that it's the marigold that might do this (i.e. the tagetes) versus the pot marigold (i.e. the calendula).

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=14002

SO - well - yes, rather confusing. I do have tagetes seeds which I planted up front by my roses. I won't plant any tagetes in with the toms. But at this point I guess I won't bother trying to find calendula either. (By the way, garlic bulbs will deter spider mites).
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Old May 10, 2012   #13
Mollie's Nana
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I had marigolds planted about every 2-3 feet apart all around my garden last year, and the hornworms still feasted on my tomatoes!

Yesterday, I was googling stuff to help deter the "bad bugs" and came across this:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/...es.asp?id=1324

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/prob...ith-plants.htm


http://lifehacker.com/5583176/draft-...arsh-chemicals

Headed out now to see if I can find some dill, mint, yarrow and a few others to see if they will help any with the tomato monsters.... wish me luck!!
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Old May 12, 2012   #14
sfmathews
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I can confirm the spider mites LOVE marigold. I used to plant them around the garden. But no more. I have enough of a fight as it is w/o giving them more of their favorite foods.
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Old May 12, 2012   #15
DogsandDirt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollie's Nana View Post

Headed out now to see if I can find some dill, mint, yarrow and a few others to see if they will help any with the tomato monsters.... wish me luck!!

Mints can be extremely invasive. I would keep them in pots around the garden rather than in it.
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