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Growing on the High Plains: Hungry Caterpillars Make Magnificent Moths

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Photo credit: Lisa Brummett, Kansas State University

Today's Growing on the High Plains features a couple of unique garden worms that mature into moth-hood in spectacular fashion.

When you take care of a tomato garden, you come to expect a few freeloaders among the foliage. Today's show will share some insight about the common "tomato hornworm," a greedy gobbler that'll decimate your plants and is difficult to deter. We'll also flutter through the features of a white-lined sphinx moth, whose hyperspeed flitting rivals that of the hummingbird. These critters might be small, but they can serve your garden a punch—and sometimes gardeners return it with a crunch.

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.