I know, I know...never count your tomatoes, or your eggplants, before they ripen, but I finally scored me some Dipel Dust over at Farmer D Organics on Briarcliff Road. Dipel Dust is a formulation containing bacteria (Bacillus Thuringiensis). It's the choice of organic gardeners and presumably the least toxic pesticide you can buy to defeat the dastardly tomato hornworm (manduca quinquemaculata). For protection, I sprinkled Dipel Dust all over my eggplants which now look like they've been dusted with Colombian Marching Powder.
Hornworms go for nightshade plants -- potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. These brilliant camouflage artists wait until the fruit is set and ripening, just when things are looking rosy, and then go to work chomping on your plants. It's tragic. I have blogged about them before and continue to inspect my plants daily for signs of hornworm damage. So far so good.
The problem with hornworms is that they lay eggs in the soil. Because I do so much container gardening, many of my large pots are infested. The remedy would be to empty them (too heavy) and replace with new soil. I can't manage that so I'm hoping, praying, that Dipel Dust does the trick.