Thursday, August 30, 2007

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This is a terrible thing to have in your garden. Worse if there are 50 or 3200. It's not easy to find information on controlling grasshoppers in home gardens because as the University of Illinois Extension will tell you, "if given a choice, grasshoppers usually avoid tomato leaves."

I have so many grasshoppers, it makes me sick to think of those bulging eyes staring at me while I throw their vandalized tomatoes in the compost. They take one bite out of a cherry tomato. Just one bite. Then, they move to the next tomato in the cluster. One more bite. I am not fast enough with my pruners to cut them in half, like I do the hornworms..(one old Southern gardener told me the green guts would attract birds and they would eat the other hornworms).
The grasshopper is smart! It hides behind the stem or the tomato. If you come in from the right, he moves to the left and vice versa.
If there's anything worse than 50 grasshoppers, it's 50 grasshoppers that are smart.
There is a legend, based in Minnesota of a fabled grasshopper killing saint. His name was St. Urho.
Depending on which version you believe, the words that St. Urho shouted to banish the plague of grasshoppers from his country, "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, menetaalta hiiteen," may mean "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to hell!" or "Grasshopper, grasshopper, get the hell out of here!"
Apparently, my grasshoppers have not heard of this legend. They did not budge when I ran out my door screaming these words.

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  1. Hi Sissy, It's great to have you back! Sorry the nursery closed though. I hope you find something close to home. I have a hour commute each way and it gets old. Contrats to Nick on Harvard, wow! I saw your photos of your perenial bed, it's looks wonderful! Isnt' it amazing what can happen in one season? Sorry about the grasshoppers, that would freak me out!

  2. "Contracts" should have been congrats to Nick. I guess we know I didn't make it into Harvard! LOL

  3. We have a few grasshoppers and a whole lot of crickets, Sissy, but your chant may not work on them.

    It was amusing to read your post with Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Compantion on in the background. Okay so his stuff is Norwegian rather than Swedish, but it's still from Minnesota!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


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