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Old 09-03-2012, 12:57 AM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default What is likely eating the foliage off my small tomatoes?

This has happened before. Maybe if I go out at night with a flashlight I
will catch the culprits, but right now I can only speculate. I usually
buy a 6 pack of Early Girl and plant about 3 weeks into March, sometimes
earlier sometimes later depending on the weather.

This year they only had 4" potted plants, so I bought 6 of those and
planted them 6 days ago in soil in which I'd worked in a lot of my
homemade compost. There were certainly lots of earwigs and sow bugs in
that compost, and plenty of earth worms. There are certainly slugs in
there too.

I was so busy yesterday I didn't get a chance to check out the plants,
but this morning to my dismay I see that 1/2 to 3/4 of the foliage has
been eaten from the plants! I'd put snail and slug pellets around the
plants and sprayed some water to activate them. I also sprinkled some
diazinon I've had for a number of years. I think it's unavailable now. I
only use it on seedlings when plants are vulnerable. The diazinon is so
old it may have lost its effectiveness, it wouldn't surprise me.

I made collars today out of thin sheet metal, and put more pellets and
diazinon granules around the bases of the seedlings, also I sprayed them
with Safer Soap. What is likely eating the plants and what can I do to
prevent further damage? I was hoping to see bigger plants by now, not
smaller!

Dan


Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net

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Old 09-03-2012, 03:24 AM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default What is likely eating the foliage off my small tomatoes?

On Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:47:15 -0800, Billy
wrote:

:In article ,
: Dan Musicant wrote:
:
: This has happened before. Maybe if I go out at night with a flashlight I
: will catch the culprits, but right now I can only speculate. I usually
: buy a 6 pack of Early Girl and plant about 3 weeks into March, sometimes
: earlier sometimes later depending on the weather.
:
: This year they only had 4" potted plants, so I bought 6 of those and
: planted them 6 days ago in soil in which I'd worked in a lot of my
: homemade compost. There were certainly lots of earwigs and sow bugs in
: that compost, and plenty of earth worms. There are certainly slugs in
: there too.
:
: I was so busy yesterday I didn't get a chance to check out the plants,
: but this morning to my dismay I see that 1/2 to 3/4 of the foliage has
: been eaten from the plants! I'd put snail and slug pellets around the
: plants and sprayed some water to activate them. I also sprinkled some
: diazinon I've had for a number of years. I think it's unavailable now. I
: only use it on seedlings when plants are vulnerable. The diazinon is so
: old it may have lost its effectiveness, it wouldn't surprise me.
:
: I made collars today out of thin sheet metal, and put more pellets and
: diazinon granules around the bases of the seedlings, also I sprayed them
: with Safer Soap. What is likely eating the plants and what can I do to
: prevent further damage? I was hoping to see bigger plants by now, not
: smaller!
:
: Dan
:
:
: Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
:
:It sounds like you think it's snails, or slugs, if so, you need ferric
hosphate (usually called iron phosphate) which is used as a food
:supplement for humans, but is extremely toxic to gastropods (snails, and
:slugs).

I really don't know what's been eating them. I did see a slimy trail
near one of the plants, which suggests a slug. I don't think it was a
snail because I don't see them often in the area anymore. Could be
slugs, though, but I only saw that one trail. Can earwigs or sow bugs
defoliate a very young tomato plant?

I did put snail and slug pellets around he plants, as I stated above.
What I did didn't prevent the damage, however. I put more on today, as
well as the collars, and in addition sprayed Safer Soap, don't know
what's the best approach, so I'm using a shot gun approach. Wish I know
what's doing this.

Dan


Email: dmusicant at sonic dot net
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:45 AM
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It can be tomato worms or horn worms or cutworms. They eat leaves and they have the color of the stems and may be they are on the stems. Picking them off is the way to remove them. A nail spike beside the plant repels cutworms. Some garlic cloves can repel some bugs. The seven dust is good. Plant garlic cloves by your tomato plants to get rid of the worms. Check for some tiny grasshopper, they can also be a culprit. Put some black pepper on the leaf to get rid of grasshopper. Good Luck
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:28 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default What is likely eating the foliage off my small tomatoes?

Dan Musicant said:


This has happened before. Maybe if I go out at night with a flashlight I
will catch the culprits, but right now I can only speculate.


Good plan; go out at night with a flashlight and a sprayer with soap
solution. I'd be willing to place a (small) bet that its earwigs, since you
reported seeing some.


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Old 09-03-2012, 09:57 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default What is likely eating the foliage off my small tomatoes?

On Fri, 09 Mar 2012 07:28:18 -0500, Pat Kiewicz
wrote:

an Musicant said:
:
:
:This has happened before. Maybe if I go out at night with a flashlight I
:will catch the culprits, but right now I can only speculate.
:
:Good plan; go out at night with a flashlight and a sprayer with soap
:solution. I'd be willing to place a (small) bet that its earwigs, since you
:reported seeing some.

My money's on the earwigs too, I needed some confirmation that they can
do this kind of damage. The lack of slug trails on the stems and leaves
has me thinking that it's not likely slugs. I think maybe the diazinon I
sprinked on the ground next to the stems is so old (5-7 years?) that
it's lost effectiveness.

I went out about 1.5 hours after dark with a flashlight, saw nothing,
again at 4AM or so, nothing. This morning the plants look pretty much
like yesterday, so maybe the collars and the extra sprinking of diazinon
has abated the invasion.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dan



Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net


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Old 13-03-2012, 04:19 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default What is likely eating the foliage off my small tomatoes?

On Mar 9, 3:45*am, allen73 wrote:
It can be tomato worms or horn worms or cutworms. They eat leaves and
they have the color of the stems and may be they are on the stems.
Picking them off is the way to remove them. A nail spike beside the
plant repels cutworms. Some garlic cloves can repel some bugs. The seven
dust is good. Plant garlic cloves by your tomato plants to get rid of
the worms. Check for some tiny grasshopper, they can also be a culprit.
Put some black pepper on the leaf to get rid of grasshopper. Good Luck

--
allen73


I'd suspect the horn worms too. They blend right into the plant and
are sometimes hard to see.
I pluck them off and also spray to pickup those I missed.
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Old 14-03-2012, 07:51 AM
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There's a natural way to get rid of hornworms from your vegetable gardening. Spray the affected plants with a strong stream of water, and then immediately take a look. You'll see the hornworms as they thrash around. Pick the hornworms off the plants and drop them in a bucket full of soapy water.

Release some beneficial insects such as laceworms, ladybugs and trichogamma wasps, which attack hornworm eggs. To be effective, do this before the hornworms manage to establish control. Spray affected plants with natural insecticidal soap or with a tea made by infusing petunia leaves in water.

Plant some dill to serve as hornworm traps. Hornworms love dill, and once they infest the plants, they can be easily destroyed. Sprinkle cornmeal around affected plants. Hornworms can't digest cornmeal, and the cornmeal will swell up and kill them. Till your garden immediately after harvest to destroy pupae in the soil. This can kill up to 90 percent of the pupae, because at this stage, the hornworm pupae are large and can be found near the top of the soil.
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