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Tomato pests

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 493
Location: Palmyra, Virginia
39
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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The weather so far this year has made gardening difficult. We've had over 30" of rain so far this year in our area (which is usually about our yearly total).
One thing I've noticed is an increase in the number of pests on my tomato plants. We've had tomato hornworms, tomato fruit worms, corn worms (eating the tomatoes) and aphids.
The fruit worms are a fairly new species for me to have to combat. They have eaten holes in sooooo many of my tomatoes while still green. You can only throw them in the compost once the worms are in the tomatoes. There they are protected from anything you spray too.
The fruit worms, as i just found out today, are the little ¥π@#!* that have eaten every one of my tiny sea buckthorn sprouts. I was so mad! Seeds, sent to me by a good friend, that I have tried my best to germinate and grow well....all defoliated. I found the culprit and could only identify the little shit with a magnifying glass. F***'ing fruit worm! Only a quarter inch long.
I have sprayed all my gardens with neem and recently with neem and baby shampoo combined. I didn't think they would get my tiny sea buckthorn plants. But they are all gone.
Times like this make me want to spray to kill but I know who suffers in the long run.
Does anyone have a good idea of what I can do to combat this pest?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2008
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I wonder if fuzzy tomatoes, or peach tomatoes, would be resistant to the fruit-worms?  Does the hairy skin do a better job of repelling the parents from laying eggs?
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 493
Location: Palmyra, Virginia
39
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Hello Joseph,
Thanks for your reply. I'm not familiar with fuzzy tomatoes or peach tomatoes. I'm not sure if a fuzzy texture would keep them from laying their eggs. I think they lay them on the leaves of the tomato plants, which are sort of fuzzy.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2008
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
367
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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There are also tomato varieties with fuzzier leaves... I don't prefer to grow tomatoes that feel like stinging-nettles, but if I had a choice between growing no tomatoes at all, or growing "stinging tomatoes", I'd probably choose to grow stinging tomatoes, and then cook or peel them as necessary to get rid of the fuzz. I don't like the fuzz on okra, apricots, or peaches, but I still grow and eat plenty of them.

On a more philosophical note: I am an animal. I haven't yet been harmed by eating an insect.



 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 493
Location: Palmyra, Virginia
39
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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So, what you're saying is...If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em! 
I'll be looking into those fuzzy tomatoes. I like a good "meaty" tomato but may not be quite the animal to go there.
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