Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Tomato Garden

I promise No More Tomato Blogs after the fall harvest....Here are the new babies...recently planted and being tracked from the day of planting to the first fall harvest. This is my first season for fall planting. We pulled up the summer tomato plants over Labor Day and put the new ones in about mid-September. Here are the first pics.

About 2 weeks after planting we noticed the bottom leaves were being eaten by something. All the leaves had giant holes in them. I thought it was some type of slugs, and I was told to put a saucer of beer in the garden. The slugs would drink the beer and die. This did not work, although the saucer of beer was gone, nothing was dead and the leaves were still being eaten.

On closer inspection I discovered this guy. The green horned tomato worm. He is the same color as the tomato plant stem. You really can not see them. They come out at night, and attached to the lower leaves and stems of the tomato plant and begin their journey to totally destroy the crop. Once found, I screamed.

I called the nursery where I got the tomato plants. I explained what I had found, as if I discovered a new species and was told this is very common in the south, and welcome to fall planting. I tried to pull him off, knock him off, scream at him and nothing worked. Finally, I had to cut off the leave where he was sitting on. I was told to step on them, as they would come back if we didn't. I waited for my husband to come home and do this step, but I made the mistake of watching. Don't do this! This worm was so full of my tomato plant that he made a huge lime green mess.

Lesson learned. Look closely at the tomato plant and stems while watering. They hide on the underneath part of the leaf and are very hard to find.

These are the pics of the first planting and the worm. I will follow up bi-weekly with plant stats and record the first tomato picked of the season. By the way, we have tomato flowers on all 5 plants.

1 comment:

foodbin said...

wow! nice home grown tomatoes.