There’s a reason that Florida has been described as tomato hell, and I’m starting to believe it…My tomato plants have been taking a beating. Up until the 1st week of June things were going great. Then almost over night I fell victim to some sort of pestilence. If it were Passover, you’d think I’d been visited by one of the ten plagues..
What you see below is the handy work of the tomato fruitworm, and that’s not the worst of it. Several plants went from having nice whole green leaves to swiss cheese almost over night.. BT (bacillus thuringiensis) is supposed to be a good product for these worms and other types of caterpillars. I’ve been using it on the cukes for a while and I’m still having trouble with them..About a week ago I began spraying the tomatoes. This damage obviously occurred after the fact, so either I’m not applying enough, it got washed off, or it’s time for something a little more potent..
I’ve already lost quite a bit of fruit to these guys. This past weekend as my anger boiled over I spent a half an hour inspecting the plants and squeezing fruitworm guts(humanely of course). If you’re not into squeezing, you can shake the plants and they should fall off, or you can hit the leaves with a spray of water from your hose..Whatever you decide to do, you don’t want to leave them on the plants.
You can see in the second picture I’ve got a couple of nice tomatoes that are ready to pick, so not all is lost..The lesson in all of this is that gardening, much like life, teaches you to remain positive, even in the face of adversity. A challenge is presented and you have to figure out a solution.. I’m going to try another round of Bt treatment and will keep checking on the plants. Hopefully I’ve nipped it in the bud.
Stay tuned, and happy gardening.