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7 messages
28/08/2013 at 21:51

I've grown tomatoes for a few years without any problems. This year with a new green house, was hoping to get a bumper crop, but the ripening fruit has been attacked by something that can eat the entire fruit, leaving just a shell. They even attack the unripe tomatoes - sometimes just shaving off a slice! I can see some small black things on the leaves about 2mm long - but too small to identify. I also found a large caterpillar in one outside - but that could have beentakig advantage of the already part eaten fruit. If anyone has had the same experience I'd love to know what they are and how to get rid of them (probably too late for this year's crop).

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/30063.jpg?width=272&height=350&mode=max

 

28/08/2013 at 21:53

sometimes snails do that in the night, and then hide until the next night.

29/08/2013 at 00:15

The caterpillar you caught is probably from the tomato moth, They start off on the leaves of the plant making small holes, as the caterpillar gets bigger they cause damage to the tomatoes.

29/08/2013 at 00:43

Yes, tomato moth.  I've never had more than one at a time, and not every year.  The small black things you can see are the droppings.  They are usually a clue as to where the caterpillar is. Master of disguise.

Search and destroy!

29/08/2013 at 08:02

I have had the same trouble Caterpillars little beggars.  I thought I had quite a healthy crop until I examined more closeley looked under the fruit and they were half eaten.  So, been on my only little safari  since Sat.  Morning and night just looking and shaking the plantst to catch.  I have also taken a lot of the non productive leaves off to get some air to the plants and  to see them critters better.   Caught me out this year but next year "bring it on"  

 

17/09/2013 at 20:09

Ok That figures - they are masters of disguise - eventually found loads of caterpillars that do look like standard tomato moth. They are 1-1.5 inchs long with yellow and black stripe - see photo. If anyone thinks these are something different then let me know!

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/31218.jpg?width=350

 

 

Been picking them off when I see them but too many have already done the damage so lost about 50% of my crop. Would love to know if there is anything to stop such an infestation again?

17/09/2013 at 20:29

Had one this year.  On one plant.  Removed every leaf to find it ...never did.  Knew he was there prob tightly adjacent to main stem.  Didn't really affect my crop too much.  Every year I hang a tight mesh over the door and window of the GH and this prevents this moth.  However, this year I didn't " bother".  Next year I will resume doing this and will return to undamaged crops.

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