Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tomato Trouble

My tomato patch is showing some signs of wear.  I originally planted seven slicing tomatoes, one cherry tomato, one grape, and one roma.   The Roma I think had troubles very early on - branches dying one-by-one - and I really didn't get much out of it before I decided to trash the plant and hope whatever it had hadn't spread.  But, a few days ago I gave up on the plant next door, and there are a bunch of others that seem affected.

A row of tomatoes

Blister beetle on my tomatoes
It probably doesn't help that they are under attack by an incredible number of insects.  A couple weeks ago I killed a bunch of black blister beetles.  When I came home I looked them up and found an old extension bulletin that said they were not particularly damaging because they don't stay in an area for too long.  Whoever wrote that does not seem to know what they're talking about, because mine are still around and have now been joined by some gray cousins.  There are also an awful lot of stinkbugs around, which are damaging some of the fruit and rendering some of it inedible.  And then there are some creepy-crawlies I haven't identified yet.
Beetle feeding damage.  You can see some frass (poop) on the tomato.
Finally, there are the two-legged pests.  After much trouble with the combination locks freezing up on us, gardeners unable to water during the heat wave, having to cut the chains repeatedly, etc, we have temporarily abandoned the idea of locking the garden gates.  I'd love to say our theives gave up, but I am certain at least that someone has raided my zucchini a couple times and stole a beautiful butternut squash I've been eyeing.  They have probably been in the tomatoes, too, though I couldn't prove it.  Curiously, we really only had trouble with the locks on the gate nearest my plot, which makes some people suspect that the locks were being sabotaged.  Clever, really.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this makes me so sad - both because I love tomatoes and because it chips away at my already mediocre opinion of the human race.