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Green Thumb

Gardening has been a lifelong passion for Wende and she’d like to share her passion with her readers. Follow her as she writes about her gardening adventures, lists tasks to do depending on the season, and gives easy to understand gardening advice.

Garden Sayings That are So True

garden, plants, yard, wisdom, blog

One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth. 

Give me the splendid, silent sun, with all his beams full dazzling.  

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What is Eating the Stems of My Tomato Plants?

tomato, stem, pest, garden, prevention

A few posts ago I talked about getting a planting bed ready for spring planting.  I took pictures of my own planting bed as we prepared it for growing tomatoes and peppers.  Our little seedlings have been happily growing since Memorial Day - until three days ago.  I went outside to check on my little plants because it's been so hot and I wanted to make sure they weren't wilting from the heat or lack of water.  But I became very upset when I saw that one of my tomato plants was bent over right where the stem comes out of the ground and was lying on the soil - yellow, wilted and very much on it's way to being dead.  We had been treating an ant hill right next to that plant, so I chalked it up to ant retaliation and figured we can spare one out of the 15 plants we had.  I thought the issue was closed at that point.  Not so...

This morning we checked the plants and two more were bent over and lying on the ground! This time the tops of the plants were still green - like they had been attacked within a few hours of our discovery.  There were clean cuts in the stem, like a bite had been taken out of them, but the offender hadn't bitten clean through. It was as if they were tasted, and the culprit moved on.  Now, I am familiar with all the regular reasons why tomato plants have problems - overwatering, too dry, various fungus, bacteria, insects, and even 4 legged varmits (see my previous posts on bunnies and squirrels).  I thought, this is either from an animal taking a bite and scampering away, or from overwatering.  I didn't think many animals liked the smell of tomato plants versus other more tasty choices nearby, and I didn't really think I overwatered.  I made sure that I only watered when the ground really was dry (not too dry, but not wet anymore either). Besides, all the other plants are healthy and thriving.

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