My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Battles to save Big T

on September 2, 2014
Assissan Bug

Assissan Bug

The heat is on…   So, I’ve got all the tomatoes pruned off my indeterminate and stellar tomato plant.  My goal now is just to keep the plant alive until the weather cools again.  And that’s all about watering.

It has been an epic battle.

  • First, I slew about twenty hornworms.  Biggest trick to that is look for the blots of poop and then look up for a chewed or sick leaf.  After I find the critter, I just clip them in half.
  • Then fungus tried to seize the day and I had to prune until it hurt.  (Also used the baking soda mixture a couple of times.)  But, really, I think it was the pruning and the sun that helped the most.
  • stink bug nymphs

    stink bug nymphs

  • Then stink bugs thought they’d found a good home and I was happy to evict them.  Biggest trick to that is kill the adults, of course, but also the teenage stink bugs.  (Words of caution:  There is a good bug called an Assassin Bug that looks like a teenage stink bug, but research says that the Assassin Bug travels and hunts alone; whereas, the teenage stink bugs hang-out in groups.  Funny thing about stink bugs:  Seems like it is easy to kill the first few and then their micro-brains catch-on to what’s happening and fly away.  (Stink bug nymphs can’t fly away.)  So, I thought: Well if they’re that smart, then I’ll just leave a few of their dead carcasses in some prominent areas and maybe that will scare them away.  Call me crazy, but it seems to work, a little bit….P.S.  I kill them by clapping my hands together. Hopefully with gloves on.

Now that the plant is older and the fruit is gone, I find that the plant is putting out nodes.  Some people pinch all nodes; some people allow them to grow.  I look at nodes as an opportunity to choose… allow the old branch to stay and clip the new node—or prune the old branch and start with a new one–or neither—or both, depending on the bushiness of the plant.  Purely a judgment call on that.

Harlequin Bug/True Bug close enough to a stink bug to kill too

Harlequin Bug/True Bug close enough to a stink bug to kill too


%d bloggers like this: