Monday, October 1, 2012

Caterpillars and Squirrels........

are feasting on my tomato plants ! 

First bug I found Saturday morning

found two more Monday evening 

Somebody's been eating my tomatoes 

Now that the plants are finally producing decent looking tomatoes
(they are all still green, but they are larger than they have been all summer
and the bottoms aren't rotten anymore),
critters are munching on them ! Sigh.................

Once we got back from our trip, noticed leaves had disapperaed,
only small stubs of branches left on many of them.

I also noticed the bottoms of some of the
larger tomatoes were gnawed on. 

I'm no gardener and had no idea what to look for, 
figured it must have been some sort of bug munching on them.

While watering the other day, I noticed a slightly odd looking "leaf"
laying on the wire cage, deep inside. 
I kept watering the plants, picking off the new blooms
 and eaten tomatoes. 

Something about that "leaf" reminded me of a time
many, many years ago when my uncle paid each of us kids
a dollar if we found caterpillars in his tomato plants.
I didn't recall exactly what they were supposed to look like,
but do remember they would be difficult to spot which is why
he offered us money to find them
(I don't think any of us found any that day). 

I went back to take a closer look at that "leaf" 
and realized it was a large caterpillar type bug. 
I found a long enough stick to reach in there and 
get it out (it did not want to let go!),
snapped a photo then carried it across the yard and driveway
to the base of the old maple tree. 
I've no idea if it will eat leaves of the tree, but surely it won't 
make it back to devour the tomato plants. 

That evening I saw a cousin of mine that gardens
(who also happens to be the son of the uncle that
offered to pay us to find caterpillars all those years ago).
He told me that squirrels were probably guilty of chewing on the bottoms
of the tomatoes, looking for moisture and that the big bug
 certainly could have been the culprit that ate the leaves. 

Now that it is October, I'm not sure if any of the tomatoes
will turn, but I'm hoping. If so, they will be the best looking
and largest that I've picked all year. I must have thrown out
hundreds of small, rotten tomatoes; we maybe ate two dozen.

I think next year I'll just make it a point to go to a farmers market =) 

1 comment:

  1. Those are tomato worms - they will strip your plant clean. Either pick them off and destroy them or let it all go! He'll find his way back no matter where you put him in your yard!!!


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