Organic Tomato Worm Control

 

 
 
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Organic Tomato Worm Control

 

If you are visiting this page you are most likely a tomato grower and lover as well. Seeing your tomato's getting wiped out by tomato worms is a terrible thing. After all the love and care you put into your tomato's they have the nerve to show up when the tomato's are starting to get big. You have been watching your tomato's and attached to them. You don't want to share them with any nasty worms.

Tomato worms or hornworm damage can be identified by their tell tale chew marks and droppings near the and around the chew marks. If you see chew marks you can count on it that a tomato worm is very near by. During the day they can often be found on the underside of tomato leaves where they mimic the plant quite well. Being experts in the art of camouflage makes

them difficult to hand pick but it is definitely my first round of attack. Sometimes you can locate tomato worms by a clicking sound they sometimes make when you approach them. I actually think it's because they are frightened. When hand picking tomato worms get a coffee can or something to collect them in and kill them when you are finished.
Another way to control cutworms is by putting some type of barrier just under the ground around the stalk of each plant. This is hard work but necessary if you already have a cut worm problem. Some people use toilet paper roll centers cut to about 2-3 inches long. You will need to make a cut in the ring to get it around the plant stem. Others use wax paper etc. The idea is to create a barrier around the base of the plant where cutworms strike. Cutworms like to saw plants completely off just below the soil surface. Blocking them from this area of your tender plants keeps them from killing your plants.

 

Heavyweight Row CoversWhat else can you do? One thing you can do is start a defense plan early in the game. Planting a dill plant or 2 between your tomato's and a row of dill on either side of your tomato's when you plant your tomato's prevents tomato worms. Sounds crazy until you understand why. See what happens is a Carolina Sphinx AKA the Five-Spotted Hawk Moth  comes into your garden at night and lays eggs on your tomato plants. It just loves tomato's but absolutely hates the smell of dill. He will fly to the neighbors garden instead if they don't know the dill secret. I have also been told cilantro repels the Five-Spotted Hawk Moth. I haven't tried it but I do grow cilantro for making salsa.

You can also cover your tomato's at night during your local Five-Spotted Hawk Moth season. You will have to find out when this is and you will need a type of removable cover. You should get up early in the morning and remove it to allow your tomato's to breathe and get a good dose of daily sun. You can purchase 50 foot row covers at Gardens Alive!
 

 

4 lb. bag Diatomaceous EarthDiatomaceous earth is another good organic product. Be careful though I have seen diatomaceous earth at certain large chain stores that had poison in it. I don't understand the logic behind that myself. Diatomaceous earth is Made from the finely ground fossils of prehistoric fresh water diatoms. Diatomaceous earth kills common household and garden pests like slugs, beetles and countless others. It also works great in the house on cock roaches, ants etc. Some insects actually eat diatomaceous eat which is extremely fatal.

The tiny pieces are extremely sharp and actually cut insects open so they secrete to death. Spread diatomaceous earth around the base of your plants and on the actual plants. When it rains you may need to reapply. Be careful not to breathe it in and wear a mask if you aren't in an open area. It is like a powder and breathing any solid particles into your lungs should always be avoided. Make sure not to use pool grade or diatomaceous earth with any poisons added.

Diatomaceous earth also controls spider centipedes, millipedes, other crawling insects. Use indoors and outdoors for ants, fleas, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs. In home, controls carpet beetles, bedbugs and silverfish.  To control fleas lightly apply diatomaceous earth dust on pet bedding, carpets and furniture when a flea problem surfaces. Won't bother pets or humans.

Green StepTM Caterpillar ControlAnother organic product called Green StepTM Caterpillar Control works great on tomato worms. An effective all natural liquid concentrate that paralyzes caterpillars resulting in their death from starvation. You will notice crop damage to cease almost immediately. Green Step Caterpillar Control only affects targeted insects. Apply Green Step to the top and bottom of tomato plant foliage at the first sight of tomato worm damage. Then they suggest reapplying every 5-7 days. This is another highly effective way of controlling tomato worms.

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About The Author:

Written By Steve Snyder

Visit my garden seed website. We offer high quality fresh flower, vegetable and herb seed for the home gardener.

Millington Seed Co

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