Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More on those tomato bugs!

Thanks to the macro setting on my camera, I've taken some up close and personal shots of the bugs that are currently inhabiting my tomato plants.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Bonjour! Je suis une buggy bug!  J'adore les tomates!
(I have decided that he is French)

The little buggy colony.  There are clusters like this on most leaves.
The poor, adorable, vulnerable tomatoes.
They're just starting to turn yellow.
And just for fun - I've got three blossoms on the squash starter
plant I bought at Whole Foods! Yum yum yum!

And because I didn't give a wide-angle shot in the previous post,
this is what the patio currently looks like. It needs a little work,
but it's getting there!


  1. Yep, darlin--aphids. Nasty buggers, love tomatoes. You can tell by the little horns on their butts--called cornicles. The ones I get are green, but they come in all hues.

    Suggestions from a UC botany site can be found here

    The "just knock 'em off with a strong blast of water" is fine for trees, but bad advice for tomato plants. Tomato go ow. I'd go with an insecticidal soap--it should kill the ones that are on the plant already, but won't leave a residue which would kill bees later on, and shouldn't screw up the DNA or immune function of the plants themselves.

  2. What about a mixture of neem oil and water? You mix it up in a spray bottle and spray it on. It's an all natural bug repellant. (While typing "bug repellant" I accidentally typed "butt repellant" and I almost left it because HOW FUNNY IS THAT?

  3. Send these photos to my gardening teacher: Tell him I was in his class in Tarzana and ask if he can tell you what they are.

  4. While that works sometimes, more often the ladybugs just get out of the tin and wander off. That's always a risk when asking anything with an exoskeleton to help you. Cheeky buggers.

    What else have I learned from my tomato experiments? Lots of sun, deep soil, plenty of water. Snails will eat any leaves that trail the ground but don't typically climb the stems. Bumblebees tend them very diligently so try not to spray them for aphids while they're out (try in the late evening--my bees usually go home for the night around dinnertime) and keep off the flowers as best you can. I don't really know much about little plants--my vines are huge and leafy but if your neighbours upstairs kept them in pots they're probably a dwarf variety. Which I hasten to add, put out plenty of fruit! They just don't make for a very good privacy hedge.