VeggieGrower
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Radioactive hands

I came in from the garden last night after tucking my 36 tomato plants back into their cages and as I was washing up my husband came in and asked, "What kind of radioactive crap have you been putting out there?" :shock:

Does anyone know what it is about tomato plants that puts that bright green stuff all over you when you touch them?

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farmerlon
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Re: Radioactive hands

VeggieGrower wrote:... Does anyone know what it is about tomato plants that puts that bright green stuff all over you when you touch them?
that's interesting... I am curious to hear more about that. :?:

I have never experienced anything of the sort. I handle my tomato plants just about every day; inspecting, removing suckers, and harvesting. I've never noticed the plants leaving anything on me.

I do believe someone should invent a cologne that smells like tomato plants! :lol: :D

shaefins
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Re: Radioactive hands

farmerlon wrote:I do believe someone should invent a cologne that smells like tomato plants! :lol: :D
https://www.demeterfragrance.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=969

https://www.demeterfragrance.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=970

I had the former years ago; it smells "just" like tomato plants.

TZ -OH6
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Glandular hairs (trichomes) that act as predator deterents.

https://www.astrographics.com/GalleryPrintsIndex/GP2023.html



There is a sensationalized article that people posted about last year called something like Carnivorous tomatoes, where the scientists proposed that since some bugs got stuck in the goo and died the tomatoes was acting like a carnivorous plant by benefitting from the nutrients released by the dead bugs when they hit the dirt nd decomposed.

Some varieties are worse than others. If I walk through my patch with a white shirt on it comes back yellow green. It's as good a reason for naked gardening as any....to keep your clothes clean.



I always end up with yellow green towels after pinching suckers. the soap never takes it all off. I should probably try the stuff my mechanic buddy uses in the shop for grease.

LindsayArthurRTR
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Every time I touch my tomatoes, the stems more than the leaves, I come back stained lime green. Dawn dish soap takes most of it off. If I have been out there for extended periods of time, I have to use GOJO. It gets every speck of lime off. The wash water looks like its glowing!
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TWC015
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My tomato plants give off this liquid as well. It is usually not much but sometimes there is quite a bit on the stems making them wet as if it had just rained.

GardenJester
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you been watering your tomatoe plants with green Gatorade? :P

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applestar
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I've noticed that sense of touching something wet when handling tomato plants, even when they're dry.

OK, what's GOJO?

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Gojo is heavy duty pumice soap :) smells like orange zest. Yum!!!
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farmerlon
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fascinating ... I'm wondering why many of you have experienced "green" hands and clothes from the tomatoes, but it doesn't seem that everyone has?
Do you find this happens more with certain varieties? If so, which varieties?
Could there be a common denominator in fertilizer practices, that accentuates the "green oil" from the tomato plants?

and Shaefins ... wow, a Tomato Cologne !!!!
amazing :D

LindsayArthurRTR
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I have never NOT noticed it. If you look really closely on the stems, you can almost see it glistening...shimmering. More sap-like than oil. I believe it is what is responsible for the strong aroma, which, to me, is deeply nostalgic and comforting. I don't, however, think it would make a very good cologne. :shock: Yuck!
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TZ -OH6
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I too am surprised that some of you have never experienced it. I thought it was pretty standard with tomatoes. Maybe some of the common hybrids are cleaner than others, or maybe I've just been handling my plants a lot tieing them up, sticking branches back into cages, pinching off suckers, etc.

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I've always called this "tomato smut"--not pleasant, but I do enjoy watching my wash water turn neon yellow when I lather up to my elbows after working with the tomato plants. If you have lots of plants, eventually it will build up on your skin and turn almost black.

There is a great picture of this in Amy Goldman's book, Heirloom Tomatoes. You have to know it in order to recognize it, otherwise it just looks like her hands are covered with dirt. But in the photo... here let me see if I can find it...

[img]https://www.rareforms.com/wp-content/themes/Green/images/growing_miracles.jpg[/img]

Yep, her hands are that color just from working with all her tomato plants. This is one of my favorite pictures from her book...

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Yeah, I get that, too, especially when I'm pruning my suckers.

Awesome tomato pic, by the way. what kind is it?
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farmerlon
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TZ -OH6 wrote:I too am surprised that some of you have never experienced it. I thought it was pretty standard with tomatoes. Maybe some of the common hybrids are cleaner than others ...
I have a mix of both Heirloom and Hybrid tomatoes in my garden; probably about 5 times more Heirlooms than Hybrids.
I don't know why, but I don't see that effect from the tomatoes at all... no green hands, no green clothes, no black/green "smut" on me. I don't go crazy "fondling" :oops: :P :D the plants, but I am maintaining them in some form or fashion, daily.

That's why I was curious to get an idea of others' fertilizing practices. :?: I've read (somewhere in the past) that tomato plants will "weep" excess nitrogen when they are fertilized "heavily". Maybe that's not the answer, I don't know.

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applestar
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Now I'm curious, what if someone soaked the stuff off their hands and tested the water? Would they get high N reading? Would it stand to reason that the yellow/green liquid oxidizing(?) to dark green/black could be high in N? Is ANY plant juice high in N?

LindsayArthurRTR
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Does anyone else get a short-lived rash from picking okra? I am not only green, but bumpy. It's a wonder anyone will associate with me.


I pick my okra with socks on my hands :)
That's why I was curious to get an idea of others' fertilizing practices. I've read (somewhere in the past) that tomato plants will "weep" excess nitrogen when they are fertilized "heavily". Maybe that's not the answer, I don't know.
Converted my garden from turf (mostly clover). Tilled it under, then planted (april 27) When I planted I gave a scoop (like 2 cups) of mushroom compost mixed with well rotten chicky-poo in the planting hole :D I have not fed them anything but that since planting. I have lots of sap on my may-moes.
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farmerlon
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LindsayArthurRTR wrote:...When I planted I gave a scoop (like 2 cups) of mushroom compost mixed with well rotten chicky-poo ...
hmmm... the chicken poo could be a "high nitrogen" source :?: , though I would have thought that it's effects might not be so long lasting.

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farmerlon
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Marlingardener wrote:Does anyone else get a short-lived rash from picking okra?
Once last year, I forgot what I was doing and picked some Okra, without gloves on my hands... after a few minutes, my hands felt like there were 1,000 stinging needles attacking them. :shock:
I had to go inside and wash off thoroughly; I returned to picking the Okra with gloves, and everything was fine again.

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I did a search on "tomato trichomes nitrogen" and found this

https://www.springerlink.com/content/m706086g7v606081/

A high nitrogen plant allocates less defensive volatile chemicals, which I read to mean high fertilizer = fewer glandular trichomes = less goo.

This study indicates that both light and nutrients affect trichome development but there is not enough info from the abstrct for me to tell how.

https://www.jstor.org/pss/4221246

It is also theoretically possible that insect damage can cause the plant to make more trichomes on new growth.

https://www.pitt.edu/~biology/Dept/pdf/1723.pdf

My plants tend to get hit hard with flea beetles when they are little, and often have quite a few aphids later on.

Humidity could also be a factor. I expect that the goo dries out.

So it seems very plausible that a number of factors could make the difference between clean plants and radioactive ones.



The hard core dope growers would probably know because the glandular trichomes hold the active ingredient. The stickier the buds the better.

petalfuzz
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garden5 wrote:Yeah, I get that, too, especially when I'm pruning my suckers.

Awesome tomato pic, by the way. what kind is it?
That picture is of a "Goldman's Italian American" tomato, available commercially through Baker Creek heirloom seeds. It is a red over-sized plum tomato, good for cooking with, etc.

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