graham
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Sudden destruction. Please help me ID!

This happened in no time. It has rained the past couple days and now look. The only thing I can come up with is late blight but my tomatoes lesions are white with black edges and it's like some of them have been eaten by this affliction almost entirely. I have lost almost all of what I have on these two plants (a brandywine and a big beef) both of which had a lot of tomatoes. The Brandywine is huge. But can anyone id this and help prevent the spread to my better boy that is fifteen feet away from these two, which also has a ton of tomatoes but I only found one on it with the same marks... Oh and all the top leaves have dropped on all the plants even a bunch on the better boy. Help!

[img]https://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa117/al46033/20120908_180454.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa117/al46033/20120908_180508.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa117/al46033/20120908_180518.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa117/al46033/20120908_180609.jpg[/img]

gardenboy
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Hornworms

Hornworms have stripped the plants from top to bottom...U can see a hornworm with wasp eggs on its back in first picture..which is a good thing and a big hornworm in 3 picture. Try to pick off any of the worms U may find. The damage is all ready done but might save you some fruit.

suncitylinda
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You should probably supply some shade over any tomatoes you are trying to save. Paper plates can be wired in pretty easy.

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rainbowgardener
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Good eyes, gardenboy! Even after clicking to enlarge the photo and after you told me it was there, it took me a minute to find the hornworm with the wasp eggs near the bottom of photo one.

Just to clarify, the wasps parasitize the hornworm and kill it, which is why you want to leave the ones that look like that alone, so the next generation of parasitic wasps can hatch out.

Yup, once you get good at spotting the hornworms, just pick them off and kill them. Since they rely on camouflauge for defense, they hold still.
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graham
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Thanks. I can't believe it happened so fast. I am bummed. Well...at least I got a lot more tomatoes than last year.

graham
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I guess I should pick the ruined tomatoes and throw them away?

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rainbowgardener
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Pick off the hornworms and don't give up! There's another month of tomato season! :)
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graham
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I guess I should pick the ruined tomatoes and throw them away?

gardenboy
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ruined tomatoes

Depends on how severe the tomatoes are. U can let them ripen on counter top or outside table. If the damaged tomatoes are ripe, then just cut off the bad places and use them for sauce. Best to get them off the plant to keep fungus and virus down. Best time to look for the hornworms are just after sunrise and just at dusk, after sunset.

graham
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I guess I should pick the ruined tomatoes and throw them away?

graham
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Thanks. I can't believe it happened so fast. I am bummed. Well...at least I got a lot more tomatoes than last year.

gardenboy
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don't be bummed out !

Happens to all of US. Have to inspect plants every morning and night. Those hornworms can destroy a plant very rapidly. Here in FL you can grow herbs all year so planting basil next to your tomato plants might help keep the hornworms away. I was reading that the Hawkmoth ( lays eggs that become hornworms) does not like the smell and the basil acts as a deterrent.

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gixxerific
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rainbowgardener wrote:Good eyes, gardenboy! Even after clicking to enlarge the photo and after you told me it was there, it took me a minute to find the hornworm with the wasp eggs near the bottom of photo one.
LMFAO Same here Apple. Good Eye GB.

Sorry to see the damge that is bad.

suncitylinda
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A poster on another forum has been growing Datura for a couple of years as a bait plant for the moths / hornworms. He says it works great. Daturas are poisonous however so I am reluctant to plant them.

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rainbowgardener
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I'm going to tag along here. Lately a lot of my tomatoes have been having a similar scarring, but instead of big patches like that, it's more like streaks and only on the top half. A few of them have holes and are ruined, but most are just scarred on the surface. If you cut that off the rest of the tomato is fine. The scarred part seems to not ripen well though.

I was thinking it was hornworm damage, and with my tomato plants so huge and bushy and sprawly this year, it was difficult to tell. But since more and more tomatoes are getting scarred like that, I decided to go looking. I swear I went over two plants branch by branch, waded into the middle of the plant, pulled off a lot of excess leaves to improve visibility, put my nose right up next to the stems... I found one hollowed out, empty skin, with empty wasp cocoons. So clearly there was one there at one time. But I swear I could not find any other or anything else visible causing the damage.

So... is there something else that might be scarring my tomatoes like that? Any tips on finding the culprit? Since I couldn't find it in the daytime, maybe it comes out at night?
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gardenboy
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Tomato scarring

Did you cut open the tomato to see if the culprit was inside? Sometimes I get pinworms inside the damaged fruit and also my peppers. Look inside the gel part of the tomato.

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rainbowgardener
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Nope, not mostly anything inside.

Here's a "fall harvest" picture I took, but if you click to enlarge it, you can see the tracks on the tomatoes.

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/Fall2012-1.jpg[/img]
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applestar
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I think at least part of the scarring is being caused by stink bugs... Do you have them in your garden?

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rainbowgardener
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Ahh.... I'm not quite sure. They look a lot like squash bugs. I definitely had a bunch of something that was either one or the other, I was thinking squash bugs. They were in the same bed that those tomatoes are in. I had a squash plant growing in the middle between the tomato plants. But after I gave up and pulled the zucchini, I haven't been seeing the squash (?) bugs. I would think if they were there I would have noticed them while I was peering around looking for the hornworms, they are big and black and ugly (the squash/ stinkbugs, not the hornworms).

But that's not a no, and now that you mention it, I do think they cause that kind of damage.

Is there a different way to look for the stinkbugs?
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gixxerific
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Stink bugs are wider than squash bugs where they are more slender. They both come in many colors though stink's are usually brown. I am lucky enough to have both. :D I have see this kind of damage myself. The millions of pill bugs aint helping either. They have been hurting a lot of my veggies. But they make or round holes like a sccop.

Just spray a heavy dose of DDT on everything you will be fine. LMFAO

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applestar
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i think they damage apples in the same way too. A brown spot that is corky under the skin. I'm not seeing a "horde" like two years ago, but I'm definitely seeing them in ones and twos here and there -- Especialy peppers, tomatoes, beans. I saw one walking along the top wire of my 7ft trellis, too high for me to do anything. :evil:

I think shifting the foliage around or spraying with water to get them to move and reveal themselves seems like the best way to spot them.

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