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Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:36 pm

Something Ate My Tomato Plant!!!!!

Ok, worked quite hard to get 4 tomatoes and 4 peppers up from seeds to seedlings, and after transplanting,
only one of the tomato plants survived.

It was growing wonderfully, with big leaves, so I was excited. But then, I woke up one morning to find
some creature had eaten most of the leaves! And then the next day, it was only a stump!

All that work down the drain! But I don't want to give up!

What was the creature? I live in Tucson Arizona. Was it the birds? or rats?

Would chicken wire help? How do I prevent this disaster the next time??


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Posts: 29638
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Re: Something Ate My Tomato Plant!!!!!

In this area, I would have said deer....

Don't give up on the stumps -- tomatoes are pretty resilient. If they were indeterminate varieties, they should grow back, though at this point, the problem might be the summer heat. you have a fence around your garden? Even though I have a 5 ft picket fence all around my backyard, I still have to fence individual garden beds and garden areas against rabbits and groundHOGs.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:34 pm
Location: Brownville, Ne

Re: Something Ate My Tomato Plant!!!!!

My nemeses are rabbits and deer. Deer are kept out of the garden with an eight foot deer fence, the rabbits by a two foot chicken wire fence firmly attached to the ground with landscape pins so the devils can't crawl under. Both eat tender new tomato seedlings and peppers of all sizes. After the tomatoes get some size neither eat the tomato plants, but peppers and green beans are dessert for both. My whole garden is fenced and the peppers are fenced with 2' chicken wire. No fence will keep out rats I fear but I don't know their eating habits. Some people have a problem with squirrels...mine just eat birdseed. Birds peck at the fruit not the plants.

It sounds like you have a small area for tomatoes and peppers. Surrounding the area with a fence maybe with a top of some kind will keep critters out.

Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:36 pm

Re: Something Ate My Tomato Plant!!!!!

My garden area is in my back yard, which is fenced, so no deer.

There are tons of white-tail rabbits here, but I'm not sure if they are sneaking into my enclosed
yard. Lots of birds and quail, etc. And also gophers, or groundhogs......not sure the difference.

What I don't understand, is why these M*****F*****s don't eat the leaves of the WEEDS, instead
of my tomato plants!

Ok, so are you saying that after a certain point, the size of the plant will make it unappetizing to the

If I do this again, it will be with a chicken wire cage.......or maybe I will have to put out rat glue-traps, etc....

Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:56 pm
Location: Southwest Louisiana

Re: Something Ate My Tomato Plant!!!!!

OR-could be a horn worm. They will totally defoiliate a tomato plant in no time.

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