pete28
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Holey tomatoes

:cry: I don't get it? The plants are as healthy as can be. I got home and say two beautiful ripe tomatoes and figured I would pick them for later on. They both had a real soft spot on one side and as soon as I touched it the things gushed out tomato guts everywhere? Then Ihave some that are ripening up that have holes in them like someone took a drill and layed into them? What gives?
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applestar
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Are the holes triangular? Sometimes BIRDS peck at tomatoes for the juice when it's hot and there's no water. It usually helps if you offer them water elsewhere in the garden.

pete28
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Hi applestar, the holes are completey round like something burrowed into the tomatoes. I just don't get it.
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Cuke
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I think Applestar is right,it might be birds.Last year we had bad drought with rain almost once every other month so rabbits and birds would eat the tomatoes,although rabbits usually don't eat tomatoes,it was just for water.The holes in my tomatoes were roundish and not very deep.Try placing a dish with water near the tomato plants,but not hidden by any foliage so that birds could see it and instead drink/bathe in that instead of your tomatoes.

Edit:How deep are the holes?If they go pretty far in the tomato it could also be a worm of some sort,try cutting one open to see if any worms are in it.

pete28
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Well I gues it is birds because I could not find any worms in them THis sucks every one of my tomatoes is destroyed adn I have really pretty plants. I am so aggrevated.
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Charlie MV
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skeeters.
Last edited by Charlie MV on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Birdnetting? I recently put one up for my blueberries. Putting 2L soda bottles on top of bamboo poles makes it really easy to manipulate the netting since the netting slides right over them. I think the shiny reflective surface also creates "birdscare" effect. I clipped off the red bottlecap collars incase they would *attract* birds, but that may not make a difference when covering tomatoes. Drive a deep "pilot hole" with a rebar so you can securely push the bamboo into the soil. You could overlap a "doorway" and secure with clothespins for easier access.

Oh wait! Pete, you're the one with the huge garden aren't you? Sorry, this small-scale solution might not be practical for you. :oops: ... hmm unless you want to set up large hoop tunnels... Have you read [url=https://www.amazon.com/Four-Season-Harvest-Organic-Vegetables-Garden/dp/189013227]Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman[/url] I know *he's* talking about extending the harvest in northern climates, but he describes a movable cover structure that might be adapted for your situation?

pete28
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Ha Ha yes I have a fairly good size garden. I should have mentioned I have the tomatoes in a totally seperate place in a raised bed and I only have 18 plants. So the birdnetting idea may work just fine. I will keep and eye on things to see if it is truly the birds before doing anything. Thanks a bunch and also for that link!
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Buckshot
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One thing i use for birds is the inside of potato chip bags. They are very shiny and they make noise. I cut them into strips and tie them on everything and the wind scares the heck out of birds.

Sentinel
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I have also heard you can use old cd's if you have some you don't listen too anymore, tie them together and hang them around your garden to keep out the birds
Trey Posey
Helena, AL
www.sentinelcleaninginc.com

pete28
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Ok I have 100% rules out birds it is something else because now even the tomatoes that are not ripened are getting holes in them /what the heck?
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Burnet
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One website says that corn earworms can tunnel tomatoes. Though I realize that you're not finding the worms inside, so that is puzzling.

Burnet

Edited to add: Website on the tomato fruitworm. Apparently they enter as larvae and exit as caterpillars and leave the tomato with a "messy, watery internal cavity".

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r783300111.html

pete28
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Burnet I think that is exactly it! I must strive to rid my tomatoes of these much unwanted pests!!!!
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JennyC
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What did you do, Pete? Did it work? I found two tunneled Romas today! I also found the fruitworm right next to them, but not inside -- he'd gone from one to the other, then vacated completely, so that's why you weren't finding any inside. But it was definitely a tomato fruitworm aka corn earworm.

I squished that one, so no more trouble there, and next year I may plant some corn traps, but do you have any ideas to try to save this crop?
Jenny C

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applestar
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I just read in an old OG magazine about a corn farmer who uses trichogramma wasps -- he buys cards of wasp eggs and uses twice the card than recommended. He uses pheromone traps to monitor for the pest moths and as soon as adults start showing up in the trap, he sets out the wasp eggs because trichogramma wasps attack the EGGS before the caterpillars hatch. Should work for these as well. Definitely plant to attract beneficials. Check out the sticky in Permaculture forum.

Edited to add: The trouble with this kind of solution is that the "beneficials" also attack desirable butterfly and moth eggs and larvae. Each year, I have to bring most of the Monarch butterfly eggs and cats inside to raise because if I leave them outside, they get parasitized and don't grow up to be butterflies. (Nothing more heart-breaking than to watch the 5th instar cat struggling to molt and crysalize, only to end up with the "alien" effect and find the empty cat husk in the morning. I also find them outside in late summer :sad:) Right now, I'm debating on what to do with [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image1455.jpg[/img]
He ate the leading branch including a couple of green Grape tomatoes, but my kids are thrilled to see him getting bigger and bigger. I just might have to put him in with the cabbage worm my 9 yr old is raising :roll:
Last edited by applestar on Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hendi_alex
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Just read this thread, but was clear that it is corn ear worm when you first described those almost perfectly round holes. Corn iear worm is so destructive because they go from one tomato to the next and will destroy a hole cluster while eating very little. They are very difficult to control. Don't plant your corn too close to the tomatoes. When I find a tomato with a corn ear worm hole, I generally toss the tomato far from the patch after killing the worm if present. I also carefully inspect any other tomatoes in that cluster and in any clusters that are near. Good luck. You are dealing with one of my least favorite pests.

Alex
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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