tomato leaves eaten....

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Hello All,
I was a little disturbed to find half my tomato plants leaves eaten off this morning. Seems some sort of critter picked all the leaves clean off. He ate all the tomato leaves off the plants that we not in cages, I had intended to stake them. My neighbor had an opossum in their yard last year. Maybe it was another opossum? I've never had anything disturb my tomato plants before. It looks like he might have tried a pepper plant but didn't like them. Garlic, onions, radishes, green beans, and lettuce all we untouched. Any suggestion on how to save my remaining and replacement tomatoes?
Thanks in advance,
Craig Staten Island, NY
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Probably tomatoe hornworm... They can be VERY rapidly destructive!
Find the critter, kill it, then most of the leaves should grow back.
You can spray the plant with liquid sevin. It biodegrades.
K.
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Please read up on Sevin before you use it. It does biodegrade, but it's more complicated than that: http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/carbaryl-ext.html
http://www.pesticide.org/carbaryl1.pdf
http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/NewScience/wildlife/frogs/2001relyeaandmills.htm
Sue
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In article

Look, I know that pesticides are bad and work hard to develop my biocontrol. Lizards, snakes, toads, spiders, assasin bugs and ladybird beetles are all welcome in my garden and there are plenty of them.
But when it comes to rapid destruction by critters such as hornworms, there is a time and a place for pesticides and sevin is the most benign of them!
I try to hand pick them, but the little bastards are hard to spot!!!
And they do oh so much damage oh so quickly. :-(
Pans of beer work for slugs and snails. Dark Ale seems to attract far more of them than cheap beer but that does not atttract hornworms. ;-)
I try, I really do, to stay as organic as possible, but sometimes it's just not practical!
K.
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In article <KatraMungBean-
snipped-for-privacy@centurytel.net says...

I thought malathion was less dangerous than Sevin? Seems to me I remember reading it wasn't harmful to anything with a functioning liver, as the liver converted it to something harmless.
But Sevin is the best spray for cornsilks :-).
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Malathion kills birds. Sevin does not...
I lost some baby ducklings because my neighbor used Malathion for fire ants and it washed into my yard during a rain. :-(
K.
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Hi Again all,
Hornworms eh.....
All the leaves were taken from the stem on every plant except 4 now. Also today 2 Pepper plants were stripped. Do they eat those as well? I'll have to check for the buggers tommorrow morning when there is some light. I guess I'll try the sevin....
Thanks
Craig
says...

benign
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Go out at night with a flashlight. They are more active then and easier to spot, especially towards the top of the plants!
Yeah, they will eat peppers if they are hungry and cannot get tomatoes! Same family of plants.
K.

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Hornworms are big and easy to control by simply picking them off. Look for them by noting the damage, and looking in that area. Also, if it's quiet enough, you can shake the plant and listen for the clicking noise.
We used to amuse ourselves by plucking them off and feeding them to the chickens.
If you see one with little white cocoons on its back, leave it alone. It will do little damage, and the cocoons will hatch little parasitic wasps that will work well at keeping the hornworm population down.
Ray
says...

hornworms,
fire
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Have you tried Bt for the hornworms?
I wasn't trying to be judgmental, and I'm glad you didn't take it that way. We all have to make decisions about what level of pesticide use we are comfortable with....I was just hoping to encourage people would educate themselves before automatically reaching for the spray. It sounds like you are working to create a balanced ecosystem and I applaud you for it.
Personally, I use dormant oil, "Sluggo" for slugs, Bt for serious caterpillar infestations (such as fall webworms), insecticidal soap, and that's it. I handpick some pests, and learn to live with others. I encourage beneficial predators as much as possible, and try to follow good cultural practices to avoid the need for fungicides. I don't grow things, such as roses, that need continual fussing over.
Aside from the real and potential harmful effects of pesticides/herbicides, I just hate suiting up to use them....and I'm willing to bet that many homeowners and gardeners skip the warnings about goggles, protective clothing and respirators.
Cheers, Sue
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Hi SugarChile,

My family has a rose that came from my grandmother, and never give flower after my grandmother pass aways. My father put a lot of effort on it to just keep it alive, a lot of spry and fertiliser still end up an unhelthy plant.
After my father pass away, one day I found that it's dead from the root up, just the top of the plant still remain green. I lay the green part to the ground, and manage to make it come out shoot and root.
In my hand, I never give it any fertiliser, and never spray, I even don't care when something eating the leave. The only thing I do are replace the soil yearly when the soil are lacking organic matter, and remove the old branches to force it come out some new one. It now giving flower and sometime will four or five flower at the sametime.
I do believe as long as we keep the soil good, and constantly remove old plant/brances, it will stay helthy for most of the time. This included those plant that people believe hard to maintain.
Regards, Wong
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Hello Wong, I have been enjoying your posts and your contributions.
I agree with you that working to keep the soil healthy will lead to healthy plants. I have clay soil, which is high in nutrients, but needs a lot of organic material added. I have been working on my soil for almost twenty years, and in places it is now black and rich. Most of my plants do well with only the periodic addition of compost and mulch.
We have very high humidity here for extended periods in the summer, and many rose varieties, even the resistant ones, fall prey to blackspot. We also have a lot of Japanese beetles, which seem to favor roses above all else. There are so many beautiful and wonderful things I can grow without intensive care, that I decided to forgo roses and enjoy the ones my neighbors grow.
Your grandmother's rose sounds wonderful, and I'm glad you were able to help it thrive,
Cheers, Sue
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Hi SugarChile,

Thanks for your encouragement, I realy appreciate this. :-)
Recently I was depress and told myself I should keep quiet and go back to work. Yesterday I saw your post but don't know how to reply, but it do encourage me to do other posting.

and many

Here I stay are tropical area, we can prune at all time. In this case I will remove all branches with blackspot up to the crown, even this will make the rose branchless. The new branches come out after this will be OK. If we do this early, we do avoid the need of making the rose branchless.
Remove(thinning) old branches from time to time will help to avoid a lot of problem in my experience. Normally I will remove the new shoot from a branch after it give flower to stop the branch continua growing, and remove the branch when the existing leave change to a colour that indicate it's too old to function properly.

else.
I think the plant will develop it own defend if we let it go on after a few regrow. This work for me. But we need to prune it for help balance the food it make and the food it useup. Sometime we may need to remove all buds to stop the new grow/flower for a while to accumulate the food to help it survive.

I do this as well. If the species does not work well at my land, I just look for another species. But if I really need it, I will try to develop my old ecotype.

to help

I do propagate it with the cutting I get when pruneing, and remove those does not grow well. I hope this will help to develop a ecotype that live better at my land.
Thanks, Wong
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Perhaps it was in mourning for your grandmother.

Excellent! I really like the idea of a plant that comes down through a family for multiple generations. A rose is much nicer than our family plant (an apparently immortal philodendron that goes back at least to the early 1960s).

For many plants, especially trees (and roses really are a sort of small tree) that's true. Sometimes we fuss over them TOO much and perhaps get things out of balance, when leaving well enough alone would be better.
~REZ~
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Hi Rez,

I do believe helping a short term to give it time to develop the *skill?* to survive are OK, but not long term protection from me. If it does not cope with the environment for a given period, it's it choice to go, so let it go. I better spend my time on something else.
Regards, Wong
-- Latitude: 06.10N Longitude: 102.17E Altitude: 5m
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To listen to the rose nu^H^H enthusiasts, you'd think they were all that way, but plenty of glorious roses do just fine in an atmosphere of malign neglect. We have some that get minimal care (trim off obviously dead/broken stuff, but not pruned beyond that, douse with insecticidal soap as needed and a systemic once a year, and lots of water) and they bloom like crazy. One is presently making clumps of blooms the size of dinner plates.

If it requires all that, it's too much work, and I look for something else to use :)
~REZ~
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In article

I'm even putting predators inside my new greenhouse. ;-) Anyone squishes a spider in my yard gets yelled at!!!
Gourd birdhouses encourage house wrens and they pretty much clean up the yard of bugs when they have babies, but unfortunately, they also eat spiders. Most of my spiders are nocturnal so they still do ok.
Tell me more about Bt for hornworms??? I'm really not well educated on that product.

Try the beer. Besides, it's somewhat satisfying to see a pan of drowned slugs. <G>

I also gave up on roses except for climbing blazes. Those do ok with no fuss. I just had too many roses die. <sigh>
Soap spray is great, but my ladybird beetle population is high enough now to pretty much take care of apids, mealy bugs and scale. You should have seen the larvae in the asparagus bed last year! There were ladybird pupae all over the ferns. It was neat. :-)
I've taken care of my dill pests (swallowtail butterfly larvae) by planting extra parsley and fennel to place them on. They can eat all of that that they want.

Thanks! Kat
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In article <KatraMungBean-
snipped-for-privacy@centurytel.net says...

Do a google on "rugosa hybrid roses". They're shrub roses, and you can't kill'em if you try. Look up F.J.Grootendorst, Marie Bugnet (no, not Therese Bugnet), and Hansa.
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One major thing I have against sevin is that it is particularly effective against bees.
Ray
wrote in message news:KatraMungBean->

ladybird
hornworms,
benign
far
;-)
it's
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il Mon, 10 May 2004 09:20:03 -0500, Katra ha scritto:

Would putting a cut open container around the plants reduce the chewing? We have no such thing as that hornworm but I do find a little plastic barrier slows some creatures down. Especially the darn birds that like to break the stems. One can then use bait that's out of reach of animals too.
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