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Tomato Murderers.


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Something evil is murdering my 2-3" tomato seedlings.

At nightime. When I'm asleep.

Don't eat anything, just snip it off at soil level.

Tell me how to kill them, please. Organically or otherwise.

And, how do they know I'm sleeping?

.

Edited by HeijoshinCool
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Are your seedlings on the ground. If so raise them up a bit, couple of crates and a plank of some sort. Used to have the same problem with a plant that is closley related to tomato.

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Are your seedlings on the ground. If so raise them up a bit, couple of crates and a plank of some sort. Used to have the same problem with a plant that is closley related to tomato.

They are in rather large pots, maybe 18" in height, but yes, the pots are on the ground.

Did you ever see the perps?

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Could possibly be earwigs. If so you could put some moist compost nearby (mostly covered so that it stays moist) and the earwigs will move into it as it gets light. You can then dispose of them. Maybe not so much help to you as they may be living in the compost in your pots. Boric acid will kill them as well.

Slugs or snails? Beer trap.

Birds will often attack seedlings, but they usually uproot them, not snip them off.

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Could possibly be earwigs. If so you could put some moist compost nearby (mostly covered so that it stays moist) and the earwigs will move into it as it gets light. You can then dispose of them. Maybe not so much help to you as they may be living in the compost in your pots. Boric acid will kill them as well.

Slugs or snails? Beer trap.

Birds will often attack seedlings, but they usually uproot them, not snip them off.

Other types of seedlings in the pots, not touched. I don't think it's slugs or snails. I'm confused as why it's only tomatos and nothing seems to be eaten, on snipped.

Is this the earwig to which you refer?post-160749-0-95668500-1355987780_thumb.

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Yes, that's the earwig.

Older tomatoes can suffer from stem rot and can break off at soil level. Don't know if this happens with seedlings though.

Thanks. I'll take a look tonight.

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I've had it happen to me too, though the culprit usually just east the newly emerged leaves, and leaves beind the stalk/stem. sad.png

I don't know what it was, but moving the pots higher definately helps.

Well, the house I'm building is going to have a flat roof, with the garden on top, so, maybe I'll have far fewer pests.

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I've had it happen to me too, though the culprit usually just east the newly emerged leaves, and leaves beind the stalk/stem. sad.png

I don't know what it was, but moving the pots higher definately helps.

Well, the house I'm building is going to have a flat roof, with the garden on top, so, maybe I'll have far fewer pests.

I think that's an awesome idea! I had far fewer when I just had my pots on my balcony! Unfortunately, new house has a much smaller balcony space. :(

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I remember growing tomatoes in the states as a kid, we would put cut cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls around the stem, pushing into soil an inch or so. It protected them from a type of worm that did exactly as OP stated - snipping them off at exactly ground level.

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I remember growing tomatoes in the states as a kid, we would put cut cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls around the stem, pushing into soil an inch or so. It protected them from a type of worm that did exactly as OP stated - snipping them off at exactly ground level.

Son of a gun! I knew I was saving those tubes for something.

My GF has been trying to get me to toss them.

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In Texas we have a tomato horn worm - but it is hard to miss as it is big as your thumb... pretty scary looking too - vivid green with horns. It is the catipillary that becomes the large Luna Moth... Horn worms attack adult tomato plants and can strip a plant of leaves in just a couple of days... These guys are 24 hour feeders so - and BIG .. so probably not it...

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  • 1 month later...

I had a friend of mine bring me tomato seeds that were meant to be grown in Southern Florida. Over several years, I planted them in the regular ground, compost, sterilized soil and potting soil. All had the same results. They grew well with strong large stalks. They blossomed and when the tomatoes were marble size, the plants wilted and died. I gave up.

I gave some seeds to a friend of mine and his Thai wife planted them. She hilled up regular soil and kept the ditch between the rows. She only watered the ditches and not the plants. She grew beautiful large tomatoes.

Did I try that? No, I was disgusted and had given up. The hills and watering just the ditch may be the answer.

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I had a friend of mine bring me tomato seeds that were meant to be grown in Southern Florida. Over several years, I planted them in the regular ground, compost, sterilized soil and potting soil. All had the same results. They grew well with strong large stalks. They blossomed and when the tomatoes were marble size, the plants wilted and died. I gave up.

I gave some seeds to a friend of mine and his Thai wife planted them. She hilled up regular soil and kept the ditch between the rows. She only watered the ditches and not the plants. She grew beautiful large tomatoes.

Did I try that? No, I was disgusted and had given up. The hills and watering just the ditch may be the answer.

So much to learn, so little time.

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I had a friend of mine bring me tomato seeds that were meant to be grown in Southern Florida. Over several years, I planted them in the regular ground, compost, sterilized soil and potting soil. All had the same results. They grew well with strong large stalks. They blossomed and when the tomatoes were marble size, the plants wilted and died. I gave up.

I gave some seeds to a friend of mine and his Thai wife planted them. She hilled up regular soil and kept the ditch between the rows. She only watered the ditches and not the plants. She grew beautiful large tomatoes.

Did I try that? No, I was disgusted and had given up. The hills and watering just the ditch may be the answer.

Hey Gary, something tells me that your "sterilized soil and potting soil" was not sterilized at all, and i dont know where you would find sterilized soil unless it was treated with something like 'Methyl Bromide', if you want my two cents worth, Go Hydro, you will never look back, or dig weeds,but that is only my opinion.

Cheers

Scoop

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I had a friend of mine bring me tomato seeds that were meant to be grown in Southern Florida. Over several years, I planted them in the regular ground, compost, sterilized soil and potting soil. All had the same results. They grew well with strong large stalks. They blossomed and when the tomatoes were marble size, the plants wilted and died. I gave up.

I gave some seeds to a friend of mine and his Thai wife planted them. She hilled up regular soil and kept the ditch between the rows. She only watered the ditches and not the plants. She grew beautiful large tomatoes.

Did I try that? No, I was disgusted and had given up. The hills and watering just the ditch may be the answer.

Why does the ditch method work well?

First of all, it is easy to water the tomato plants without wetting the leaves, avoiding fungal and rot problems.

The water soaks sideways into the hilled up area and so is relatively deep. This forces the plant to grow deeper roots.

Often when suface watering, water only penetrates 3 cms into the soil unless the soil is very loose. This causes most of the root growth to be very shallow. Shallow roots dry out much quicker and the plant suffers stress because is usually too wet or too dry depending on the watering routine. With shallow roots the nutrients in the soil that the roots have access to is soon exausted.

When you transplant your tomato seedlings, you should always put as deep as possible, even stripping off some of the lower leaves. New roots will grow from the stem that used to be above soil level.

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Hello All, on my dirt grown plants I use drip tape to water and fertilizer and

not wet large areas that don't support the plants growth, only weeds.

Drip tape uses 60-70% LESS water than flood, and a lot less WORK than

dragging a hose around to water.

Remember, parts of 16+ provances are already having drought problems.

rice555

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