bugs eating tomato blossoms

honu(z11 HI)December 23, 2005

This is my first time growing Marianna's Peace, Cherokee Purple, Druzba, Carbon, and Yellow Brandywine, and I've been so excited to see them loaded with blossoms this month. We're having nice dry, warm, sunny, non-humid weather right now, so I'm surprised I'm not getting any fruit to set(other than 2 CPs). I think I saw the problem the other day... tiny light green, bugs that fly and look like pictures of the thrips in my gardening book are inside all the blossoms. It looks like they are eating the blossoms, since the blossom insides are brown and damaged looking. I found the bugs inside the blossoms in mid-day, so was afraid to spray for fear of burning the plants in direct sun. In the cool mornings and evenings, I don't see them in there. Has anyone dealt with this kind of problem? I would be most grateful for any organic suggestions to control these bugs and allow me to have some fruit.

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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

I would be most grateful for any organic suggestions

Many of the soap sprays that are marketed fit in with an organic program. In particular, you'll want to look for the words *potassium salts of fatty acids* on the label.

Spray in the evening or the morning, any time there is no direct sun on the plants. Important to spray all surfaces of plant, bottoms of leaves especially. Rinse off all of the soap spray after a couple of minutes if you wish, as it can make plants photosensitive in hot climates if left on. The soap spray works on contact by rupturing and dehydrating soft bodied insects. Treat twice a week for a couple of weeks (many soft bodied insects are on a 3 day lifecycle), then once every 7-10 days afterwards.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 4:57AM
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honu(z11 HI)

Thanks Suze! Is it ok to spray INSIDE the blossom? Unfortunately they are inside the blossoms in the heat of mid-day, so I was afraid spraying would burn. The problem is I don't see them during the cool early am or evening, when I don't have to worry about burning -- and the spray requires direct contact. Ok, you gave me an idea... I'll try shaking the plants till they fly off, then try spraying them as they fly off... hope the mist will catch some of them. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 7:21PM
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jch1785

Came across your post and I think I may have the same problem. I just started noticing that none of my blossoms on one of my Brandywine plants had no petals. Upon closer inspection most of the blossoms are brown and damaged looking.

I just bought and sprayed with some kind of insecticide... none of my other plants are having this issue, should I worry about it spreading?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 1:50AM
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