Potted tomatoes, caterpillars
Potted tomatoes, caterpillars
I have been growing potted tomatoes for three years, however every year I have a plague of green caterpillars that not only eat the leaves but burrow into the fruit before ripening. I have tried removing them one by one and also moving my pots to no avail. Is there something I can do to elevate these little critters and finally get a good yield of tomatoes, please?
The caterpillars attacking your tomatoes are the larvae of moths and/or butterflies. Eggs are laid on the surfaces of leaves in considerable numbers. and this is an ideal stage to start controlling the problem.
With a hand mister, spray with water using sufficient pressure to dislodge newly laid eggs. This action needs to be repeated regularly throughout the growing season.
There are white-coloured, very fine mesh nets available which can be placed over tomato plants (and other vegetables) to deter moths and butterflies from reaching them. While it is a laborious task, continue hand-picking the pesky caterpillars, a final resort but a better option than seeing your plants being damaged.
You can also spray plants with Neem oil – ensure you spray underneath the leaves too where the caterpillars tend to hide.
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