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What's eating my tomatoes ??

(10 Posts)
catsmother Sat 21-Jul-07 21:43:21

I've got loads of baby green "Tumbling Toms" but noticed today that just a few (thank goodness) appear to have been eaten. They've got clean looking holes taken out of them so you can see the immature green seeds inside. Can't see any sign of disease or rot so think it's definitely a creature, but does anyone know what it's likely to be and how I can stop them (preferably organically)?

This is the 1st time ever I've tried growing anything edible BTW, so apologies if this is an obvious question ...... could it be slugs ?

southeastastra Sat 21-Jul-07 21:44:15

probably they're in abundance this year, i had one that was 10 inches long. also maybe caterpillars.

catsmother Sat 21-Jul-07 21:45:54

This shows how ignorant I am ..... I didn't think slugs ate tomatoes ??

southeastastra Sat 21-Jul-07 21:47:48

they eat anything. i'm very reluctant to hurt animals but slugs are really testing my patience this year

iwouldgoouttonight Sat 21-Jul-07 21:49:25

Slugs are eating EVERYTHING in my garden lately (they are the bane of my life!). Have you tried egg shells or sawdust around the plants, copper tape around the pots, sinking a glass of beer in the ground next to them, etc? I've tried all these and have ended up resorting to slug pellets because the slugs are plotting against me.

Desiderata Sat 21-Jul-07 21:52:35

Before you condemn the slugs, are you seeing evidence of their slime?

It could be a whole host of other things.

catsmother Sat 21-Jul-07 21:56:29

I haven't used any barriers round my veggie pots because it simply didn't occur to me they'd be interested in tomatoes, chillis, onions, beans, beetroot & peas. I thought they only liked lettuce and "soft" greenery. Mind you, something nasty ate all the leaves off most of my dwarf bean plants (RIP) too and maybe they were the culprits there as well. Will have to do something tomorrow ...... saw a huge one making its way across the patio earlier, must have been about 4-5 inches long, fat & ornage (bleurgghhh).

catsmother Sat 21-Jul-07 21:57:41

There's quite a bit of slime on the patio but I admit I haven't really checked the pots themeselves. I couldn't see evidence of anything else like caterpillars or flies.

Desiderata Sat 21-Jul-07 22:06:38

The slugs are thriving on the rain. That's why they're getting bigger.

Can I suggest an organic solution that doesn't involve killing?

Put all your organic waste somewhere reasonably close to your tomatoes. Pile up the vegetable cuttings and let the slugs munch away on that.

I once managed a very large garden on this principle. If you leave the pile in the same place every night, they know where to go and they leave the rest of your crops and flowers alone.

I know it sounds naive, but I always found that it worked.

I hate killing things. It sets a bad example to your little ones.

ChristmasPud Sat 21-Jul-07 22:22:47

This happened to my toms in mini greenhouse. Solved the problem by putting gravel round them in the pots. Also gravelled roudn them when transplanted into grobags and noe they are big enough and hairy enough to look after themselves.

My Dh bought some anti slug matting which has copper in it. This gives them little electric shocks - it works but it's not cheap.

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