tomato plants and bug spray - Knowledgebase Question

HOOVER, Al
Question by weinberg69
June 30, 2009
MY TOMATO PLANTS ARE HUGE, BUT DON'T HAVE AS MANY BLOSSOMS AND TOMATOS AS THEY SHOULD. WHY? ALSO, SOME OF THE LEAVES ON MY VEGS AND HERBS ARE EATEN. WHAT SPRAY DO YOU RECOMMEND-THERE ARE SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM. THANKS.


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2009

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Too much nitrogen fertilizer can encourage lush green growth at the expense of flowers and fruit so be careful when you feed your tomato plants. They sometimes won't set flowers or fruit when the weather is really hot, so that might be contributing to the lack of fruit set. There's nothing you can do about the weather so you may just have to be more patient with your tomato plants.

There are many, many insecticides registered for use in vegetable gardens. I tend to hold off on sprays of any kind unless absolutely necessary because I will be consuming the veggies. Holes in leaves don't really affect the veggies themselves and when a population of destructive insects take up residence I find that predacious (beneficial) insects usually show up and take care of the problem. But, if you want to spray, use a Permethrin based spray. Permethrin is the oldest, and most common, of the pyrethroid insecticides. It is widely available and is sold under a number of different brand names. Permethrin is labeled for use on many different vegetable crops and is effective against many beetle, bug, and caterpillar pests. Because it controls so many different insect pests and is labeled for use on most vegetables, this is probably one of the most useful insecticides for home vegetable gardeners to keep on hand. Good luck with your garden!

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