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6 Boys and 13 Hands
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10,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time I have ever seen this. Approximately 2 foot tomato plant with the top foot or so missing. I checked for deer tracks but the ground is kinda dry yet soft enough the deer would still have left a hoof impression. I do have a resident ground hog but he stays out of the garden (so far) I also have rabbits running around but they don't bother tomato plants. I ran out of tomato cages and this tomato sits between two tomato plants that have cages and none of them were bothered. I also looked around to see if the top of the tomato had been discarded by whatever cut it off but it was nowhere to be found.

This one has me stumped.
 

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completely off topic, but pull the "suckers" from the crotches of your plant, they just take nutriants from other parts of the plant (grampa showed me that) :thumb:
 

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6 Boys and 13 Hands
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10,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Perhaps squirrels or Tomato hornworm?
No on both because the stem is 1/4" in diameter much too thick for either of those pest.

Well I should've Googled it seems deer will eat tomato plants. It's just strange since I started gardening in the 60's as a kid and I have had gardens off an on here on the farm since then and I've just never ever seen anything eat the top off a tomato plant.

I suppose at 55 I'm forced to learn something new. :D:
 

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Yeah, but with 120 tomato plants I don't get them all. :D:
I only do 30 plant's so its much more attainable :thumb:

I will have to say it was a deer that are the top off, not much at ground level can snap the steam without nocking the plant over. put up a 3" fence around the garden if possible
 

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6 Boys and 13 Hands
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10,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·


Thars yer problem
No! the whole top 12" inches of the plant is missing tomato hornworms do not inflict that kind of damage.

Just in case your interested: :D:

Fried Tomato Hornworms.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
16 tomato hornworms
4 medium green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
White cornmeal

Instructions:
In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Then lightly fry the hornworms, about 4 minutes, taking care not to rupture the cuticles of each insect under high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Season tomato rounds with salt and pepper, then coat with cornmeal on both sides.

In a large skillet, fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides

Top each round with 2 fried tomato hornworms.

Garnish the paired hornworms with a single basil leaf.

Enjoy. :rofl:
 

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Stargazer Extraordinaire
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1,061 Posts
No! the whole top 12" inches of the plant is missing tomato hornworms do not inflict that kind of damage.

Just in case your interested: :D:

Fried Tomato Hornworms.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
16 tomato hornworms
4 medium green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
White cornmeal

Instructions:
In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Then lightly fry the hornworms, about 4 minutes, taking care not to rupture the cuticles of each insect under high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Season tomato rounds with salt and pepper, then coat with cornmeal on both sides.

In a large skillet, fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides

Top each round with 2 fried tomato hornworms.

Garnish the paired hornworms with a single basil leaf.

Enjoy. :rofl:
Thanks, but I'll let the mockingbirds have mine !

Rick
 

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Prepared Firebird
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3,842 Posts
My best guess is that deer have homed in on your garden.

I have had this same problem in the past. Deer raided my garden. Not only did they eat a lot of the tomatoes......they also ate the tops of the plants, etc. You're lucky to have any plants left. In my case.......not only did they eat the tomatoes and part of the remaining plants......they also trampled into the ground what they didn't eat.

Deer are attractive, graceful animals to look at........but they are also very destructive garden raiders.
 

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Red White and Blue
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6,449 Posts
uh oh, Bambi is changing her strategy.
if she ever starts growing a flourescent orange coat, we'll know we're in trouble.

any giraffes in the neighborhood?
 

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What eats the tops off of tomatoe plants?.....

Well for me that would generally be my goats, but so will deer.

I started putting wire above my tomatoe plants and grow them through the fence wire, the goats will eat down to the wire but leave the rest of the plant alone. Still not good for the tomatoe plant but at least they survive, without that they eat them all the way to the ground.
 

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I've never had a problem with deer eating the tops of my tomatoes, but I caught a groundhog red handed doing just that last year. He is no longer with us.
 

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Si vis pacem, para bellum
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8,019 Posts
Hey JDH, I see you were 56th Brigade, me too.

C 3/84, 81-82

Rick

Sorry for the off topic post but I don't run into fellow Pershing folks often, if ever.
We were on AK at the same time. HHB Commo Plt in the basement of the chow hall.

You know what happened to AK?

Sorry guys like he said there are not that many of us Pershing folks around.
 

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14,273 Posts
I am not sure on the predator of your tomatoes, but Alan had a ground squirrel eating at his tomato plants. I sprayed them with soapy water, and the problem stopped.

Soapy water made of water and dish soap seams to do wonders against insects and animals. I guess they do not like the taste of soap.

An owner of a nursery told me this trick. The soapy water kills insects. It does not hurt the plants though.
 

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202 Posts
No! the whole top 12" inches of the plant is missing tomato hornworms do not inflict that kind of damage.

Just in case your interested: :D:

Fried Tomato Hornworms.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
16 tomato hornworms
4 medium green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
White cornmeal

Instructions:
In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Then lightly fry the hornworms, about 4 minutes, taking care not to rupture the cuticles of each insect under high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Season tomato rounds with salt and pepper, then coat with cornmeal on both sides.

In a large skillet, fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides

Top each round with 2 fried tomato hornworms.

Garnish the paired hornworms with a single basil leaf.

Enjoy. :rofl:
I would have trouble stomaching that one even in a dire shtf scenario I think....even though they probably taste just like a tomato
 

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6 Boys and 13 Hands
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10,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've never had a problem with deer eating the tops of my tomatoes, but I caught a groundhog red handed doing just that last year. He is no longer with us.
Yeah I've got one those around here goes by the name of Bruno.:D: First groundhog I've seen in 35 years on the farm so I reckon he'll just have to enjoy a tomato plant or two. :xeye:
 
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