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What's killing my peppers and tomatoes?

Posted by trh701 z4sd (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 30, 10 at 11:40

Do deer eat pepper plants? I planted about 20 peppers and something has eaten most of them - just a stem remains. So I replanted and put 2-liter pop bottles around them. - Same thing. I was looking on Gardenweb and found that Deer Out seems to be a good product and if you think it is deer eating them I will try the Deer Out. If it were rabbits eating them wouldn't they just nibble or would they eat the whole thing and chew off the top of the stem?

Also, some of my tomato plants are dying. I have a row of tomatoes 75 feet long and there is an area in the middle where the plants keep dying. Two days after I replanted them the new plants looked like they were completely wilted and were laying on the ground and then they just disappear. After planting them each time I did water well but not so much that they would have drowned. After the second set of tomatoes died I put some pumpkin plants in the area and they are fine after 10 days.

I have been gardening for years but this year am gardening on someone else's property which is a few miles outside of town so I am exposed to all the wildlife. My garden area is 30x175 feet so fencing it is not an option due to the size and the fact that it is not my property.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What's killing my peppers and tomatoes?

It could be horn worms getting your pepper plants. Nasty little buggers. They can devour pepper plants overnight (I've had it happen). They look like a green catapillar, maybe 2-4 inches long & 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. They blend in well with the stems of tomato & pepper plants. If you see them, kill them!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Hornworm

RE: What's killing my peppers and tomatoes?

Would it be possible to post a picture of the damage to the pepper plants? That would really help. I agree that hornworms may be a possibility but when tomato plants are available they seldom go after peppers. So I'm thinking it is something else - climbing cutworms (slim) or a mammal of some kind like a groundhog.

As to the bad tomato growing place - that sounds like a soil pocket problem of some sort. Since the pumpkins are thriving there I'd suspect a possible hot pocket of excess nitrogen OR a soil pocket that doesn't drain well and so remains too wet. Tomato plants are much more susceptible to root rot than members of the squash family.


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