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Tomato Trials Part Two

So, if you've never seen a tomato hornworm, especially one being eaten alive, you might be shocked by what you're about to see. The fact that a braconid wasp laid her eggs inside this tomato pest is good for the gardener; very bad for the hornworm. 


And as if this particular tomato, 'Tasmanian Chocolate', hasn't had enough problems, (although the hornworm didn't eat much of the plant at all) it's come down with some horrible fungus. At least I'm pretty sure it's early blight. 


There are very few leaves on this tomato plant that remain green and healthy.

It started out with smallish brown spots on the leaves and some of the fruit. Practically overnight, the leaves turned brittle and papery. But the tomatoes on the plant looked fine. In fact, they looked pretty good, but were nowhere near ripening. From the information I gathered about tomato blight (either early or late), you can still harvest tomatoes on a plant that has the fungal disease. So I just left the plant as it was--brittle leaves and all. 


Tomato 'Tasmanian Chocolate' after removing diseased leaves.

I had noticed there was fresh new growth at the end of each vine, a very good sign for the remaining tomatoes. But fungus disease spreads through its spores--via the air, insects, and our hands. So, very carefully, I removed every completely dried up leaf, trying not to touch any of the live ones. And I disinfected the pruners I used. The plant won't grow more fruit, but through the nutrients it gets through its new leaves, it will hopefully be healthy enough for the tomatoes to ripen. 

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