041 Who's Eating My Tomatoes, Part 3. Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects.


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Aug 29 2020 23 mins   13

Welcome back to our little insecticidal soap opera, "Who’s Eating My Tomatoes?" College horticulture professor Debbie Flower joins us for our big finale of this three part series, which looks at the insect critters that don’t necessarily chew the tomatoes, but they sure make them look ugly and unappetizing. It's the sucking, piercing, rasping insects of tomatoes that get our attention today, along with a look at the beneficial insects, the garden good guys, that can do a better job than most chemicals at controlling your tomato pests. (Those are braconid wasp eggs on the back of that tomato worm in the picture. When they hatch, the larvae will burrow into the worm and eat the worm from the inside out. Look carefully, you might even see the braconid wasp!)
But those good guys need a home in your yard, so we talk about their housing requirements: the flowering plants that should be in everyone’s yard to provide natural control over tomato pests. Think of yourself as building the "Good Bug Hotel."
And to wrap up all this tomato talk, we answer the question: The Tomato: Is It a Fruit or a Vegetable? Turns out, both are correct. We’ll tell you why.

Links
An interactive master list of all tomato pests
A chart of beneficial insects for the garden
Building the Good Bug Hotel: beneficials and the plants they love
Natural Enemies Handbook
"Pests of the Garden and Small Farm" 3rd edition

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