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State of the Tomato

August 20, 2009

At the beginning of the summer I made a rash statement that the German Queen tomato plant in my garden was a lazy do nothing kind of gal. Well, I take it all back. She may have been a late bloomer but and her friend the Cherokee Purple Rose tomato plant in the next bed over, have been top producers in the long run. Their fruits are very different, but both are very tasty.

I should also say that while the Beefsteak was the first to produce, followed by the Marion both produced much smaller fruits and much less. The Brandywines weren’t even in the competition. I am surprised at that outcome. I truly expected the Brandywine and Beefsteak to bear much larger fruits. The Marion was a complete unknown so I didn’t have a pre-conceived notion of how it would grow.

German Queen Tomato Cherokee Purple Rose Tomato

There could be many reasons for the outcome above. The plants have had some rain, but not too much and many hot, humid days. Insect attacks abound and I have thrown a number of tomatoes in to the compost bin with worms inside and we won’t even mention the birds and other larger critters. There have also been a group of small ant looking insects that gather where the stem and tomato come together. I tried to take a photo of the entire group, but they were shy and I only got one but it is a good pic. I am not sure what they are doing or even who they are, but I would like to invite them to feast elsewhere. Do you know who this is?

Bashful Bug on Cherokee Rose Tomato Plant


Actually, the Coop Extension specialist here in York County says that it is the nymph of a leaf-footed bug which is a relative of the stink bug. He provided the following link for further research: . They evidently travel in groups and this one was running to join his friends when I captured his photo. The others are hiding between this tomato and the one right next to it under the stem.

The gray bugs in this post are the adult version. They evidently eat seed pods and fruit which explains why I have found them all over my older sunflowers as well as the tomatoes and pumpkins.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 4:46 pm

    That looks like the same bugs you had earlier this summer. I will be going to the extension office to volunteer tomorrow…if I remember, I will look up your bug in the insects book.

  2. August 21, 2009 2:40 pm

    The best I could find was a milkweed assassin bug nymph…..

    • Lauren permalink*
      August 21, 2009 8:06 pm

      Thanks Janet. I took your advice and emailed the photo to Paul Thompson, the horticulturalist at our extension office last night. I had his answer first thing this morning. I have updated the post to reflect his response.

  3. August 22, 2009 9:37 am

    Glad you found out!! My agent (York Co. VA) asked if it could be a stink bug, but I poo-pooed it thinking the shape of the nymph was so different from the stink bug. That’s why they get the big $$! 😉

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