Friday, July 17, 2009

Tomato Fruit Worm

The tomato fruit worm known as the bollworm of cotton and the ear worm of corn, is frequently the cause of serious trouble to tomato growers, especially in the southern states, due to its pernicious habit of eating into and destroying the green and ripening fruit. For its control it is advisable not to plant tomatoes in proximity to old corn or cotton fields, nor should land be used in regions where this species is abundant until it has been fall or winter plowed. Sweet corn planted about the field before the tomatoes are set will serve as a lure for the parent moths to deposit their eggs, corn and cotton being favorite foods of this species and preferred to tomatoes. The fruit worm feeds to a certain extent on the foliage before penetrating the fruit, and it is possible to keep it in subjection by spraying with arsenicals as advised for the flea-beetles. It is suggested that arsenate of lead, being more adhesive than other arsenicals, should be used for the first sprayings, beginning when the fruit commences to form, repeating once or twice as found necessary, and making a last spraying with Paris green within a few days of ripening. This last poison will readily wash off and there is no danger whatever of poisoning to human beings, as has been conclusively proved in numerous similar cases. For the perfect success of this remedy the last spraying is essential, as those who have sprayed with an arsenical and have reported only partial good results have discontinued within about two weeks of the time of the ripening of the first fruit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


CutwormOf insects most to be feared and of those which attack the plants when they are first set out are cutworms of various species. The grower is as a rule quite too familiar with these insects, and no description of their methods is necessary, beyond the statement that they cut off and destroy more than they eat and re-setting is frequently necessary. The best remedy is a poisoned bait, prepared by dipping bunches of clover, weeds, or other vegetation in a solution of Paris green or other arsenical, 1 pound to 100 gallons of water. These baits are distributed in small lots over the ground before the plants are set, the precaution being observed that the land is free for two or three weeks from any form of vegetation. This will force the hungry "worms" to feed on the baits, to their prompt destruction. A bran-mash is also used instead of weeds or clover, and is prepared by combining one part by weight of arsenic, one of sugar, and six of sweetened bran, with enough water added to make a mash. The baits are renewed if they become too dry, or they can be kept moist by placing them under shingles or pieces of board.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Western blight (Yellows)

In the North Pacific and Rocky Mountain states, serious losses are annually caused by a disease apparently unlike any eastern trouble. It is marked by a gradual yellowing of the foliage and fruit. Development is checked, the leaves curl upward and the plant dies without wilting. The nature and cause of this disease is as yet unknown. It appears to be worst on new land. Experiments that have been made indicate that in older cultivated fields thorough preparation of the soil, manuring and cultivation, combined with care in transplanting to avoid injuring the roots and checking growth, will greatly restrict the spread of this blight.