Last Updated on May 9, 2020 by Matt Gardener
How do I protect my tomato plants from bugs? This is one of the questions I constantly asked myself and anyone I knew back when I started gardening.
I started gardening as a hobby and my fascination with how life is made and tendered until it blossoms into something nutritious. As a result, I wasn’t well versed with the knowledge of how to care for plants and keep them away from bugs.
My tomato plants suffered from persistent attacks from bugs, and I was underwhelmed by this. Not until I carried out some research on my own and ran a few experiments on my garden with my tomato plants did I come up with lasting solutions on how to protect my tomato plants from bugs.
The tips and tricks I learned are what I will be sharing with you in detail below.
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How Do I Protect My Tomato Plants From Bugs?
Here are a few things you can do to protect your tomato plant from bugs.
Plant your herbs and spices alongside your tomato plants
This is considered the oldest trick in protecting tomato plants from bugs. It is called companion planting, and it has proven useful in protecting tomato plants from bugs. The idea behind this trick is to confuse pest bugs from identifying tomato plants.
Some bugs enjoy the flavor of ripe, juicy tomatoes and would do whatever it takes to feed on them while causing havoc to the fruits. When tomato plants are grown in the company of herbs, spices, and flowers, their strong scents help ward off these destructive bugs.
Herbs like Basil help to ward off insects like whiteflies, which attack tomato plants. Oregano also protects tomato plants from bug attacks, likewise carrots, sunflowers, nasturtiums, and marigolds.
Read Also: Blue Star Creeper Plant Care
Introduce Ladybugs to Your Tomato Plant
Ladybugs are harmless to tomato plants but harmful to bugs that pester tomato plants, such as aphids, and their eggs.
Buy a bag of living ladybugs from a local nursery, cut the bag open, and allow the ladybugs to come out onto the tomato plants. The ladybugs will make a meal out of the attacking bugs and their eggs.
Mulching is a natural way of protecting tomato plants from bugs. It is basically cost-effective and poses no threat to your tomato plant.
One of the benefits of mulching is that it helps conserve soil moisture. Also, while it disintegrates, it adds nutrients to the soil, which in turn nourishes the tomato plants through its roots, while ensuring that the plant becomes healthier and more resistant to pest and disease attacks. Mulch keeps weeds away.
Weeds are the major culprits when it comes to bug attacks. Weeds host bugs and getting rid of weeds or keeping them at bay will lower the number of potential pests that are taking shelter in your garden.
At the base of each tomato plant, apply about three to four inches of mulch. Use mulching materials such as grass clippings, shredded leaves, and wood chips.
Read Also: How to Mulch Around Shrubs
Use Horticultural Oils
Horticultural oils such as neem oil are commonly used to make natural insecticides. These natural insecticides are effective against common tomato bugs such as aphids, caterpillars, and even powdery mildew. The insecticides get rid of these bugs by either poisoning or suffocating them.
To get rid of tomato bugs using horticultural oils, apply the oil like you would any standard insecticide spray. Mist it on the affected parts of the tomato plant.
Tomato plants and its foliage are often prone to attacks from harmful bugs. It is, however, necessary that in protecting the plants, you refrain from using chemical products and means.
Try some of the tips and tricks listed above. They are not just natural means of protecting tomato plants from bugs; they are safe and effective as well.