Not too surprisingly, the bin did heat up quite a bit, but neither that nor the large amount of tomato waste seemed to harm the worm population (not noticeably anyway). Incidentally, it was the addition of all this material that led to the growth of my compost bin tomatoes last summer.
By the way, if you are concerned about the acidity of tomatoes, you might try adding crushed eggshells to your bins to provide some extra buffering capacity. Adding lime is an option as well, but keep in mind that composting worms generally prefer a somewhat acidic pH anyway, so you definitely don’t want to go overboard with this.
We’ve tried a bunch of foods in our bins at home and have a nice list for you to keep things simple. Vegetable scraps: apple cores, peels, carrot tops and wilted lettuce or trimmings.
Non-citrus fruit work best, such as watermelon rind, strawberry tops, old blueberries, etc. Drastically limit citrus or eliminate all together to avoid fruit flies and to keep the bin clean smelling and easy to work with.
Onions Spicy peppers Twigs Meat Daily Oily foods Plastic Metal Glass Animal feces FINICKY EATERS: If after a week you notice food hasn’t been touched, they may not be too fond of it.
EASY TO PLEASE: If they are happy with the food, temperature and moisture level, they will stay put in the bin even with the top off! SPOIL ‘EM ROTTEN: If you really want to make brats out of your worms, chop up their food.
Your bin may be completed in record time by making it easier for the worms to break down the scraps. You can also store chopped up food in the frig until ready to feed if you end up with extra.
PUT THAT FOOD TO BED: Because we keep our worms inside our garage, it’s important to us that the bin not call fruit flies, mice or get over-run with ants. Folks that dump food on top increase the chance of fruit flies or yukky smells. The best method is to make layers of food and bedding with a big layer of bedding on top.
We make our own fertilizers and have info on this site and more comprehensive e-book with tons of great recipes. Tomato fruit worms can be cream, yellow, green, red, or brown.
Worms (larvae) enter fruit, usually at the stem end, and can work their way through the entire tomato. The worm consumes the tomato’s interior and leaves a cavity filled with fluid and droppings.
Once larvae enter fruit, they cannot be treated directly, since they’re protected by the tomato’s exterior. Treat plants with BT in the afternoon or evening, since it breaks down in UV light.
Once the pests hatch and ingest the chemical, they are paralyzed, unable to eat, and die. Use need oil or insecticidal soap once a week and after rain.
Treat plants with Spinoza, a natural, broad-spectrum insecticide made from soil microbes. Or treat plants with the insecticide Seven every 5-7 days when fruit begins to set (worms are untouchable once they get inside tomatoes).
Find out all kinds of other information about tomato fruit worms on this page. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing worms on your tomato plants after careful cultivation of your garden.
They may feed on the leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit of the tomato plant. The “worms” on your tomato plants are actually caterpillars, or the larval stage of moths.
These larvae are often brown or green, and will feed on the leaves and other parts of your tomato plants. The green worms can blend in easily with the leaves on your tomato plants, which give them excellent camouflage.
In extreme cases, you may lose all the leaves on a plant in one night if there are enough worms feeding on it! Here are a few of the types of worms that eat tomato plants, along with a description of their appearance and activities.
Both of these types are bright green worms with long horns coming out of the back side. Both of them can feed on tomatoes, tobacco, and other nightshade plants such as peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.
On the other hand, tobacco horn worms have diagonal stripes and a red horn on the back of the body. In the spring, the moths of both horn worm species lay eggs on the bottom side of leaves, such as those on tomato plants.
If they survive the growing season, they spend the winter in the soil in cocoons. Finally, moths emerge from the cocoons to lay eggs on the leaves of new plants, thus repeating the cycle.
Arachnid wasps will often parasitize horn worms by laying eggs on their backs. Fall army worms are brown or gray, and males have a white spot on each wing.
The cutworm will chew around the stem and eventually cut down the plant, causing it to fall over. Fallen plants, severed at the stem near the soil line, is a telltale sign of cutworm damage.
If you are unlucky, a single cutworm will move along an entire row of tomatoes, cutting down multiple plants in one day. It eats calciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, but it can also affect beans, celery, lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes.
The larva arches its back into a loop as it crawls, giving it the name of Cooper. As mentioned above, some worms will eat all parts of a tomato plant, including leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit.
A severe infestation of worms on a tomato plant can lead to defoliation (loss of most or all leaves) in a single night! Worms will eat the leaves of tomato plants, but they may also go for the stems, flowers, and fruit as well.
For this reason, it is a good idea to plant your tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes in different parts of the garden. When insects crawl over diatomaceous earth or come into contact with it, the sharp pieces cut holes in their bodies.
Diatomaceous earth is sharp enough to cut bugs open on contact. If you decide to use diatomaceous earth on your plants, you may end up hurting pollinators.
The idea is to either kill the worms or to make the taste of the plant so unappealing that they will leave in search of greener pastures and tastier food. As with diatomaceous earth, be sure to wear a mask when you use need oil to avoid breathing it in.
Ladybugs will eat the eggs and small larva of some moth species. Wasps will often parasitize worms with their eggs, laying dozens on a single moth larva.
The newly hatched wasps will then produce more larvae to help take care of other worms. To combat worms, do your best to create a hospitable environment for birds in your yard.
Make the birds feel welcome, and they might help to get rid of the worms in your garden! Many species of moths spend the winter in the soil, in a compost pile, or in mulch.
If you till your soil or stir up your compost pile, you are likely to disturb the life cycle of the moths by damaging them in their winter hibernation state. Earthworms improve the soil structure and break down organic matter into a form that plants can used.
As a last resort, you can go out and pick worms off of your tomato plants by hand to stop them from feeding. WormTypeAppearanceTomatohornwormgreen with chevron stripes black Horton backTobaccohornwormgreen withdiagonalstripes & red horn on backArmywormgreen, browner gray with stripes & an inverted Y onheadCutwormgreen, brown, gray, or yellow, they often curl into a C shapeLoopergreen, often with white stripe on each sides table summarizes some worms that eat tomato plants and their appearance. Now you know about some of the more common worms that may be attacking your tomato plants and how to identify them.