Tomato Psyllid

Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Tomato from Northland

Garden in progress

The dreaded tomato and potato battle continues! Both last season and this season I’ve wondered why there are so many ‘mozzies’ around my tomatoes/potatoes. On a couple of the plants the leaves have started to yellow at the top. A lot of the leaves are starting to cup and branches twist. I wondered what the heck was going on so decided to inspect underneath the leaves. Sure enough there were scale like insects and what looks like fairy sized eggs. 

It makes me wonder if we ever did have blight or whether this has been my real battle the entire time. These little insects were everywhere around my young seedlings, which quickly become sick, yellow and then leaves ended up patchy brown. 

So, what to do now? A special mesh can be purchased from BHU Future Farming Centre or Koanga Gardens sell Psyllid Solution. I’ve also seen Neem Oil recommended in a number of places. 

Natural predators include – lady bug, hoverflies and lacewings so we’ve looked into how we can encourage these insects into the garden. This is where our insect hotel will come in handy! The perfect place may just be closer to the tomato gardens than what I’d originally planned. 

How to attract these insects to your garden and/or insect hotel…

Hoverflies are attracted to the following flowers – Alyssum, Calendula, Cornflower, Cosmos, Lupin, Marigold, Parsley, Scabious and Sunflowers.

 As well as eating pests ladybugs also eat nectar and pollen. It’s also well known that they’re attracted to umbrella shaped flowers e.g. Fennel – when allowed to flower, Coriander – when allowed to flower, Dill – when allowed to flower, Alyssum, Calendula, Cosmos and Yarrow. There definitely won’t be any coriander being grown in our garden any time soon (I can’t stand it haha so we will opt for some of the other options). Dry leaves and twigs also help to create an attractive environment for ladybugs and their larvae. 

Fingers crossed that because I’ve got onto this problem early I can keep on top of this problem.