This Is WAR!!

Ugh! Can you believe this?

After anticipating the taste of these beauties since they were little sprouts and diligently watching them ripen for weeks this occurs!!

I have a couple questions for the gardeners out there ~

What the heck is eating the tomatoes on the vine and what would peel off the skin in little pieces and eat half the fruit?


My next question ~

Can you slice off the eaten spots and eat the rest of the tomato?

I see no worms anywhere but can creepy micro germs infect the fruit all the way through or are the cooties localized to the area that has been eaten? I’ve been throwing away the tomatoes but I can’t tell you how strong the urge is to dive in the trash after them and resurrect them.

You know what I’m hoping to hear but give it to me straight. I can take it. *wince*

This season comes but once a year and I do not, will not, buy tomatoes in the store.

Do you feel passionate about the fruits of your labor too?

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  1. Disgusting but if the critter didn’t eat that much, perhaps you can eat the other part. It seems a shame to waste so much of an otherwise lovely tomato!!!

  2. Oh, no! πŸ™ We’ve been having some issues with our tomatoes, too. I know that green horn worms (I think that’s what they are called) LOVE to snack on tomato plants. What is funny is that we’ve seen those worms on our bell pepper plants and NOT our tomato plants.

    Any sign of aphids? I think they just eat the leaves/stems of the plants.

    My only other guess is birds or small guys like rabbits. Or, a tomato-stealing dog…that’s our dog’s bad habit.

    Good luck and I hope that you’re able to put an end to the pest that is messing up your lovely tomato plants.

  3. Poor Pink, I feel your pain. That’s why I stopped planting a garden at our Lakehouse. In our case it was the squirrels. They would always seem to get the ripe tomatoes before we did. They would actually grab one, bring it up to the deck, sit on the railing and eat it in front of us. Urgh…!

  4. I honestly have no idea for either of your questions. Sorry I am of no help, advise-wise. I just wanted to pop in and say that that is the saddest thing!

    My husband’s father has a beautiful, large garden, and earlier this summer while they were out of town for the week, something came in (we think rabbits) and ate it ALL! He was devastated!! All that hard work, and then nothing.

  5. Omg…..could it be a deer? We have Japanese beetles aka June bugs eating our flowers right now.

  6. I am not sure what you have going on here but I do feel your pain! the deer keep eating my plants and tomatoes. I did’t even know that deer liked tomatoes!

    Maybe you have birds pecking at them and then once the skin is broken they are rotting somehow?
    Good luck. I hope you find the culprit!

  7. That would be enough to drive me totally crazy. We have given up on planting anything because of the deer problem we have. They eat the total tomato, pick the vines clean. Your tomatoes look like a bird might have been sampling them.

  8. I’m afraid it could be rats. My father cuts off the bad parts and eats them,b ut it always worries me! Could you put some sort of chicken wire around each plant? I’m so sorry!

  9. Oh my dear friend how heart breaking! all the waiting…

    Depending on where you live country or burbs or city .. it could be anything from racoons to deer (we live in the country). I would not chance eating … if you have other plants that are not touched – dry protecting them with chicken wire… ;( HHL

  10. ohhhh noooo… i so feel your pain! we have a garden this year, my first ever… and my watermelon got all icky like that.

    however, my tomatoes are fine. hmmm wish i knew. my tomatoes are planted right next to my herb garden, and i did hear that herbs keep pests away…

    good luck!

  11. I am sure you could eat the salvagable ends of them.
    Tho I wonder if it’s racoons? That looks like something bigger than a bug got to them.

  12. Argh, I am experience the same thing with my squash! Could you possibly have bunnies or chipmunks nibbling on your tomatoes? I know we caught bunnies eating the tops of our carrots recently. That’s the only thing I can think of that would peel off the skin and eat the insides. I know for our squash, we have some grub boring into the vines and destroying them, but they leave the squash themselves alone. Hopefully the vines live long enough to have the squash ripen.

  13. Lady Kate says:

    I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I think you have…well………rats! Those are no little worm holes! I too have had rats in my tomatoes. I will NOT use poison and do not like traps. I carefully cover my tomatoes with fine mesh netting. Make sure you put rocks or bricks on the mesh on the ground to really lock them out. It’s a pain to get in and out to retrieve your fruits, but at least it has kept the rats away. Good luck! (And when you make a good spaghetti sauce will you send some this way?)

  14. Oh my gosh…, I guess planting vegis is not that simple. I have no advise, more like I’m thinking of planting things myself in the future. There must be a way to protect the tomatoes, chicken wire sounds pretty good.

  15. RN Sane – Such a shame. We look forward to tomatoes every year. Seems like a small thing but such a pleasure.

    Michelle – No aphids that I can see. We did see birds going after the zucchini of all things.

    SJN – Ugh! The nerve!! That would have sent me over the edge.

    Sweet Southern Prep – Oh your poor FIL. Coming home to nothing would have put me in a funk for a week.

  16. Former Frau – No deer I don’t think since we are fenced off and I’m up late enough to hear them if they were there. I’m about to buy some night vision goggles!! πŸ˜‰

    Lisa – I’m sorry for your loss as well. Really, isn’t it awful?

    Lisa – This year seems especially bad and whatever it is it waits just until they are perfect.

    Henley – We’ve put mesh around the strawberries and that seems to help somewhat. Too lazy for the tomatoes but I might have to do that now. And here I was laughing at my neighbor who put up a tent that has sides to zip up!

  17. HHL – Could be raccoons I suppose. I would love to see them! They are adorable except when war has been declared! πŸ™‚

    Party Box – We tried growing watermelons one year. My son was so proud of his one little round bowling ball. I’ve also thought of having decoy tomatoes out there, like a store bought one and just leaving on the ground. The guys think I’m nuts. I feel like Gladys Kravitz always looking out the window. πŸ™‚

    Suburban Princess – Gosh, I just don’t know. If I knew what was eating them then I could decide if they are sharing worthy.

  18. yup~that was our tomatoes last summer. we didn’t get a single one to eat. pretty sure it’s rats! they demolished a huge tomato in 2 or 3 nights. this year we’ve gone with the upside-down method of planting and are hoping for a better harvest!

  19. Inquiring Mind – We have bunnies in the front but we have done such a good job in keeping them there but you never know. If I saw a bunnies in the back yard I’d turn into Elmer Fudd for sure.

    Lady Kate – We did make sauce last night as the San Marzano are just becoming ripe and it was delish!

    Coastal – Just what I need, high maintenance veggies. I’ve been avoiding the inevitable I’m afraid. I see chicken wire in my future.

    Merium – Yikes! OK if it is rats I am not sharing!!! Have you gotten over it yet? πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for all your comments, advice and empathy! πŸ™‚ xoxo

  20. Oh yikes. Please keep us updated on what you find out/do.

  21. I would be devastated!

    The whole rat thing has got my skin crawling! Just the thought of those nasty things near anything I eat gives me the creeps.

    My vote is the mesh {with poison and traps just for extra security measure}

  22. how rude! i would feel violated too! πŸ™ is there anyway to salvage what is left?

  23. Oh, this is terrible! I don’t even know if you have these critters in California, but to this Southern girl, my guess would be the dad-blamed groundhog! It is a varmint through and through! It pains me to say it, but I would not share–who knows what’s in those rascals’ mouths. I would not give up though! Next go round, I’d try staking the plants and surrounding them with a sturdy tomato cage. The fruit will be harder to pick, but at least you will have some to pick! So sorry! Also, check with your county ag agent; he or she may have some ideas.

  24. Oddly enough, foxes also love to nibble on tomatoes because they love fruit. You can go to Gardens Alive dot com and buy some bird netting which will keep just about any critter away from your tomatoes. If that doesn’t work you can always do what I used to do… plant extra tomatoes for the critters & keep your plants covered in the netting.

    And don’t worry! You’ll probably still have a lovely crop of Fall tomatoes…

  25. I am sure you had plans for those beauties…
    A little mozz and basil perhaps?
    Not fair!
    Unfortunately, that does look like the work of rats. We had a rat, because we live right by a brook, and it was carrying pears away and leaving them half eaten- much like your tomatoes…
    We called an exterminator of course ( it was IN our house!!!) Out side? Sounds like mesh and rocks are a good weapon. I have heard that you can deter rats with ammonia soaked rags in cans near garden OR predator urine bought at garden supply stores…
    Sounds gross right?

  26. Oh no. That’s horrible. I just picked my 1st tomato ever from my plant. I hope you can figure out how to protect your plants & get some nice tomatoes.

  27. Could be anything… birds, bugs, bunnies, blossom end rot… we get all of those. We’ve had a rough couple years for our tomatoes and all of the above has happened to ours, also. If the tomato isn’t mushy by the time you find it, it COULD be okay for using the good part… but make sure teeth marks and such haven’t penetrated and left microbial germs… you sure don’t want that! Best advice is: “If in doubt, throw it out.”

    (I’m a gardener for life and a horticulturist.)

    Visiting from SITS!

  28. Squirrels tend to think of gardens as their personal salad bars, so it could be squirrels. You can make a spray of water and cayenne pepper. You’ll need to reapply after a rainstorm. And be sure to wash your tomatoes before you eat them.

    So sorry. It’s disappointing to lose your garden to critters.