If you have always thought that going totally “Green” was an expensive project, think again. While living and gardening in Northeast Nebraska, an article that referred to research conducted by the University of Nebraska appeared in a local paper. It sounded so unbelievably simple that not trying it would not be an option for any serious Gardener.
The research stated that one simple procedure used on each tomato plant a week after transplanting would cause it to release a defensive chemical reaction and make the plant unpalatable to the insects that normally attack tomatoes.
This chemical reaction is normal for the wild relatives of our domesticated tomato plant in nature if it is stepped on or damaged in any way. It is two-fold in nature in that it gives off a noticeable odor once activated, and causes insects to find the leaves and stems of the plants unpleasant to taste. However, this does not affect the taste of the ripe tomatoes.
Personal trials with this have proven those results multiple times. One year in Nebraska, when there was an infestation of locusts so bad that even the trees were not immune to their onslaught, the treated tomatoes in the garden had small holes in them where they were tasted, only once, and abandoned by the locusts as they passed over the garden.
Most of the other plants in the same garden were stripped to mere stubs, but the tomatoes still stood. Jealous neighbors peering over the fence could no longer contain their curiosity about what had left only the tomatoes with leaves still attached, though riddled with tiny holes.
Suffice it to say that the disclosure of the simple, secret trick that left those tomatoes relatively untouched left the neighbors with mouth agape.
So, what is this huge “secret” you might wonder. Here is the simplest Eco-friendly bug deterrent you have ever heard of. No chemicals are used in bug-proofing your plants. All you need are your thumb and forefinger.
About one week after transplanting the tomatoes, and all evidence of shock have disappeared from them, simply grasp a lower leaf between thumb and forefinger and squeeze hard while rubbing until you can smell a strange odor.
The leaf will be limp and mangled, but it must be left on the plant to encourage the whole plant to produce the chemical reaction. The mangled leaf will eventually dry up and fall off on its own. Believe it or not, this technique really works.