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How long does it take before a caterpillar leaves a tomato plant

I feel exhausted from this summer and would like to take out the tomato plants if there were not the caterpillars.
I have harvested around 20kg so far, and the next 3 or 4kg will be picked today.
The rest should stay for the caterpillars.
Normally, I would take out the plants so or so mid September, but with the hosepipe ban now, and honestly, we can't see any more tomatoes. I don't want to waste water for something that goes sooner or later so or so.

Thanks in advance

I my garden.


  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,207
    The time it takes for your toe to kiss its backside, I would say!
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,135
    What sort of caterpillar?  Never had caterpillars on our tomatoes. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,931
    The Bright-line Brown-eye moth caterpillar is the only one I know that likes tomatoes. There could be others though.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Indeed, there is the brown eye but also green one (or more than one, but not as many as last year)

    I my garden.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,413
    You could pull them up and heel them in somewhere out of sight. Just water them in and let them get on with it.
  • Hi to all 
    working time is finally over after 10 hours and the long weekend is in front of us. 

    Background for my question was that I can find many entries about the brown eye moth and caterpillar but no website says how long it takes to be a caterpillar and then a larvae and finally a moth. 
    I will go through my tomato plant jungle and have look for larvae and caterpillars. 
    I also found the information that they normally lay the eggs in May/June but the ones in September/October are a second batch. 

    I my garden.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,308
    I would agree with Loxley

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Thanks @nutcutlet, for your opinion. I’m back from the garden and took the last toms. I discovered one brown eye. 
    @Loxley I will take them out over the weekend and take care that the caterpillars survive. 

    I my garden.

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