Ants inVegetable Garden

Last year I had a vegeyable garden with an existing gooseberry at one corner. It had tomatoes near the fence. They did poorly which I thought was due to vacationing. My husband noticed that on the other side of the fence was an ant mound and apparently they were also affecting my tomatoe plants. I would like to know what you suggest in my prep of area this area to prevent this problem again.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

I’ve never heard of ants harming tomato plants in the garden. But they may be a sign of other problems that you can diagnose. Ants will feed on tomato fruits that are cracked or otherwise damaged. Cracking of the tomato fruits can occur with erratic watering or too much nitrogen fertilizer after the fruit is set. Ants will get into the cracks and feed on the fruit then, but they are not really the cause of the damage. That goes for other damage from diseases and small animals too. If you’re seeing ants on the plant itself, the ants are probably there “farming” aphids. They are attracted by stuff the aphids produce and are feeding on that. Check for aphids on the underside of leaves and knock them off with a good, strong blast of water. Get rid of the aphids and the ants will probably leave the plants alone. That is unless the ants across the fence are fire ants. Then they’re probably a bigger threat to you than to the plants!


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