To avoid sharing the bounty of your tomato plants with animal and insect pests, consider using mothballs as a deterrent. Mothballs contain naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, substances that negatively affect certain animals, such as moles and rabbits, and some insects, such as beetles and white flies. The pests avoid the mothballs and leave your tomato plants alone. If you plan to use mothballs as pest control for your tomato plants, make sure you're doing it in the most effective way.
Things You'll Need
- Gardening trowel
- 2 to 3 cups compost per plant
- Tomato saplings
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Dig a hole for the first tomato plant, approximately 6 inches deep. Make it deep enough so at least 1 inch of soil will cover the tomato plant root ball. Adjust the depth of the hole to your particular tomato plants.
Toss a handfull or two of compost into the hole. This extra boost of nutrition will help your tomato plants stay healthy and productive. Compost generally consists of decomposed organic matter; you can make it at home or purchase it at any garden store.
Place the tomato plant gently into the hole and press dirt around the root ball. When soil covers the base of the tomato plant, press the dirt firmly around the plant with your hands.
Continue planting your tomatoes approximately 2 feet apart. If you plan to plant several rows of tomatoes, Larry Bass of the University of North Carolina Extension Service recommends planting the rows at least 3 feet apart.
Scatter three or four mothballs about a foot away from the base of each tomato plant. The mothballs should be far enough out that any pest will encounter the mothballs before getting to the tender tomato plant. Do not place mothballs at the plant's base because the pests may not encounter the mothball fumes before munching on the tomato plant.