|If you’ve handled a tomato plant for any length of time, you may have noticed your hands covered in a sticky yellow/green residue. What you may assume to be a build up of pollen, is actually called “tomato tar.” |
Tomato tar comes from trichomes presenting as little hairs on the stem and leaves. The trichomes have many responsibilities such as secreting essential oils which help to repel bugs and gives the tomato plant its trademark smell. Not only that, the trichomes protect the plant from fungal diseases, as well as drastic changes in temperature and light.
Handling the plants do not harm the trichomes or the plant overall, nor does the tar harm us! In order to get the substance off, you can:Wash, rinse, repeatUse a distilled white vinegar, water solution Use a rotten tomato! (You read that right)
*The pictures above depict before and after one of our staff clear harvested our tomato plants this past week. Her hands show how much “tar” can build up after harvesting 135 pounds of tomatoes.
The last picture is a close up of a tomato plant. The delicate, thin “hairs” along the plant are its trichomes!*