To All Organic Gardeners: I Need Your Help!

Every day when I get home from work, I putz around in the garden and examine all of my plants. Not only do I get the chance to pluck a lot of harmful caterpillars and worms from the leaves, but I get a chance to just sit and enjoy my blessings. Today, though, I’m stumped.

This is the front and back view of a Chadwick Cherry heirloom tomato plant leaf:



These black, shiny, bean-shaped things are actually embedded inside of the leaf. They look like seeds of some sort…maybe? Of all the years I’ve been a Zone 9 Florida organic gardener, I’ve never seen this. Please, please, please, gardeners, friends, bloggers, I beg you, help me.

Thanks in advance,



26 thoughts on “To All Organic Gardeners: I Need Your Help!

  1. Well, Jenna, you have a good one on me. I have never seen anything like that! Of course, I am from Missouri, but I did live in Mississippi. Since they are embedded in the leaf, they must be some kind of eggs. Idea: Put the leaf in a jar with a lid or clear wrap. Poke holes in it for air and see what happens next… You could also take the leaf to the county extension agent.

  2. The Novice Gardener sent me the link to this post. I’ve never seen anything quite like those spots. My guess (and that’s all it is) would be that it’s some kind of fungus. Is it only on one leaf? If there are more leaves with spots like this, you might leave some on the plant to see what happens, if you don’t mind taking a chance with your precious tomato plants! Did you dissect it, i.e. cut it open and see if there is any kind of structure to it? If it is a fungus, you want to prevent spreading it, so don’t harvest tomatoes or touch the plants when thy are wet. A fungicide like copper soap (Bonide liquid copper fungicide) can stop fungus from spreading and is organic-approved and relatively safe (for humans; it’s bad for aquatic life, so don’t let it get into ponds or streams).

    The closest thing I’ve found is Cercospora leaf spot, take a look at and, but I’m not sure if it’s the same.

    Your blog makes me hungry! (Well, not this post) Such beautiful photos of delicious food.

    • Hi! Thanks so much for getting in touch with me. The “thing” that’s invaded this single leaf of my heirloom Chadwick Cherry tomato isn’t a fungus at all. It’s more of a pod. Each of the 3-D bean-shaped things is inside of the leaf. So strange. I have the entire leaf saved inside of a bag. Any thoughts on what I should do with it?

  3. Reblogged this on Treading Softly and commented:
    My friend Jenna lives a few blocks from me, and has this bizarre thing on the leaves of one of her tomato plants. I have never seen anything like this. Can anyone identify these critters? She said they’re like thin black beans.

  4. I wish I could help you, Jenna, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Just like Erin, I tried looking it up but still came up with nothing. Maybe you could take it to your county extension office? Sorry, I couldn’t help. Hopefully whatever it is, has not affected the plant.

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