How too deal with tomato plan diseases
Growing fresh tomatoes is one of the easy things a vegetable gardener can do. However, like most vegetable crops, tomatoes suffer from different kinds of pests and diseases. Tomato plant diseases are mainly caused by adverse weather conditions something that is out of a gardeners control. Tomato plant diseases are not always fatal especially when proper and timely management is done. A vegetable gardener should be aware of the tomato plant diseases that are likely to occur in the particular area and take necessary precautions like planting the resistant type and applying preventive measures.
Types of tomato plant diseases
The following are the common tomato diseases and their symptoms.
- Early blight: It is usually the very first disease to attack the tomatoes at the early stages of growth. It affects the stem, fruit, and foliage. Its symptoms are dark spots with concentric rings on older leaves and lower leaves turn brown. Affected leaves die prematurely hence leaving the fruits exposed to direct sunlight. Early blight tomato plant diseases are fungal and are spread through spores.
- Gray leaf spot: affects the tomato leaves and its symptoms are small dark spots on both sides of the leaf. The spots enlarge as they turn gray and later spots centres crack and fall out. The surrounding leaf areas turn yellow and eventually dry and drop which affects fruit production.
- Blossom end rot: It is caused by calcium deficiency due to fluctuating soil moisture. Appears as a light brown water soaked spot on the blossom end of the growing tomato. The affected area sinks, becomes leathery, turns brown and then black. These tomato plant diseases cause rotting of tomatoes.
- Bacteria canker: it is caused by bacteria. Infected plants wilt and the leaves turn brown and due. If it advances to the fruit, white spots are noted. Bacteria canker also causes tomato stem diseases.
- Southern blight: appears as a white mold growing on the stem near the soil line. Dark, round spots appear on the lower stem discolouring the inner and outer stem. Southern blight tomato diseases girdle the stem and prevents the plant from taking up water and important nutrients.
How to manage tomato plant diseases
Early management of the tomato plant diseases can treat or prevent loss of the affected tomatoes. The following are ways on how to manage the tomato plant diseases.
- In case of blight, place mulch around the plants as it limits the amount of spores and water splattered on the plant during rainfall and watering.
- In case of tomato spotted wilt virus, try to control the aphids and thrips or remove the affected plant because this tomato plant disease is infectious and has no cure.
- Copper sprays and serenade can help to control and deter late blight and septoria spot leaf tomato plant diseases.
- Using extra calcium and fertiliser that contains ammonium also protects tomato plants from diseases.
Tips and comments
Always choose the resistant types of tomato plants.
Do not crowd the seedlings.
Preheat the soil in your garden by covering it wit ablck plasyic for afew weeks before planting the tomatoes.
Bury the tomatoea deeper when planting.
Mulch to prevent soil diseases from splashing up on the plants.
Pinch and remove sucker on the joint of two branches as they only consume energy and do not bear fruits.