Do you enjoy growing your own tomato plants? It can be a rewarding process, but when you encounter plant problems, it can get very discouraging. If it's too late and your plants are already suffering, you'll have to take some quick steps to save your crop.
Here's how to identify and treat tomato diseases:
Blossom End Rot
- If you notice black or brown spots on the bottom side of your tomatoes, you probably have blossom end rot.
- You can avoid or treat blossom end rot by simply evening out your watering.
- To keep this disease from targeting your plants, you should keep an eye on both the plants and the climate. Blossom end rot occurs when there is too much moisture in the soil, but may also occur with extremely dry soil. If your plants start wilting or producing black or brown spots on the fruit, water them evenly and check that they're not too moist or too dry.
- This occurs to tomato plants when they are getting too much sun.
- When affected by sunscald, you will notice that your tomatoes may have a patch of yellow or white near the side that faces the sun. This area will continue to grow as the fruit grows.
- To prevent sunscald, avoid pruning your
plants. Or, you can grow them in cages where they will produce protective foliage.
- Early blight is caused by a fungus.
- To identify early blight, look to see if the plant's leaves have brown spots that are surrounded by yellow. These spots will spread outward. The lower leaves on the plant will be withering.
- To reduce the chance of your plants succumbing to early blight, you should apply a layer of mulch to reduce splashing, and then apply an all-purpose tomato dust. You can use this as a blight treatment, but if the fungus is too far along, it may not work.
- If your tomatoes are already suffering from any sort of blight (early or late), the plants should be pulled.
- Tomato leaf diseases affect the leaves. Leaf spot is a fungus disease that is common in the Southeast, but can occur nationwide.
- If you suspect leaf spot, you will notice dark brown spots on your leaves with yellow or light-colored centers. You may begin to lose leaves from the bottom of the plant, upward.
- Leaf spot can be controlled by applying fungicides as a preventative measure, or by rotating your tomatoes with cereal, corn or legumes on a four-year cycle where damage has been severe.
Now you can identify these diseases and hopefully treat and even prevent them from occurring.