Tomatoes are one of the favorite fruit plants popularly grown by gardeners and nursery owners in different parts of the world.
All plants all over the world require some level of management to achieve the best possible production and the inability to get this right can serve as a means through which physiological problems can lead to diseases.
Diseases are one of the things to put into consideration when you are about to engage yourself in any kind or sort of crop production.
For tomatoes, there are certain viral, bacterial, and fungus diseases that are usually associated with it and there are specific characteristics that they exhibit for which you can identify them.
Rather than allowing your plant to grow under conditions for which they can be easily affected by any of these diseases, taking the right preventive measure will go a long way in protecting these lovely fruits.
Even though it is very possible that we can produce fruits that will be healthy, fresh, and tasty, we must also look into the possibility that some of these plants could be a victim of any of the diseases.
It is important that we know the area where the plant is grown, the type of plague that is rampant for tomatoes in that region, etc. so as to know the right step to take before going into production.
In this article, we will take you through some of the various diseases that tomatoes are prone to, how to easily identify them, the proper preventive measures to take, and how to easily control these diseases in case they appear on the field/garden.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common Diseases of Tomato Plants
- 2 How to Easily Prevent Tomato diseases
- 3 Conclusion
Common Diseases of Tomato Plants
There are problems that affect tomatoes and render them susceptible to certain diseases.
There are different diseases that affect tomatoes and we will discuss each of them in subsequent paragraphs so you should read further to know the disease that can cause specific damages on your plant and to be able to know how to easily identify them.
This disease is of two types, we have the early blight and late blight. Early blight is caused by a fungus known as Alternaria solani while the late blight is caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans and they have some specific features with which you can know them.
Just like their name tells, early blight occurs early in the production season and they cause a bulls-eye-shaped brown spot on the lower portion of the plant’s leaves.
Late blight, on the other hand, causes some irregular blotchy spots on the fruits and leaves. This disease can be prevented if you can properly control the rate of moisture, temperature, and crowding of the plants.
You must always monitor the plant and if you see any leaf, fruit, or plant that has been affected by any of these diseases; you must get rid of them as soon as possible to avoid any form or kind of transfer of pathogens from one plant to another.
Bacteria are considered as opportunistic organisms that affect damaged plants. This type of disease is caused by Ralstonia solanacearum actually makes entry to plants surface or body only as a result of a cut or damage in the vine or plant and takes the opportunity to cause immeasurable problems for plants.
Bacterial infections can be easily noticed from the presence of spots and blotches on the plants’ surface.
You can easily get rid of this by removing the affected surface as soon as you see them – the best way to avoid this is not to cause any sort of damage to your plant and any damaged plant should be carefully taken care of.
The most popular leaf spot disease that affects tomato plants is the Septoria leaf spot which is also known as Septoria lycopersici which starts its infection on the leaves of the plant.
They can be profoundly found on the center regions of the leaves and they cause it to turn yellow which later turns to brown before the affected region withers away.
This is a fungal disease that is mostly a result of excessive heat and moisture and you can easily control this by controlling the environmental condition of the area. You should carefully remove the affected plant part and destroy them.
This is a fungal disease that is usually caused by some soil-borne pathogens which belong to the Verticillium spp.
This disease usually causes the blockage of the vascular tissues of the plant and they cause the stem and leaves to wilt.
This type of disease can be controlled by practicing crop rotation which involves the planting of crops that belong to a different family in sequence.
This disease will cause the wilting of the leaves and can as well lead to the eventual death of the whole plant.
If you stay in the southern regions, this disease is most common in these regions. This disease is caused by a pathogen known as the Fusarium oxysporum which causes the leaves of the plant to droop.
There is a specific characteristic which the fusarium wilt possesses, it causes wilting from the lower region of the plant to the upper region of the plant.
It causes the total destruction of the plant and this can be prevented by planting resistant varieties as the pathogens can survive in the soil for so many years.
Both tobacco and tomato belong to the same plant family so it is possible for those who consume tobacco to transfer this disease to tomato plants.
The transmission of the mosaic virus can be transferred simply by a light touch on the plant. Although this disease won’t kill the plant as a whole, it will reduce its level of productivity.
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How to Easily Prevent Tomato diseases
Diseases can be very disastrous to a plant’s survival and if not properly taken care of they can cause the death of the plant in no time.
These diseases can make it very difficult for you to achieve your proposed aim of production if you are not very careful.
In subsequent paragraphs, we will talk more about the ways through which you can prevent the occurrence of these diseases.
Practice crop rotation:
Pathogens that cause plant diseases are always present in the soil and will always be active as long as these plants are grown at the same spot.
You should sow the tomato plant in a different region in the garden or a separate field to prevent soil-borne diseases.
Pinch off leaves:
If you notice any irregularities on the plant’s leaf or you notice any of the symptoms of a disease, then you should immediately remove the affected leaves and dispose of them to prevent the disease from spreading.
Choose disease-resistant varieties:
When deciding on the seed to sow, you should make sure that you choose a seed that has been developed to be resistant to diseases.
The presence of the acronym “VFNT” means that they are resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, nematodes, and tobacco mosaic.
Work in the garden when it is dry:
This is an important thing to note ‘because working on a wet field will ease the transfer of pathogens from one place to the other.
Properly space the plants:
When deciding to grow plants in the garden or on the field, make sure that they are well spaced so as to ensure that the plants get easy access to air.
This will also ensure that the plants have access to the necessary nutrients and will definitely reduce the level of competition between the plants.
Destroy all remnants of diseased plants:
The presence of remains of diseased plants can be a threat to the health of plants. When you notice that a plant is diseased and you remove it from the garden, make sure that the debris from this plant is removed and burnt so as to destroy the pathogen which causes the disease and so that they won’t affect other healthy but susceptible plants.
Always keep the foliage dry:
When watering tomato plants in your garden, make sure that the water used is not directed towards the foliage but it must directly target the root zone.
When watering, water splash can promote the spread of fungal diseases so you must make sure to always avoid all that.
You can also practice mulching on the field to avoid the spread of soil-borne diseases when it rains. The mulching materials should be at least two to three inches high.
This should be put in place in the early season for convenience and also to protect the plant throughout the production cycle.
Always keep your garden protected and ensure that your plant is in good health at all times. When you are about to carry out the production of tomato, you must ensure that you put in place all necessary materials for a successful production period in the garden or field as the case may be. Have a disease-free tomato production experience!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !