Tomato plant diseases are the absolute worst. You can go from having a healthy crop to having a very sick crop in no time. However, if your plant is sick there are a few things you can do about it. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Tomato Plant Diseases And How To Handle Them
Tomato Plant Diseases: Identification
To identify what might be wrong with your plant, you need to inspect the leaves, roots, stems, blossoms, and fruit to see what is most affected. After you have determined which plant system has been most affected, you can identify your disease with relative ease. And once it has been identified, you can begin treatment ASAP. Keep reading to find
1. Blossom End Rot
Are you noticing black rot on the bottom of an otherwise healthy red tomato? If so, you are likely suffering from Blossom End Rot. Most commonly, Blossom End Rot comes as a result of incredibly hot weather and a calcium deficiency. Test your soil for nutrients at the beginning, end, and middle of each growing season so that you get a better idea. To fix, add composted eggshells to your garden soil. This is a great way to naturally add more calcium to your soil.
2. Blossom Rot
Blossom Rot occurs when your plant drops flowers before they ever even have the chance to transform into a fruit. Most commonly, this occurs because of a nitrogen deficiency, a fluctuation in temperatures (tomatoes thrive in 55-75 degree weather) or a lack of garden pollinators. To fix this problem, attract live pollinators like butterflies and bees to your backyard by planting Milkweed and other flowers. Additionally, keep an eye on the weather and cover your plants in case of a cold snap.
Plants can get sunburned, too! If you notice thin yellow and white spots on your tomatoes, sunburn is likely the culprit. The solution to this problem is to not go crazy when pruning your tomato plants. The tomato leaves act as a way to block the sun and oftentimes, this is enough to protect the plant. If it’s not in your case, you might have to invest in some kind of a mesh sun covering for the blistering afternoon hours.
4. Cat Facing
Dealing with bumpy, lumpy tomatoes? While this is a problem that is often hard to pinpoint it often comes as a result of dramatic temperature drops. The solution to this problem is to wait until later in the year to get your plants in the ground. Additionally, covering the roots of your tomato plants in mulch is a great way to keep plants warm in case of a random late-season cold snap.
5. Early Blight
Early Blight looks a little like Blossom End Rot but results in rotting brown dots across the entirety of ripe tomato fruit. Foliage on the affected plants will also begin to get discolored and the leaves will drop. The disease that causes the plant is known as Alternaria solani and actually can live in soil for an incredibly long time. To prevent the problem, you will need to regularly rotate your plants as well as keep your plants far enough apart for plenty of airflow.
6. Powdery Mildew
If you notice a white film on the leaves of your plant, you are likely dealing with powdery mildew. Powdery mildew often shows up when conditions are too wet and humid. To prevent the problem, space plants far enough apart for plenty of airflow and remove any dead foliage as soon as it appears because healthy pruning is key. To treat an already existing problem, spray the leaves and the undersides of the leaves with a foliar sulfur spray.
7. Insects Or Other Pests
Because the plant is fruit producing, pests like aphids, spidermites, and mealybugs might become a problem for your plants. If you notice that you have an insect problem, I recommend treating the problem with Neem Oil. There isn’t a bug on this planet that can survive a Neem Oil application and it doesn’t create any harm for the plant. Neem Oil has saved my skin SO many times!
8. Verticillium Wilt
This kind of wilt shows up as yellow splotches on the lower leaves of your tomato plants. The problem spreads quickly, so it’s important to get on the problem right when it first appears. Unfortunately, there is no way to recover your plant when it is sick with this kind of fungal infection. The best course of action is just to remove it from your yard before it affects some of your other plants.
Wondering why your garden is suddenly trampled and all of your tomatoes have vanished? You likely have a bird, animal, or both coming by to munch on your garden. I know this technically isn’t one of the tomato plant diseases, but it still should be addressed! Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prevent them from eating your crops. A fence, as well as some tightly strung netting, can solve your pest problem in no time at all.
10. Septoria Leaf Spot
This kind of leaf spot affects lower leaves first, creating yellow splotches that eventually fade into spots with dark borders and grey centers. Eventually, the leaves will fall off and die. To prevent this fungus from occurring, water your plants directly in the soil and avoid watering from the top down and soaking your leaves. To help remedy an already infected plant, a good store-bought fungicide does wonders to stop the tomato plant diseases.