List of Common Tomato Problems
Tomatoes are an easy and popular vegetable to grow. There are many
common tomato problems
that are caused due to diseases, fungal infections, insects, and nutrient deficiencies. You need to assess the symptoms and make an appropriate treatment. Good cultural practices can help in reducing or eliminating many problems. You need to manage these pests by identifying the source of the problem and by assessing the symptoms. Here are some of the ways used to get a harvest of healthy tomatoes:
- Monitor for pests.
- Spacing between the tomato plants must be done in such a way that they get maximum air.
- Keep your garden clean of the plant debris.
- Keep the plant from growing vigorously by providing proper nutrients and water.
- Eliminate weeds if present.
- Use disease resistant varieties.
- Improve your garden soil by adding organic material like compost.
Read onto know more about some of the
common tomato problems.
Problems in Tomato Plants
Here are some of the problems that a gardener can face if he is growing tomato plants in his/ her garden:
This occurs in the early growing season, when the soil is cool. Phosphorus is found abundantly in the soils, but it is unavailable to the plant, which is in cold soil. All you can do is to use plastic mulch to warm the soil.
Curly Top Virus:
This is mainly transmitted by the betel leafhopper. Those plants that are infected turn yellow and they finally stop growing. The upper leaves roll and become purplish in color. The leaves and stems become stiff and the fruits ripen prematurely. No chemicals are found to be effective against this vital infection. All you can do is to use row covers for protecting the tomato plants from this beet leafhopper.
This feeds on tomato plant’s sap and injects its toxic saliva. This causes psyllid leaves, where they turn yellow, the stem veins turn purple in color. Stems get distorted by giving them a zig-zag appearance. To check for them, you need to check the undersides of the leaves for nymphs. These are about the size of aphids. You use sulphur for treating these creepy little bugs.
They are black, small, or brown beetles that jump if disturbed. They start chewing the leaves by making small pits or holes. These wounded tissues are susceptible to diseases like blight. Insecticides like permethrin or carbaryl can be used to treat these beetles.
Tomato Horn Worms:
These are green and large caterpillars with a tan of V-shaped markings on the sides. They are voracious feeders as they strip the leaves from the stems. They even eat the unripe fruits. Pick them off by hand and dispose them as they are susceptible to bacillus thuringiensis.
Alternaria Leaf Spot or Early Blight:
This infection is mainly caused by a fungus called alternaria solani. Some of the signs and symptoms include black spots on the older leaves. These are prevalent in the hotter seasons. Affected leaves turn yellow and even drop off. Sulphur dust is an effective way to treat this infection.
Septoria leaf Spot:
This is a fungal infection and some of the signs are formation of gray or white spots on the leaves. The treatment is similar to early blight i.e. use of sulphur dust.
Aphids and Whiteflies:
These can cause yellowing of the leaves and a sticky substance called the honey dew. The damage it causes to the leaves is minimal and can be often ignored. If aphids are becoming a problem, then use an insecticidal soap as it is quite effective.
This occurs sporadically and the symptoms begin with the leaves turning downward. Light to dark brown streaks develop on the midribs of the leaves. They eventually extend down to form cankers on the stem. Some of the symptoms found on the fruit are white, raised lesions, which are small. This can be distinguished from other diseases and might need laboratory confirmation. It is dangerous as well and so, you need to destroy the plants, once you detect this infection.
This is caused by many fungi. Some of the causes of this infection is over-watering and soil drainage. If you are a home gardener, then you need to control the root rotting fungus. So, the management includes improving the soil, proper watering, and rotation of tomatoes.
This term is used to describe a tomato plant that has holes and scars at the time of blossoming. Cold weather is thought to be the culprit behind this havoc. The other cause is high levels of nitrogen. All you can do is to avoid transplants early in the season.
Blossom End Rot:
This begins with a light tan and water soaked lesions at the lower end of the fruit. These lesions turn black, leathery, and get enlarged. The causes are a combination of excessive heat or extreme cold temperatures during the blossoming. Another cause is the fluctuations in the water supply. When the above factors occur, calcium is not available to the plant. Therefore, calcium deficiency occurs during the fruit formation. To control this problem, use fertilizers and water the plant properly. Mulching can be done to reduce the fluctuations in the soil moisture levels.
This can cause spots or damage to the internal part of the plant by feeding on them. They release an offensive smell when handled. All you need to do is to control the weeds around the plant as these bugs are found in huge numbers in such areas.
These are some of the
common tomato problems.
So, the next time these creepy insects try to damage your tomatoes, keep all the things ready to fight them to have those delicious and healthy tomatoes in your garden.