Tomato Disease and How to Manage


Tomato Disease – Identifying disease is important for planting tomato on your own. Caring and disease prevention is the basic thing you have to understand before or while growing the tomatoes on your garden. There are several pathogens that can cause tomato plant disease.

In this article, I will introduce you to most common tomato diseases and how to prevent it:

1. Early Blight

This is one of the most common tomato disease that indicated by the showing of bulls-eye shaped brown or yellow spot on the leaves. Later, the infected leaves is going to fall off because of the disease.

The origin of the blight pathogen is coming from the soil. It stays on the soil even in very cold climate. In order to prevent the pathogen to reach the plant, you can mulch plant with a layer of newspaper topped with leaf mold or compost. This mulch can protect your plant like a barrier from the pathogen.

How to Manage: Once the you know your tomato is sick, you can use organic fungicides that based on Copper or Bacillus Subtilis to stop the disease.

2. Late Blight

Phytophthora infestans or late blight disease is not very common as it doesn’t survive in freezing temperature in the ground. This disease is caused by fungus that create irregular shaped splotches which slimy. The splotches commonly appear in the top leaves and stem. Later on, the entire stem will turn black and slimy.

This spores are fast spreading that move on the wind. If you live in the northern continent. don’t purchase plat that were grown in the south as you may bring the late blight spore into your garden. You can plant only locally grown plant in order to keep you from the fungus.

How to Manage: When late blight hits your plant, you have to tear out the plants, and throw them away to keep the disease from spreading to other plant. Some organic fungicides based on Bacillus subtilis somehow is able to prevent this tomato plant disease.

3. Fusarium Wilt

The name of this pathogen in Fusarium Wilt that mostly happens in warmer region. The symptom are drooping leaf stems, branch wilt. In order to confirm the infection, cut the main stem and look for dark streaks through the stem. The spore of Fusarium Wilt lives in soil and is able to survive for many years. It spreads by water, debris, animal and even human.

How to Manage: there is little you can do if this disease strike you plant, instead of preventing for the future planting. you can use soil solarization to help kill the fungus in the soil and do crop rotation that resist this fungus.

4. Septoria Leaf Spot

The symptom of this disease is the appearing of tiny and round splotches on the leaves which caused by Septoria lycopersici. This pathogen attack the lowest leaves at the beginning before climbing up to other leaves. The spot on the leaves has dark brown edges, then eventually it will turn the leaves yellow and fall off.

To prevent this disease, you have to remove the infected tomato at the end of the season to stop the spreading. Cut the infected leaves before it spreading.

How to Manage: You can use organic fungicides based on Copper or Bacillus Subtilis.

5. Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt is caused by fungus (Verticillium spp) that is able to block vascular tissue in the plant. As the result, the leaves and stem begin to wilt one by one. To confirm the disease, cut the main stem and look for dark brown discoloration. It mostly happens in the late summer.

How to Manage: There is little you can do but you can focus on preventing for future planting. You can do Soil solarization to kill the fungus in the soil and do crop rotation.

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