Tomato Plant Diseases

Growing tomato plants can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and a very frustrating one too unfortunately. This is because there are quite a few tomato plant diseases and fungi that can leap in and steal your lovely tomatoes from under your nose. But worry not! Learn the causes of disease, remain diligent, and you can keep your plants healthy 99% of the time.

Prevent Disease Before It Strikes

The most common factors that can lead to your plants catching diseases and biting the dust are dampness, so avoid it at all costs. Poor ventilation can lead to dampness, so a good flow of oxygen is essential for any tomato plant. Poor climate conditions are more dangerous for plants growing outside of green-houses, and also in colder climates. And poor nutrition will also weaken your plant and make it vulnerable to tomato diseases. Fortunately, all of these factors can be prevented with a little care.

When your plant undergoes any of these conditions for too long the most likely disease to hit it will be some sort of fungus or mushroom-based disease, in which case I’m afraid to say it’s a goner. Very few tomato plants survive a fungus attack. These growths start at the stem and climb upwards with surprising speed, you can easily loose an entire plant to fungus in 48 hours.

Fungi Love dampness and humidity. So keep your plant ventilated, this also means pruning the leaf branches and excess leaves well – you don’t need more that 3 leaves at the top of any tomato plant. Any excess leaves just act as both a drain of the plant’s rich nutrients away from your tomatoes and a suffocating layer keeping humid air in and fresh oxygen out. Tomato plants emit a huge amount of vapour as they grow – it’s especially important to consider ventilation when growing in green-houses. And some anti-fungal spray will help matters at the time of planting.

What To Do If Fungus Attacks

If you see fungus has attacked one of your tomato plants, that plant is a goner. What you need to is focus on damage control – saving your other plants. The fungus can spread quickly through the roots and reach your other plants within hours. The best thing to do is go straight out and get some anti-fungal spray. Protect all your other plants BEFORE tearing up the infected plant. If you bring up the infected plant without protecting the others the fungus could easily spread through the air.

But like any doctor will say – the best cure is prevention. Be diligent and keep your plants well ventilated and clean.

Some Common Diseases

Early Blight is called so because it most often strikes while the plant is young – it’s the most common of fungal tomato plant diseases. As with any of these fungal growths, the spores can travel by air and if you place mulch all around your plants it can reduce the chance of spreading.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

This one is also a killer, stricken plants will most often wilt and die. The signs are distorted leaves that go pale green or yellow., sometimes with purple spots as well. The best way to prevent this disease is through controlling the pests – aphids and thrips – that spread it to tomato plants.

Bacterial Canker

The most common and damaging bacteria-based tomato disease is bacterial canker, which wilts the leaves from the bottom up. Good healthy seeds and pots that are sterilized before use can help to avoid this one. Also, the general precaution of keeping your tomato plant area sterile by washing your hands before dealing with them and taking off your shoes before entering the green-house can help with Bacterial Canker and is generally a good way of acting to avoid all the disease and help keep happy, healthy plants.

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