Diseases of tomatoes

The main diseases of tomatoes

Tomato diseases are numerous and can affect plants at any time during their development. These vegetable plants are widely cultivated in Italy, even by those who can only be granted a pot garden stalk on the balcony. Very often these diseases cause poor vegetation, or even the loss of most of the fruits, making the cultivation of plants useless. There are few irreparable diseases, while most of them tend to spread more in the vegetable gardens where the correct cultivation methods for tomato plants are not followed. For this reason the first method to avoid tomato diseases consists in performing a correct cultivation from every point of view. In some cases the best solution is to eradicate the plant that has suffered the attack, thus avoiding that the disease can be transferred to the neighboring plants.

The mushrooms

There are numerous fungal diseases affecting the tomato; some are widespread, including mildew and alternariosis. The alternariosis occurs on adult plants, starting with the older foliage where there are lesions, which widen to become roundish spots, dark in color, with a yellowish halo. Over the days the alternariosis also spreads to the rest of the plant, including the fruits, which are conspicuously damaged. Downy mildew also manifests with roundish spots on the foliage, which have a translucent, almost metallic appearance; these spots also form on fruits and stems, which tend to rot over a short period of time. There are several dozen fungal diseases that can attack the tomato, including powdery mildew, or mal white, and botrytis, or gray mold. Most of these tomato diseases can be avoided by avoiding growing plants in a very humid and hot environment.

Bacterial diseases

Tomatoes are widespread plants, as well as their closest relatives, the solanaceae, of which we remember the potatoes, aubergines and peppers. Unfortunately, the widespread cultivation of a genus of plants favors the development of some bacterial diseases that affect them. In the case of bacterial diseases often weeding out the affected plant is the advisable, extreme but particularly effective solution. Even in the case of tomato diseases caused by bacteria, we can count numerous, although many are due to a kind of bacteria: Pseudomonas. Several species of these bacteria are responsible for the withering, which occurs abruptly, and leads to the death of the entire plant, but also of the bacterial mottling, which manifests itself with obvious black marks on the fruits. Other bacterial diseases are fruit spotting, stem rot and tomato cancer. They are particularly worrying diseases, against which it is good to arrange some protections.

Tomato diseases: Plant prevention and care

Although the diseases that affect tomato plants are many, it is quite easy to try to contain their spread. The first method consists in a correct cultivation cure. The tomatoes must be grown in well-drained and light soils, fertilized correctly, avoiding excess nitrogen. Watering must be provided by wetting the plants at the base, avoiding to dampen the foliage and always trying to wait for the soil to dry between two irrigations. The high humidity and extreme heat are in fact often the main causes of the presence of various types of diseases in the garden. The choice of seedlings plays an important role: it is advisable to avoid sowing, or planting, the same variety in the same plot, and it is important to choose healthy, high quality seedlings. Periodically it is important to carry out treatments with cupric fungicides, which prevent the development of most fungal diseases.