How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes in Pots and Trays

How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes in Pots and Trays

Today, let us talk about How To Grow Cherry Tomatoes in Pots in addition to in Trays.

Introduction:

The plants of cherry tomato will produce the culmination which might be small and round. These culmination might be appropriate to devour fresh and likewise for the aim of salads.

One cherry tomato plant will produce sufficient fruit for one circle of relatives if grown with correct care.

As cherry tomato crops are warm season crops, they’re going to grow rather well in pots or packing containers. The farmers who have simply began growing cherry tomatoes can check out rising them in pots which might be a luck.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are absolute best for the growers who want to develop tomatoes which produce a very good yield and also are no longer messy. Cherry tomatoes are available in numerous shades like orange, yellow and white. It would be excellent to grow cherry tomato plants in the lawn but they are able to even be grown in pots or tomato develops baggage. Here is the step by step guide for growing cherry tomatoes.

The germination of the seeds of cherry tomato will occur in no time and also will want some care when growing indoors.

Suitable climate:

The cherry tomatoes may also be grown in almost all of the environmental conditions. But it would be better if the plantation is completed after the final touch of the final frost. This is for the economic cultivation. If you need to grow your cherry tomatoes in pots, then the sowing of seeds must be performed in small packing containers by way of using potting soil.

Growing Cherry Tomatoes.

  • While rising cherry tomatoes in pots from seeds, the pots in which you are rising cherry tomatoes should have a diameter of a minimum of three inches. The intensity of the pot will have to be one inch. Two seeds will have to be sown in each and every pot and the pot will have to be full of potting medium.
  • This potting medium or potting soil will have to be maintained moist.
  • For the germination of seeds of cherry tomato, it could take just about two weeks. The germination procedure can be made fast by means of masking the pots with plastic bags which can be clear.
  • The pots will have to be positioned without eliminating the plastic bag cover in a warm room. When the seeds start to germinate, take off the plastic luggage and position the pot in a spot the place there is adequate sunlight.
  • Over watering must no longer be achieved on this level and you need to simply care for the moisture in the soil on every occasion it will get dry. When the plants start growing in measurement slowly, you can stay those within the pots which can be greater in dimension.
  • Clay pots which have a diameter between 6 inches and 8 inches might be an excellent selection for this goal as they are strong enough to behave as support. You can also go for just right quality plastic pots too.
  • The potting mix which is mixed for growing cherry tomatoes must be an natural one. You too can combine some quantity of compost to it. You wish to fill one-third space of the pot with this kind of potting soil and dig a hollow on the middle. This hole should be sufficiently big so that it would hold the plant roots. Now remove the plant or seedling within the hole. The hollow should be full of enough soil and then pressed in a firm method. Always have in mind to water the seedling.
  • These pots must be kept in a place where the cherry tomato vegetation gets no less than six hours of daylight each day. Also, be sure that the moisture in the soil is maintained and is not soggy. The cherry tomato plants can be fed once in per week with a fertilizer which is water soluble. Another primary issue within the care of the cherry tomato plant is staking. This will make the crops not to tip over when they’re rising.

Pest management of cherry tomatoes:

It is essential so that you can ensure that the crops of cherry tomatoes are pest free. This can be achieved by way of the plantation of basil and marigold closer on your cherry tomatoes. Other measures of pest keep watch over will also be taken as in step with the ideas from the local nursery government.

If proper care is taken, then the cherry tomato crops will provide you with an excellent yield starting from the center of summer time to the end of the autumn.

Growing cherry tomatoes in trays

  • While growing cherry tomatoes in trays, the first step you want to do is filling the trays with potting soil as much as an inch from the top. Then smoothen the highest via the usage of your hand. The medium will have to be watered totally with the intention to just remember to are not saturating it. Watering ceaselessly will lend a hand the soil to get settled in an excellent means in the trays.
  • Make holes with the assistance of a pencil tip for approximately a intensity of half an inch. The cherry tomato plant spacing will have to be 1 inch aside from the medium of the plantation and drop one seed of cherry tomato in every hole.
  • Cover the seeds evenly with soil. The trays additionally should be covered via applying plastic film. One end must be left fairly open for the flow of air to take place.
  • The trays need to be stored in a dark and warm area and the temperature will have to be at least 21°C. This must be maintained until the germination of seeds takes position and can be seen from the surface of the soil.
  • Take off the plastic films which might be provide in the trays and keep them on the stand beneath develop lighting. The grow lights must be grew to become on as quickly as the diminishing of the natural daylight takes position.
  • The trays should be stored underneath the lights at a distance of 6 inches. The distance may also be adjusted through a few inches for the avoidance of burning of the plant if you are the use of the light bulbs which have prime wattage.
  • The transplantation of seedlings should be completed when they develop to a period of no less than 4 inches in their growing trays.
  • The vegetation of the tomatoes must be tapped in order for them to open. Once they get open, they lend a hand in the fertilization of the vegetation.
  • Provide fortify to the vegetation to stay them upright so that they gained’t be bending of stems and breaking due to the weight of the tomatoes.
  • The tomatoes may also be harvested when they’re ripened in an effort to make the plant produce extra.

Chilli, tomato now not wholesome options for consumers’ pocket

Chilli, tomato now not wholesome options for consumers’ pocket
LAHORE: Prices of tomato and chilli have long gone up manifold within the city within the final couple of months.

Tomatoes were available on a mean rate of Rs24 in step with kg in the corresponding duration in the remaining 12 months but the vegetable fruit is being offered from Rs100 to Rs200 according to kg now.

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Similarly, the costs of green chilli hardly crossed Rs100 within the year 2018. Now, its prices have gone up within the closing one month to Rs400 in step with kg in the native marketplace.

The two greens, in particular green chilies, are seldom noticed on distributors’ carts.

The administration fined many distributors in Sunday Bazaars for now not bringing green chilies on the market at their stalls.

Yasin, who runs a vegetable store in a posh locality, passes the buck for skyrocketing prices of greens, together with tomato and green chilies, on to the auction machine in mandis (wholesale markets).

He said that in the absence of a price ceiling in the markets, arhtis or commission brokers and middlemen were free to promote the commodities at the rates of their very own selection without any let or hindrance, while deficient shops were forced by way of various government departments to promote the merchandize at fixed charges, even underneath than their acquire costs.

“How can we sell a thing bought at Rs100 per kg at Rs80 or even at the purchase price as we have to pay transportation charges, shop rent, electricity charges, etc? Don’t we have families to feed by earning some profit from our day long labour?” he questions.

An official of the agriculture department, which is answerable for ensuring supplies to Sunday bazaars, says that since Punjab does now not produce tomato and inexperienced chili plants presently of the 12 months, those are supplied from Sindh and Balochistan provinces and thus are sold at relatively prime rates right here.
Rain in the remaining four weeks damaged crops and cut off supply routes which led to an atypical building up within the costs, he added.

He said that the prices would no longer go unusually higher prior to now as a result of there was once the choice of uploading them from India via Wagah border. Since the imposition of non-tariff obstacles by either side, and tensions prevailing in the wake of India’s Balakot aggression, provides from India have change into a matter of the previous and the end-sufferer is the patron.

5 Pakistani Vegetables You Must Include In Your Diet

Qadoo ki bhujia, tori ji bhujia, aloo ki bhujia, louki ki bhujia – the checklist is never finishing! a Normal Pakistani household will get its justifiable share of bhujias throughout the week, and the very title sends children working within the different direction. Though the standard bhujia is a quintessential Pakistani dish, we believe that it’s time to shake things up a little bit. Pakistan is blessed with some of the different kinds of vegetables, especially right through the summers. However, we finally end up shedding a large number of the vegetable’s flavor and vitamins by cooking it to a pulp, similar to in a bhujia, and covering its flavor with an endless barrage of spices.

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Instead, why no longer check out different recipes that keep the vegetable in tact and retain their vitamins and nutrients? Keep reading our blogs for different techniques to cook Pakistani greens in the summers – don’t worry, all the ideas are tried and examined on youngsters, and so they devoured them up without once calling any rapid meals chain for backup! But earlier than you starting jotting down recipe ideas, we believe it is vital for you to acquaint your self with the more than a few advantages contained in common summer season greens. This will can help you get a fairly neatly rounded idea about which vegetable is suited towards you or your circle of relatives’s specific needs.

Tomatoes:

Admit it, girls and fellas. You have incessantly tossed apart this innocent little vegetable by taking it without any consideration, without knowing its advantages. Little do you know, these meals are not most effective packed with taste that provides a zing to each dish, but additionally they include a carotenoid (which provides the tomatoes their crimson colour) referred to as lycopene; this permits your skin to be protected from sunburn and different injury from UV rays. In one study, participants who ate 2 1\/3 tablespoons of tomato pulp or paste day-to-day suffered 50 % lesser skin damage and reddening, compared to those that did not. Moreover, cooking a tomato is extra really useful than consuming it raw because the heat causes extra lycopene, diet A and C to be launched.

Zucchini (Tori):

Ever wondered what those inexperienced vegetables are that look a lot like cucumbers and are served with your steaks? Well, they are those toris your ammi has been looking to feed you during your childhood! Expect to look those piled prime for your local sabzi wala’s store between May-July. Always buy zucchini if it has a skinny, smooth skin and is both inexperienced or darkish yellow and resembles a cucumber in dimension. They’re a great supply of nutritional fiber and really low in calories (a median Zucchini comprises most effective 17 energy), so incorporate them into your vitamin if you want to drop some weight or are suffering from constipation. Pregnant girls will have to additionally devour zucchini because it’s full of folic acid, which is a compulsory prenatal diet prescribed by way of the National Health System (NHS) in England. Moreover, studies have proven that zucchini can lend a hand save you asthma, reinforce eye health, balance a Vitamin C deficiency and decrease homocysteine ranges, which is helping lower the risk of contracting center disease.

Eggplant (Baingan):

Your moderate baingan is regularly referred to as the ‘King of Vegetables’ in India because of the sheer multitude of benefits it accommodates. Mix this up on your yogurt or make a scrumptious achari bhurta out of it, because it could actually do wonders for your body! Eggplant has proven skills to reduce pressure, keep watch over diabetes, fortify cardiovascular well being, lower the symptoms of anemia, prevent osteoporosis, make stronger bones, % colon most cancers and protects unborn youngsters from birth defects. Moreover, they contain no saturated fat or ldl cholesterol and are top in dietary fiber, therefore are an excellent aid to fasten your weight reduction routine. Convinced? We concept so!

Cucumbers:

These greens aren’t simply great in your darkish circles; they’re additionally beautiful superb for your body too. Loaded with silica, cucumbers assist your body generate connective tissue, which improves your skin’s elasticity. You may even find zero.five grams of dietary fiber in just one cucumber, which is prime for a vegetable. Just you’ll want to select narrow cucumbers, with company, darkish green skins as this shows their mushy age and therefore their freshness.

Okra (Bhindi):

These greens, continuously known as ‘lady fingers’, are beneficial because they include mucilaginous fiber. What this fancy medical phrases method for you and me is that it helps good move via your large intestine by means of including bulk. This ends up in regularizing your bowl actions, relieving constipation, cramps, bloating and excess gasoline (flatulence). Moreover, it’s loaded in Vitamin A antioxidants, which means it could actually lend a hand your skin heal quicker. For the ladies, this implies quicker disappearance in their zits scars and any indicators of hyperpigmentation, in addition to wrinkles and any harm.
So, the following time you wrinkle your nostril on the signal of greens and opt for fast meals, give those poor issues some other chance and feel the difference for your body! You have our guarantee (and that’s pronouncing so much).

Pre- and Postharvest Factors Affecting Quality and Yield in Tomato

Tomato production in the world is nearly about 159 million tons

Tomato is one of the most important vegetable crop in the world and also widely cultivated in Pakistan. It is a self-pollinated crop and has a chromosome number of (2n=2x=24). It is used both for culinary as well as industrial purposes. Usama Yousaf & Poonum Rana Author

It has high nutritional value specifically vitamin A and C and relishing flavor. Tomato production in the world is nearly about 159 million tons and one fourth of this is processed for the industry, hence it becomes the highest processing vegetable in the world. In Pakistan also, it is a very economical crop and tomato production in Pakistan during year 2011 was 530 thousand tons. Pakistan not only produce for its own needs but also exports tomato and earns the capital. In the year 2009-10 Pakistan exported 5692 tons of tomato and earned 77 million rupees. Source (agricultural statistics of Pakistan). On an average 42% of tomato fruit is wasted globally due to pre- and postharvest losses. The following study is to indicate the factors involved in these losses and how to prevent these losses.

 It is grown in almost all the areas that have dry and warm temperature because wetness during the monsoon season is very damaging. In similar way in December it is highly damaged by the frost so in these seasons tomato gives dwindling supplies of its produce and fetches exceptionally high price in market. So suitable range required for this is 21-25°C and it requires fertile to sandy loam soil for good performance.

Tomato has some main issues in its production, firstly it is targeted by (TMV & TYLCV) secondly it is damaged by the pathogens and early and late blights and one of the most important is lack of availability of hybrids produced locally. All these factors reduce yield to greater extent so there is need to sort and identify those factors that play a crucial role in enhancing the yield of tomato. There are some important physical factors that can influence the quality and yield in tomato.

Fertilizer Use:

Researchers have identified that nutrition of plant is controlling the quality of its produce. Adequate quantity of a specified fertilizer at a particular time has a specific role for specific desired traits, for example a good supply of potassium chloride in tomato ameliorates the color and reduces the occurrence of yellow shoulder in tomato. Yellow shoulder is an atrophy in tomato that is identified by discoloration in stem scar. Deficiency of potassium chloride can also cause ripening abnormalities. In the same way an increased nitrogen supply can negatively affect the tomatoes in green house. Beyond a threshold value of nitrogen reduces many quality parameters as decline in sugar contents, total soluble solids and reduced flavor. On the other hand, reduced quantity of nitrogenous fertilizer as ammonium chloride can give improved flavor. In addition to these trace elements such as boron also has impact on different traits. The function of calcium application has recently been reported. It has role in prevention of many diseases and also cause decline in fruit firmness during ripening. It has also seen that spraying some salts of calcium on leaves of tomato can reduce the chance of powdery mildew. It can also help in tackling bacterial wilt when present in high quantities.

Pruning:

Pruning has positive role in high yield because it reduces the competition between the flowers and fruits being developed. Pruning hence channelize the nutrients to fewer fruits which serves as sink and hence ameliorating the nutrition profile and fruit size of these clusters. Pruning clusters to three fruits is economically efficient and gives high marketable yield. However, pruning also affects other parameters of fruit development but that depends upon genotype of cultivar, fruit to leaf ratio, truss position and developmental stage of sink. Pruning increases the total soluble solids and the greater size of tomato which is in a specific size range gets higher demand and fetches more price.

Maturity Stage:

Tomato can be harvested at different stages as it is a climacteric fruit i.e. it continues ripening even after harvesting. The maturity stage is the descriptor of many traits related to quality. Tomato can be harvested at mature green, half ripen and mature red and each stage exhibits its own postharvest properties. Researchers have noticed that the shelf life of tomato is longest when it is harvested at green stage.

Cultivar Type:

The selection of cultivar to be used by grower is of prime importance. The choice of consumer should be priority and a cultivar having more number of desirable traits and long shelf life should be used. If poor cultivar used then low yield and quality resulting poor market acceptability. Cultivars have differences in color, size, flavor, texture and duration of storage. A tomato cultivar Roma VF seems to show higher sucrose content and lower weight loss in comparison to cultivar Marglobe.

Irrigation:

Water is crucial for proper growth and development of plants. Tomato is not drought tolerant plant it needs to be irrigated regularly for good crop yield. Water scarcity being very important burning issue in agriculture so it is required to develop and promote cultivars that can tolerate or give bumper yield even in deficiency of water. Many growers have developed strategies to minimize the water stress and maintain the yield. According to Mitchell water deficiency reduced water accumulation in fruit and yield of fresh fruit but at the same time it increased total soluble solids. Ismail reported that irrigating in morning after three days gives good yield than daily irrigation.

Postharvest Quality maintaining factors:

After harvesting many activities are taking place in the fruit. The climacteric burst of ethylene induces senescence and ripening of fruits and proper release of ethylene is necessary for good quality of fruit and for this reason many practices are done that control the activity of ethylene and hence controlling the fruit ripening and quality. Following are important factors that determine quality of tomato fruit after harvesting.

Temperature:

Temperature plays key role in the maintenance of shelf life of tomato. If harvested fruit is kept at 20∘C then it is very effective in reducing all the metabolic activities involved in ripening and hence giving more time gap for handling the harvested produce. Generally, one-hour delay between harvesting and storing at cool temperature will lead to loss of shelf life to one day. In climacteric fruits rate of respiration and metabolic activities is related to environmental temperature. Higher temperature increases the respiration rate and metabolic activities resulting in increased CO2 production. High level of CO2 creates a stimulus for ethylene production and this ethylene in very little quantity can cause an enhancement in fruit ripening. Higher temperatures hence can lead to rapid degradation of quality of produce. Tomato can be stored at lower temperatures and quality parameters like Nutritional value, flavor, texture and aroma can be protected through cold storage. However, tomato being tropical fruit also damaged by very low temperatures. Temperature below 10°C can cause chilling injury in tomato. The signs of chilling injury include premature fruit softening, irregular color development, formation of pits, off flavor development, water soaked lesions, browning of seeds and high postharvest decay.

Relative Humidity:

The water loss from the fruit is dependent on the environmental humidity. At higher levels of humidity tomato fruit maintains fruit freshness, size, taste and appearance and reduction in humidity cause wilting, softening and juiciness occurs. Optimum relative humidity is 85-90%(v/v) for mature green tomatoes but very high levels to 100% are damaging. The storage of tomato in lower relative humidity cause higher moisture losses and result in shriveled fruits and very high moisture cause fungal and mold development.

Combination of Gases:

Different gases have different roles in fruit senescence and ripening and combination of gases can affect the storage life of fruits. The optimal combination for preventing senescence in tomato is 3-5%(v/v) O2,1-3% and 1-5% (v/v) for green and ripe fruit respectively for CO2 and 94-96%(v/v) of nitrogen is required. Carbon monoxide prevents the infestations of pathogens in fruit and also improves some quality traits. For instance, tomatoes stored in 5–10%(v/v) carbon monoxide with 4%(v/v) oxygen were found to have superior total soluble solids (TSS) and titratable acid (TA) profiles as compared to control samples stored in air. But use of these gases in fruit commodities is lethal for human health so it is avoided.

Calcium chloride application:

Calcium is present in many higher plants and in some plants its deficiency cause problems. In tomato calcium as a fertilizer gives very good yield. When applied after harvesting shows positive effect in ripening of many fruits and vegetables. Postharvest application of calcium chloride causes a reduction in respiration and ethylene and hence it delays senescence in tomato. External application maintains cell wall integrity and prevents from enzymatic degradation. The postharvest losses are also dependent on Physical handling of the produce, a rough handling has more losses than good and fine handling.

20 Common Tomato Plant Problems and How to Fix Them

If you’re one of the three million people who planted a home garden this year, you’re most likely growing tomatoes. Nine out of 10 gardeners grow tomatoes, and that number would be 10 out of 10 if the holdouts would taste a fresh garden tomato and compare it to a grocery store purchase. Nothing beats the taste of a fresh home-grown.

Many gardeners who grow tomatoes, however, are frustrated with the progress of their plants. The plant may not set fruit. Or your tomatoes may ripen, but have ugly, spongy black spots at the bottom. Worse still, your plants may look great in the evening when you say goodnight to them, but in the morning, they’re skeletons waving empty branches in the breeze.

Welcome to the world of tomato problems. This list of 20 common tomato problems and their solutions will help you identify an issue — whether it’s just starting or already full-blown — and show you how to correct it, so you can save your tomato plants and harvest yummy tomatoes this year.

IDENTIFY TOMATO PLANT PROBLEMS AND DISEASES

Before diving into the list, it’s important for you to correctly identify the problem or tomato plant disease. When trying to identify tomato plant diseases, use these steps:

  1. Identify the affected part of the plant — Is it the tomato itself, the leaves, stems, flowers or roots?
  2. Note differences — When you compare your tomato plant to a healthy plant, how does yours differ? For example, a healthy tomato plant has softly fuzzed, medium-green leaves. If the leaves of your plant have brown or black patches, holes, chewed edges or fuzzy mold growing on them, make a note of that before perusing the list of problems.
  3. Look for insects — What insects do you see on your plants? If you need help identifying them, take a photo and contact your local Cooperative Extension agent to identify the insects.

Armed with this information, you can easily scan this list and narrow down the possible tomato plant disease or pest problem and how to fix it.

20 COMMON TOMATO PROBLEMS

The list is divided into two sections: 16 diseases caused by poor cultivation habits, bacteria or fungi, and 5 insect-specific tomato problems. We have also included some tips for growing delicious, healthy tomato plants so you can keep those problems away next year.

16 TOMATO PLANT DISEASES

Tomato diseases, garden fungi and certain environmental conditions can quickly cripple your plants. Oftentimes, you can rescue the tomato plant with a little TLC, but some circumstances may require you to destroy the plant and plant another crop in its place.

Help for tomato plants

Be sure to browse the extended information below on tomato plant problems, but, overall, here are the most common disease and fungus triggers in tomato plants:

  • Not enough fertilizer. (Solution: Test your soil and apply fertilizer as appropriate for the growth stage.)
  • Over-pruning. (Solution: Always use a tomato cage and leave enough foliage to shield the fruit.)
  • Not enough calcium. (Solution: Test your soil, apply lime and gypsum as needed.)
  • Planting before temperatures raise to ideal levels. (Solution: Wait for the right planting time for your Hardiness Zone.)
  • Too much water or too little water. (Solution: Water them evenly through the growing season.)
  • Watering overhead, which promotes fungal growths. (Solution: Water at the base of the plant. and apply fungicide.)
  • Lack of air flow around plants. (Solution: When planting, space tomato plants at appropriate distance from one another and prune leaves (but not too much, see above) as they grow. Apply  fungicide if powdery mildew appears.)

what does blossom end rot look like on tomatoes

1. Blossom End Rot

  • What it looks like: The tomato plants appear healthy, but as the tomatoes ripen, an ugly black patch appears on the bottoms. The black spots on tomatoes look leathery. When you try to cut off the patch to eat the tomato, the fruit inside looks mealy.
  • What causes it: Your plants aren’t getting enough calcium. There’s either not enough calcium in the soil, or the pH is too low for the plant to absorb the calcium available. Tomatoes need a soil pH around 6.5 in order to grow properly. This soil pH level also makes it possible for them to absorb calcium. Uneven watering habits also contribute to this problem. Hot, dry spells tend to exacerbate blossom end rot.
  • What to do about it: Before planting tomatoes in the spring, have your local garden center or Cooperative Extension conduct a soil test. Tell them you’ve had problems with blossom end rot in the past, and they will give you recommendations on the amendments to add to your soil. Lime and gypsum may be added for calcium, but they must be added in the proper amounts depending on your soil’s condition. That’s why a soil test is necessary. Adding crushed eggshells to your compost pile can also boost calcium naturally when you add compost to the soil. A foliar spray containing calcium chloride can prevent blossom end rot from developing on tomatoes mid-season. Apply it early in the morning or late in the day — if sprayed onto leaves midday, it can burn them. Water plants regularly at the same time daily to ensure even application of water.

blossom drop on tomato plants

 2. Blossom Drop

  • What it looks like: Flowers appear on your tomato plants, but they fall off without tomatoes developing.
  • What causes it: Temperature fluctuations cause blossom drop. Tomatoes need night temperatures between 55 to 75 degrees F in order to retain their flowers. If the temperatures fall outside this range, blossom drop occurs. Other reasons for blossom drop on tomatoes are insect damage, lack of water, too much or too little nitrogen, and lack of pollination.
  • What to do about it: While you can’t change the weather, you can make sure the rest of the plant is strong by using fertilizer for tomatoes, drawing pollinators by planting milkweed and cosmos, and using neem oil insecticides.

 why are my tomatoes cracking

3. Fruit Cracks

  • What they look like: Cracks appear on ripe tomatoes, usually in concentric circles. Sometimes insects use the cracks as an opportunity to eat the fruit, or birds attack cracked fruit.
  • What causes them: Hot, rainy weather causes fruit crack. After a long dry spell, tomatoes are thirsty. Plants may take up water rapidly after the first heavy rainfall, which swells the fruit and causes it to crack.
  • What to do about them: Although you can’t control the rain, you can water tomatoes evenly during the growing season. This prevents them from being so thirsty that they take up too much rainwater during a heavy downpour.

 

what does sunscald on tomatoes look like

 4. Sunscald

  • What it looks like: The plants look healthy, and the fruit develops normally. As tomatoes ripen, yellow patches form on the red skin. Yellow patches turn white and paper-thin, creating an unpleasant appearance and poor taste.
  • What causes it: As the name implies, the sun’s rays have actually scalded the tomato.
  • What to do about it: Tomato cages, or a wire support system that surrounds the plants, give the best branch support while shading the developing tomatoes naturally. Sunscald usually occurs on staked plants that have been too-vigorously pruned, exposing many of the tomatoes to the sun’s rays. Leaving some foliage and branches provides shade during the hottest part of the day.

 

Poor Fruit Set - Why are my tomatoes not growing

 5. Poor Fruit Set

  • What it looks like: You have some flowers but not many tomatoes. The tomatoes you do have on the plant are small or tasteless.
  • What causes it: Too much nitrogen in the soil encourages plenty of green leaves but not many flowers. If there aren’t enough flowers, there won’t be enough tomatoes. Another cause may be planting tomatoes too closely together. Tomatoes are self-pollinating, meaning that each flower contains both the male (stamens) and female (pistils) parts. Wind typically pollinates tomatoes, but if plants are too close together, the wind can’t reach the flowers.
  • What to do about it: Have your soil tested. If you’re planting tomatoes in the spring, leave at least two feet or more between plants so that good air circulation can help pollinate them. If your plants are already in the garden, you can simply shake the flowering branches to simulate wind and get the pollen from the stamens to the pistils.

 

catfacing tomato

 6. Catfacing

  • What it looks like: Catfacing makes tomatoes appear deformed. The blossom end is rippled, bumpy and lumpy.
  • What causes it: Plants pollinated during cool evenings, when the temperatures hover around 50 to 55 degrees F, are subject to catfacing. Blossoms fall off when temperatures drop too low. However, if the flower is pollinating before the petals begin to drop off, some stick to the developing tomato. This creates the lumps and bumps typical of catfacing.
  • What to do about it: If possible, plant tomatoes a little later in the season. Make sure the weather has truly warmed up enough to support proper tomato development. Devices such as a “Wall of Water” — a circle of water-filled plastic tubes — raise temperatures near the tomato and help keep them high enough on cold nights to prevent cold-related problems. Using black-plastic spread on the soil can also help. As the plastic heats during the day, it releases the heat back towards the plants at night. Black plastic can be used as a temporary measure until the temperatures warm up enough that it’s no longer needed.

 

Why are my tomato plant leaves rolling and shriveling up

 7. Leaf Roll

  • What it looks like: Mature tomato plants suddenly curl their leaves, especially older leaves near the bottom. Leaves roll up from the outside towards the center. Sometimes up to 75% of the plant is affected.
  • What causes it: High temperatures, wet soil and too much pruning often result in leaf roll.
  • What to do about it: Although it looks ugly, leaf roll won’t affect tomato development, so you will still get edible tomatoes from your plants. Avoid over-pruning and make sure the soil drains excess water away.

 

tomatoes look normal but gaps inside

 8. Puffiness

  • What it looks like: The tomato plants look fine, they bloom according to schedule, and ripe red tomatoes are ready for harvest. When the tomato is sliced, the interior has large, open spaces and not much fruit inside. Tomatoes may feel light when harvested. The exterior of the tomato may have an angular, square-sided look.
  • What causes it: Under-fertilization, poor soil nutrition or inadequate pollination.
  • What to do about it: Make sure you are feeding your tomato plants throughout the season. A balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 should be fed biweekly or monthly. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need fertilizer throughout the growing season. For gardeners, frequent top-dressings with homemade compost and compost teas are a must.

 

tomato plant disease - bacterial canker

 9. Bacterial Canker

  • What it looks like: Often confused with cloudy spot disease, bacterial cankers start as yellow dots on ripening red tomatoes. If you look carefully at the spots — using a magnifying glass if you have one — you’ll see a dark, birds-eye-type rim around each of the yellowed spots. This is what distinguishes bacterial canker from cloudy spot disease.
  • What causes it: A bacteria called Clavibacter michiganensis. The bacteria occurs naturally but can be brought into the garden on infected plants or tools. Once it gets into the soil, rainwater splashes it up onto the plants. If there’s an open sore, such as insect damage or a leaf missing from pruning, it can enter the plant and infest it.
  • What to do about it: Remove the infected plants immediately and do not plant tomatoes again in that soil for at least three years. Rotate your crops regularly to prevent these and other diseases from taking hold in the soil. Don’t compost the dead plants — instead, put them in the trash to avoid spreading the bacteria.

 

Anthracnose - dark mushy spot on tomatoes

10. Anthracnose

  • What it looks like: As tomatoes ripen, a dark, bull’s-eye circle appears on the blossom end or bottom of the tomato. The spot is sunken and mushy to the touch. When you slice into the tomato, there’s a black mushy spot underneath that looks like rot.
  • What causes it: A fungus called Colletotrichum phomoides. The fungus loves hot, moist weather and is often spread by overhead irrigation, sprinklers striking infected soil and splashing the fungus up onto the plants, and infected plants.
  • What to do about it: Switch your watering methods so water drips on the roots, not the leaves of the plants. Harvest tomatoes when ripe, since overly ripe tomatoes tend to contract the fungus more than tomatoes in the early stages of ripening.

 

early blight on tomatoes

 11. Early Blight

  • What it looks like: You’ll find brown spots on tomato leaves, starting with the older ones. Each spot starts to develop rings, like a target. Leaves turn yellow around the brown spots, then the entire leaf turns brown and falls off. Eventually the plant may have few, if any, leaves.
  • What causes it: A fungus called Alternaria solani. This fungus can live in the soil over the winter, so if your plants have had problems before like this, and you’ve planted tomatoes in the exact same spot, chances are good the same thing will happen to your plants this year.
  • What to do about it: Crop rotation prevents new plants from contracting the disease. Avoid planting tomatoes, eggplants or peppers in the same spot each year as these can all be infected with early blight. A garden fungicide can treat infected plants.

 

Tomato fungus - Septoria Leaf Spot

 12. Septoria Leaf Spot

  • What it looks like: After the plants begin to develop tomatoes, the lower leaves break out in yellow spots. Within the yellow spots, dark gray centers with dark borders appear. Black dots appear in the center of the spots. Foliage dies and falls off.
  • What causes it: A fungus called Septoria lycopersici thatinfects foliage.
  • What to do about it: Avoid watering tomatoes from the top, as the spray can force the spores developing on the leaves back into the soil and continue the disease cycle. Certis Double Nickel 55™ Fungicide & Bactericide was developed for use against Septoria Leaf Spot on tomatoes.

wilted tomato plant fungus

13. Fusarium Wilt

  • What it looks like: Your tomato plants look fine, when suddenly, they start to wilt. At first, only one side may be affected, but then the whole plant is wilting. You water them, and the problem gets worse. Within a day or two, the plant is dead!
  • What causes it: A nasty fungus called Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici that attacks the vascular system of the plant, roughly equivalent to a human’s veins. The fungus destroys the xylem tubes, which transport water and nutrients up from the roots and into the leaves.
  • What to do about it: In the case of fusarium wilt, the best defense is a good offense. Rotate your crops so tomatoes aren’t planted in the same section of the garden each year. Purchase wilt-resistant varieties if you’ve lost tomatoes to wilting diseases in the past, since the fungus can overwinter in garden and lawn soils.

Verticillium Wilt - Tomato plant fungus with yellow spots on leaves

 14. Verticillium Wilt

  • What it looks like: Yellow blotches appear on the lower leaves. As the blotches spread, the veins in the leaves turn brown. After the leaves turn brown, they fall off. The disease progresses up the stem until the plant is stunted.
  • What causes it: A fungus that lives in the soil, Verticilliurn albo-atrum, attacks the roots and travels up the xylem tubes with water. It then prevents the normal flow of water and nutrients to the leaves.
  • What to do about it: Once plants are infected, there isn’t much you can do to treat Verticillium wilt. Rotate your crops, because the fungus can live for long periods in the soil and even live among weeds such as ragweed. Choosing wilt-resistant varieties to plant is the best way to prevent Verticillium wilt.

What wrong with my tomatoes - spotted wilt virus

 15. Viral Diseases

  • What they looks like: Viral diseases mainly attack the tomatoes themselves. You might find black spots on tomatoes, or weird stripes on them. Don’t confuse signs of disease for just how some heirloom tomatoes look with natural stripes.
  • What causes them: Many of these viruses spread when plants are stressed by heat, drought or poor soil.
  • What to do about them: If you’ve read through all of these tomato problems and think your tomatoes may be suffering from a viral disease, spray your tomato plants with neem oil. Good soil management and using organic fertilizer for tomatoes also helps keep your plants healthy, which can help them naturally resist viruses better.

 

powdery mildew on tomato leaves

16. Powdery Mildew On Tomatoes

  • What it looks like: Powdery mildew is easy to find on tomato plants as it looks like someone brushed the leaves with a white powder. You might find white spots on tomato leaves or even the stem. If you let the fungi thrive it will turn your tomato leaves yellow and then brown.
  • What causes it: Powdery mildew on tomatoes is more common in greenhouses than an outdoor garden because of the lack of air flow and high humidity.
  • What to do about it: The best way to prevent powdery mildew on tomato plants is to use a preventative spray formulated with sulfur. For more information, read this post on prevention and treatment of powdery mildew on plants.

5 INSECTS THAT CAN DESTROY YOUR TOMATOES

In addition to diseases, insects can damage tomato plants, too. Not all bugs are bad — some insects are extremely helpful, and some will even attack the “bad” bugs plaguing your tomato plants.

Help for tomato plants

Be sure to browse the extended information on tomato plant pests below, but, overall, here are your best options for fighting insect infestations on tomato plants:

  • Caterpillar Killer with B.t. (Solution: Fight hornworms and other plant-eating caterpillars with this OMRI Listed® biological control that targets destructive larvae.)
  • Insect Killing Spray for Tomatoes. (Solution: An insect-killing formula for use on tomatoes that’s compliant for use with organic gardening and fights tomato hornworm, Colorado potato beetles, whiteflies and other caterpillars.)
  • Insecticidal Soap. (Solution: An OMRI Listed® insecticide soap that can be used up to the day of harvest on aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and other pests.)
  • Insecticidal Soap with Pyrethrin. (Solution: By mixing the features of insecticidal soap and pyrethrin, you can maintain your organic garden and fight spider mites, hornworms and destructive beetles.)
  • Neem Oil. (Solution: Neem oil kills insects in every life stage — from eggs to adults.)
  • Insect Traps. (Solution: Lure pest insects away from your plants and trap them before they can do more damage.)

The following tend to be the most common causes of various tomato pest problems.

cutworms on tomatoes

1. Cutworms

  • What they are: Cutworms feed at night on seedlings. They “cut” or eat through the stem at soil level or an inch or less above the soil. Cutworms aren’t exactly worms — they are the larvae of certain moths. They only emerge at night and can be difficult to spot. Cutworms kill tomato plants by snipping them right in half.
  • What to do about them: Prevent cutworm damage by making a paper collar that fits around your seedlings. Just take newspaper or cardboard and fold it into an inch-wide strip. Use tape to make a collar around the plant, leaving about two to three inches around the stem. Remove the collar once the plant has several sets of leaves. You can also cut the bottom off of a paper cup and slide the open-bottom cup over the seedling to prevent cutworm damage.

 

hornworm on tomato plants

 2. Hornworms

  • What they are: Tomato or tobacco hornworms can decimate mature tomato plants in one night. These crafty insects are large green worms about two to three inches long with tiny horns on their head and ridged bodies. Hornworms are perfectly camouflaged so they look exactly like a tomato stem or branch, making them difficult to spot. They emerge at night, eat all the leaves off the plant and move on to the next section or plant.
  • What to do about them: Nature provides the best control for tomato hornworm in the form of a parasitic wasp that lays her eggs on the body of the hornworm. As the wasp’s larvae hatch, they eat into the living worm and eventually kill it. Natural methods to control tomato hornworms include planting marigolds around tomatoes. The strong marigold scent repels them naturally. Safer® Brand Caterpillar Killer II With B.T. uses a naturally occurring fungus to quell hornworms without harming earthworms. You can also use an insect-killing spray.

 

Colorado potato beetle damaging tomato plants

 3. Colorado Potato Beetle

  • What they are: Colorado potato beetles are native to the United States. They love plants in the nightshade family, especially potatoes. If they can’t find potatoes, however, they will gravitate towards tomatoes, eggplant and other nightshade family vegetables. The beetles are about the size of dimes, with yellow-and-black striped wings. The adults use their mouthparts to chew holes in the leaves of tomato plants. Females lay clusters of bright gold or yellow eggs underneath the leaves. When the larvae hatch, they spread out among the tomato leaves, easily eating their way through the entire plant. Larvae are red to dark pink with black spots and frequently hide under the leaves during the day.
  • What to do about them: Use a pesticide with pyrethrins to spray on your tomato plants. This method works best in early spring before the larvae mature.

how to get rid of stink bugs on tomato plants

4. Stink Bugs

  • What they are: The brown marmorated stink bug isn’t only an annoyance inside the home. These insects also use their needle-like mouthparts to suck the juice right out of your tomatoes. They can be spotted with the naked eye on your tomatoes, or you can see their damage in the yellow, uneven spots that appear on the ripening tomatoes. When you slice into a yellow-spotted tomato, white sections appear under the yellow spots, which distinguish stink bug damage from fungal or viral problems.
  • What to do about them: Safer® Brand makes stink bug traps that harmlessly attract the insects to the trap and away from your tomatoes.

 

how to get rid of spidermites on tomatoes

5. Spider Mites

  • What they are: Spider mites are difficult to see because they’re so tiny, but you can clearly see the damage they leave behind. Mites scuttle along the stems and leaves, piercing the leaves to feed on the juices. Eventually, tomato leaves look stippled and bronzed, with damage to the plant’s leaf structure.
  • What to do about them: The best method for treating spider mites on tomato plants is to use a neem oil spray. Another option is insecticidal soap, which also offers a treatment for spider mites.

NOT JUST BUGS: BIRD PROBLEMS

One final tomato problem is often mistaken for insect damage: birds. Some birds, especially crows, love to eat ripening fruit, and tomatoes are technically a fruit. Crows peck with their large, sharp beaks at the ripening tomatoes, ripping open gashes and eating partial segments from various fruits. Other birds and even squirrels may also be at work if you find tomatoes that look like they have bites taken out of them.

The best control for bird problems is a net. A large fruit tree net, available at your local home or garden store, can be draped over the plants. The net is an effective deterrent to birds and usually a good deterrent for squirrels, too.

Although this list of tomato problems is extensive, don’t let it deter you from growing great tomatoes. The good news is that most of these diseases and problems still leave you with some edible tomatoes. And once you take precautions to avoid these diseases and pests in your future gardens, your tomatoes will continue to be fruitful and successful. 

Source of Article: http://www.saferbrand.com.

Tomato Pests & Disease in Pakistan

A number of tomato troubles (insect, disease, environmental) can wreak havoc on your favorite plants. We identify them here and list earth-friendly solutions for controlling them.

Home-grown tomatoes are a source of pride, a thing of beauty, and beyond-description delicious. Whether heirlooms of the sort our grandmothers knew or a tried and true northern variety that gives us success despite June and September frosts, a perfect tomato is an achievement. If that perfect tomato is organic, kept pest and disease free without the use of harmful chemicals, it’s priceless.

To produce that perfect tomato, be alert. Keep an eye on your plant’s health, look for larvae and other insects, watch for signs of disease. And if you find them, come here for advice on what to do. Remember: part of a quick reaction is having the most efficient tools, products, and methods ready for when trouble shows its head. Be prepared.

The first task when facing an unhappy tomato plant is to diagnose the problem. Websites with pictures can be enormously helpful here. One of the best is Texas A&M’s Tomato Disorders page, which presents photographs under five headings, green fruit, ripe fruit, stems, leaves, and roots. What you can’t do on that site, though, is type in a suspected problem and call up an associated picture. One of the best sites comes out of Maine titled Common Tomato Diseases and Disorders.

Garden Pests

If you see an insect on or near your beloved tomato plants, don’t rush for the nearest insecticide. Many insects are beneficial to the garden or at least neutral. That insect may be feeding on the very pests you’re having trouble with. Even if you’re looking at an enemy, one insect does not make an infestation. It’s best to identify the intruder and the level of damage it’s causing before implementing steps in managing insect pests in vegetable gardens (hat tip to Cornell University).

Aphids

These are those dense clusters of tiny insects you may see on the stems or new growth of your tomato plants. While small numbers are not a problem — don’t be afraid to crush them with your thumb — large infestations can gradually injure or even kill plants. Pinch off foliage where aphids are densely concentrated, and throw these discarded bits into the garbage, not on the ground. If the problem then seems manageable, release beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings. If it doesn’t, go for the insecticidal soap that uses natural fats and plant oils (Organic Material Review Institute listed) or natural sprays, many of which are listed for organic production.

Cutworms

These are the tiny grub-like caterpillars that feed on young plant stems at night, frequently felling seedlings by eating right through them at ground level. Prevent damage by placing collars around seedlings. You can make these of paper, cardboard, aluminum foil, or an aluminum pie plate about ten inches long and four high, bent to form a circle or cylinder and stapled. Sink the collars about an inch into soil around individual seedlings, letting three inches show above the ground to deter high-climbers.

Flea Beetles

A potentially devastating visitor, the flea beetle (so-named because it resembles and jumps like a flea) attacks from both sides: adults eat foliage, leaving numerous small holes, while larvae feed on roots. They’re not picky, these beetles; they’ll go for corn, cabbage, lettuce, and all members of the Solanaceae family: peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes. Unless levels are very high, damage can be minimized and controlled by using preventative measures.

Clear away or plow under weeds and debris, in which adults over-winter.
Place yellow sticky-traps to monitor levels and capture adults.
Use row covers. Young plants are more vulnerable to damage, so cover them to keep beetles off.
Dusting plants with diatomaceous earth (a chalky stone composed of marine fossils, ground to powder) helps control adults feeding on foliage.
To attack the insect more directly, introduce beneficial nematodes into your soil to feed on the larvae and pupae.
In cases of high infestation and serious damage, botanical insecticides such as pyrethrin can be used.

Hornworms

These destructive caterpillars are so big — three inches long or more — that it would seem to be easy to control them just by picking them off. And so it is, sometimes. The problem is that their pale green color provides excellent camouflage, and the nymph and larval stages are far smaller and less obvious. If there are only a few, picking them off works well. (One site suggests spraying the plant with water, causing the caterpillars to, and I quote, “thrash around,” giving themselves away.) If there are more than a few, other measures may be called for. One of these is Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis, an organic treatment that can control numerous other problems as well.

Nematodes

This is one of the most dreaded tomato problems. Actually, almost 20,000 different species of nematode have been identified, and billions of these usually microscopic worms occupy each acre of fertile earth, so it is fortunate that only a few cause gardening problems. Some, insect pathogenic nematodes, can actually help control other gardening pests such as fungus gnats or flea beetles. But when a gardening friend says in a voice of doom, “I’ve got nematodes,” he generally means one thing: root-knot nematodes. This particular species invades various crops, causing bumps or galls that interfere with the plant’s ability to take up nutrients and to perform photosynthesis. They’re most common in warmer areas with short winters. Unfortunately, controlling nematodes is not easy.

Rotation: Since they take several seasons to get established, rotating garden crops denies this pest the chance to get entrenched. It’s crucial, though, that you follow tomatoes with crops that are not vulnerable to the same problem! Members of the same family are of course taboo; this includes peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. However, less likely crops are also vulnerable; these include okra and cotton, in the south, and peas, squash, beets, and numerous others anywhere. If you suspect nematodes — if you ever pull a plant that has odd-looking lumpy growths on its roots — have your county extension agent take a look at it, and get advice about crop rotation in your area.
Soil sterilization: Completely sterilizing the soil is one option on small plots, but it’s toxic and sometimes expensive. It also means that you’ve killed off all the beneficial organisms in the soil as well as the troublesome ones, so it’s particularly important to follow such treatment with a big infusion of clean compost. It would also be best to add earthworms, and an assortment of micro-organisms as well, since doing so will restore the soil to full health and make it less vulnerable to further incursions by nematodes.
Nematodes: While eliminating nematodes is extremely difficult, it is possible to limit their damage by using resistant varieties, marked N. Doing so doesn’t kill the pests, but it does keep them and their effects under control.

White flies

These tiny flying insects feed on plant juices, leaving behind a sticky residue or ‘honeydew,’ which can become a host for sooty mold. Rustle the leaves of infested plants, and clouds of these insects will rise. If you have a serious problem, you may be tempted to reach for a conventional insecticide, but don’t bother, as whiteflies have developed resistance to many.

The best bet is a horticultural oil, which effectively smothers all stages of this insect.
To deal with lower levels, place yellow sticky traps to monitor and suppress infestations.
Hosing down plants can be surprisingly effective, especially if you use a bug-blaster, a hose attachment designed to produce an intense multi-directional spray that easily reaches the undersides of leaves.
Another tactic is to release natural predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, or whitefly parasites.
If the situation is out of control, insecticidal soaps and botanical insecticides can bring populations down to manageable levels, at which point natural predators can maintain them.

Plant Diseases

Tomatoes can be stricken by an astonishing array of diseases. If you want to see the full list, go to the How to Manage Tomato Pests page at UC Davis, which discusses some 30 diseases that can afflict tomatoes. Tomatoes can get early or late blight, either white or grey mold (or both). Then they can have problems with diseases with quirky names like curly top and corky root rot. It’s amazing that tomatoes are ever healthy. But they are, and it’s largely because the problems never get thoroughly established. After all, it’s a lot less work to nip problems in the proverbial bud.

Avoiding Problems

If you’re at all susceptible to anxiety attacks, it will probably be of some comfort to know that disease is generally far less of an issue for back-yard gardeners than for commercial producers.

Here’s how you can protect your tomatoes:

  • Give your plants good soil & fertilizer and regular watering; healthy plants are much more likely to resist diseases and other problems.
  • Keep gardening plots free of weeds and debris where insects can breed and diseases can incubate.
  • Rotate crops so that soil-borne pathogens never have more than a season to get established.
  • Clean your gardening tools and equipment, especially at the end of the season, to ensure that they don’t carry over or spread a disease.
  • Remove unhealthy foliage; pull unhealthy plants to cut down on the spread of problems.
  • Don’t compost diseased foliage or plants unless you know it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t use tobacco near tomato plants, to avoid communicating tobacco mosaic virus.
  • Avoid watering the foliage of your plants, especially in humid climates, as many diseases are encouraged by damp conditions.

The last on that list may be one of the most important. Many plant diseases — verticillium and fusarium wilt, early and late blight, and various leaf spots — are all caused by fungi that prefer damp, cool conditions. Experts generally advise gardeners to water in the morning in part to avoid conditions that encourage fungal growth or molds. Using drip watering systems or soaker hoses keeps leaves dry, again reducing attractive sites for the fungus to get established. Though some of these fungi are airborne, many reside in the soil or in garden debris or weeds related to the tomato. It is important, therefore, to keep weeds and brush piles clear of garden plots. It also helps to keep tomato foliage off the ground and to avoid splashing water up from the ground onto foliage while watering. Mulches help achieve both these objectives.

Damping Off

Caused by any of several viruses, damping off disease is a tomato problem that affects young, seemingly healthy seedlings that suddenly develop a dark lesion at the soil line, then quickly wilt and die. Cool, damp soil, overwatering, and overcrowding all increase probability of infection. Use clean potting soil and germination trays and tools to reduce incidence, avoid crowded seed beds, and monitor watering carefully during the first two weeks after sprouting.

Fusarium Wilt

Caused by a soil-borne fungus that targets Solanaceous plants (tomato, pepper, potato, eggplant), fusarium wilt often causes no symptoms until plants are mature and green fruit begins to reach its full size. At that point foliage, sometimes on only one side of the plant, turns yellow, and a sliced stem will show brownish, discolored tissue. Control includes crop rotation, so that the wilt organisms, deprived of a host, will die down in affected soils where it winters. Since cool, damp conditions favor infection, avoid spraying leaves, especially in cool weather. Use resistant varieties.

Mosaic Virus

There are actually several closely related viruses (the tobamoviruses) that cause the wilted, mottled, and underdeveloped fern-like leaves characteristic of the tobacco mosaic virus. All are spread by what are termed mechanical means: something or something that’s been in contact with the virus touches an uninfected plant, and voila — you’ve got an infected plant. Sanitation is therefore of the utmost importance, starting with never smoking near tomato plants, as tobacco can carry the virus. Infected plants should be destroyed. Back-yard plants purchased from a reliable nursery or grown from certified disease-free seed and handled in a tobacco-free environment by only one or two people, are unlikely to develop this disease.

Verticillium Wilt

Like fusarium, verticillium is caused by a fungus that, once established in soil, is virtually impossible to remove. Symptoms are almost identical to those caused by fusarium wilt, but are less lethal. The edges of large, older leaves turn yellow, then brown and crumbly, and stems show vascular damage. Unlike fusarium, verticillium wilt affects a wide variety of crops, but lowers yield without killing plants. Again, avoid spreading infected soil and watering foliage, and again, use resistant varieties.

Environmental Conditions

Blossom End Rot
If your ripening fruits develop a dark spot at the lower end, a spot that gradually widens and deepens, you’re looking at blossom-end rot. It’s an environmental problem most often caused by uneven watering or by calcium deficiency. (These can be related; uneven watering can interfere with the uptake of calcium.) The simplest treatment is therefore pre-treatment: make sure soil is rich in all necessary nutrients, including liquid calcium, and water regularly. Mulches also help maintain even moisture levels.

Catfacing
Catfaced tomato plants are deformed to a greater or lesser extent, having deep grooves or indentations running from the blossom end all the way around to the stem. The condition results from cool weather or insect damage while the plant is in blossom. Tomato varieties with large fruit are most susceptible and tomatoes are often rendered inedible — although considered safe to it. To avoid the problem select resistant varieties whenever possible.

Cracking
Several things can cause cracking in tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, especially small ones, frequently split at the stem end, sometimes all the way to the blossom end, and it does not indicate any sort of disease or problem. The skin of a tomato becomes less resilient as it matures, so the fruit often outgrows the skin. Pick cherry tomatoes just before full ripeness to avoid this.

Circular splitting at the stem end, (concentric cracking) or cracks running towards the stem (radial cracking) usually result from a sudden increase in moisture after a dry spell. Once again, the tomato fruit expands beyond the skin’s ability to adapt. Keep soil evenly moist to avoid this phenomenon.

Sun Scald
The tomato’s skin will look bruised or leathery, the skin sunken and puckered. It is essentially what it sounds like, a sun-burn, tomato style, and it occurs when fruit is too exposed during hot weather. This problem primarily affects staked and trellised tomatoes, which are more aggressively pruned than are caged or free tomatoes. To prevent this problem, be sure to leave adequate foliage on plants when pruning. Reusable shade cloth can also be used to protect tender vegetable plants. Once sun scald has occurred, you cannot do anything for affected fruit, but you can provide shade for the unaffected ones.

Tomato Pests & Disease in Pakistan

A number of tomato troubles (insect, disease, environmental) can wreak havoc on your favorite plants. We identify them here and list earth-friendly solutions for controlling them.

Home-grown tomatoes are a source of pride, a thing of beauty, and beyond-description delicious. Whether heirlooms of the sort our grandmothers knew or a tried and true northern variety that gives us success despite June and September frosts, a perfect tomato is an achievement. If that perfect tomato is organic, kept pest and disease free without the use of harmful chemicals, it’s priceless.

To produce that perfect tomato, be alert. Keep an eye on your plant’s health, look for larvae and other insects, watch for signs of disease. And if you find them, come here for advice on what to do. Remember: part of a quick reaction is having the most efficient tools, products, and methods ready for when trouble shows its head. Be prepared.

The first task when facing an unhappy tomato plant is to diagnose the problem. Websites with pictures can be enormously helpful here. One of the best is Texas A&M’s Tomato Disorders page, which presents photographs under five headings, green fruit, ripe fruit, stems, leaves, and roots. What you can’t do on that site, though, is type in a suspected problem and call up an associated picture. One of the best sites comes out of Maine titled Common Tomato Diseases and Disorders.

Garden Pests

If you see an insect on or near your beloved tomato plants, don’t rush for the nearest insecticide. Many insects are beneficial to the garden or at least neutral. That insect may be feeding on the very pests you’re having trouble with. Even if you’re looking at an enemy, one insect does not make an infestation. It’s best to identify the intruder and the level of damage it’s causing before implementing steps in managing insect pests in vegetable gardens (hat tip to Cornell University).

Aphids

These are those dense clusters of tiny insects you may see on the stems or new growth of your tomato plants. While small numbers are not a problem — don’t be afraid to crush them with your thumb — large infestations can gradually injure or even kill plants. Pinch off foliage where aphids are densely concentrated, and throw these discarded bits into the garbage, not on the ground. If the problem then seems manageable, release beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings. If it doesn’t, go for the insecticidal soap that uses natural fats and plant oils (Organic Material Review Institute listed) or natural sprays, many of which are listed for organic production.

Cutworms

These are the tiny grub-like caterpillars that feed on young plant stems at night, frequently felling seedlings by eating right through them at ground level. Prevent damage by placing collars around seedlings. You can make these of paper, cardboard, aluminum foil, or an aluminum pie plate about ten inches long and four high, bent to form a circle or cylinder and stapled. Sink the collars about an inch into soil around individual seedlings, letting three inches show above the ground to deter high-climbers.

Flea Beetles

A potentially devastating visitor, the flea beetle (so-named because it resembles and jumps like a flea) attacks from both sides: adults eat foliage, leaving numerous small holes, while larvae feed on roots. They’re not picky, these beetles; they’ll go for corn, cabbage, lettuce, and all members of the Solanaceae family: peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes. Unless levels are very high, damage can be minimized and controlled by using preventative measures.

Clear away or plow under weeds and debris, in which adults over-winter.
Place yellow sticky-traps to monitor levels and capture adults.
Use row covers. Young plants are more vulnerable to damage, so cover them to keep beetles off.
Dusting plants with diatomaceous earth (a chalky stone composed of marine fossils, ground to powder) helps control adults feeding on foliage.
To attack the insect more directly, introduce beneficial nematodes into your soil to feed on the larvae and pupae.
In cases of high infestation and serious damage, botanical insecticides such as pyrethrin can be used.

Hornworms

These destructive caterpillars are so big — three inches long or more — that it would seem to be easy to control them just by picking them off. And so it is, sometimes. The problem is that their pale green color provides excellent camouflage, and the nymph and larval stages are far smaller and less obvious. If there are only a few, picking them off works well. (One site suggests spraying the plant with water, causing the caterpillars to, and I quote, “thrash around,” giving themselves away.) If there are more than a few, other measures may be called for. One of these is Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis, an organic treatment that can control numerous other problems as well.

Nematodes

This is one of the most dreaded tomato problems. Actually, almost 20,000 different species of nematode have been identified, and billions of these usually microscopic worms occupy each acre of fertile earth, so it is fortunate that only a few cause gardening problems. Some, insect pathogenic nematodes, can actually help control other gardening pests such as fungus gnats or flea beetles. But when a gardening friend says in a voice of doom, “I’ve got nematodes,” he generally means one thing: root-knot nematodes. This particular species invades various crops, causing bumps or galls that interfere with the plant’s ability to take up nutrients and to perform photosynthesis. They’re most common in warmer areas with short winters. Unfortunately, controlling nematodes is not easy.

Rotation: Since they take several seasons to get established, rotating garden crops denies this pest the chance to get entrenched. It’s crucial, though, that you follow tomatoes with crops that are not vulnerable to the same problem! Members of the same family are of course taboo; this includes peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. However, less likely crops are also vulnerable; these include okra and cotton, in the south, and peas, squash, beets, and numerous others anywhere. If you suspect nematodes — if you ever pull a plant that has odd-looking lumpy growths on its roots — have your county extension agent take a look at it, and get advice about crop rotation in your area.
Soil sterilization: Completely sterilizing the soil is one option on small plots, but it’s toxic and sometimes expensive. It also means that you’ve killed off all the beneficial organisms in the soil as well as the troublesome ones, so it’s particularly important to follow such treatment with a big infusion of clean compost. It would also be best to add earthworms, and an assortment of micro-organisms as well, since doing so will restore the soil to full health and make it less vulnerable to further incursions by nematodes.
Nematodes: While eliminating nematodes is extremely difficult, it is possible to limit their damage by using resistant varieties, marked N. Doing so doesn’t kill the pests, but it does keep them and their effects under control.

White flies

These tiny flying insects feed on plant juices, leaving behind a sticky residue or ‘honeydew,’ which can become a host for sooty mold. Rustle the leaves of infested plants, and clouds of these insects will rise. If you have a serious problem, you may be tempted to reach for a conventional insecticide, but don’t bother, as whiteflies have developed resistance to many.

The best bet is a horticultural oil, which effectively smothers all stages of this insect.
To deal with lower levels, place yellow sticky traps to monitor and suppress infestations.
Hosing down plants can be surprisingly effective, especially if you use a bug-blaster, a hose attachment designed to produce an intense multi-directional spray that easily reaches the undersides of leaves.
Another tactic is to release natural predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, or whitefly parasites.
If the situation is out of control, insecticidal soaps and botanical insecticides can bring populations down to manageable levels, at which point natural predators can maintain them.

Plant Diseases

Tomatoes can be stricken by an astonishing array of diseases. If you want to see the full list, go to the How to Manage Tomato Pests page at UC Davis, which discusses some 30 diseases that can afflict tomatoes. Tomatoes can get early or late blight, either white or grey mold (or both). Then they can have problems with diseases with quirky names like curly top and corky root rot. It’s amazing that tomatoes are ever healthy. But they are, and it’s largely because the problems never get thoroughly established. After all, it’s a lot less work to nip problems in the proverbial bud.

Avoiding Problems

If you’re at all susceptible to anxiety attacks, it will probably be of some comfort to know that disease is generally far less of an issue for back-yard gardeners than for commercial producers.

Here’s how you can protect your tomatoes:

  • Give your plants good soil & fertilizer and regular watering; healthy plants are much more likely to resist diseases and other problems.
  • Keep gardening plots free of weeds and debris where insects can breed and diseases can incubate.
  • Rotate crops so that soil-borne pathogens never have more than a season to get established.
  • Clean your gardening tools and equipment, especially at the end of the season, to ensure that they don’t carry over or spread a disease.
  • Remove unhealthy foliage; pull unhealthy plants to cut down on the spread of problems.
  • Don’t compost diseased foliage or plants unless you know it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t use tobacco near tomato plants, to avoid communicating tobacco mosaic virus.
  • Avoid watering the foliage of your plants, especially in humid climates, as many diseases are encouraged by damp conditions.

The last on that list may be one of the most important. Many plant diseases — verticillium and fusarium wilt, early and late blight, and various leaf spots — are all caused by fungi that prefer damp, cool conditions. Experts generally advise gardeners to water in the morning in part to avoid conditions that encourage fungal growth or molds. Using drip watering systems or soaker hoses keeps leaves dry, again reducing attractive sites for the fungus to get established. Though some of these fungi are airborne, many reside in the soil or in garden debris or weeds related to the tomato. It is important, therefore, to keep weeds and brush piles clear of garden plots. It also helps to keep tomato foliage off the ground and to avoid splashing water up from the ground onto foliage while watering. Mulches help achieve both these objectives.

Damping Off

Caused by any of several viruses, damping off disease is a tomato problem that affects young, seemingly healthy seedlings that suddenly develop a dark lesion at the soil line, then quickly wilt and die. Cool, damp soil, overwatering, and overcrowding all increase probability of infection. Use clean potting soil and germination trays and tools to reduce incidence, avoid crowded seed beds, and monitor watering carefully during the first two weeks after sprouting.

Fusarium Wilt

Caused by a soil-borne fungus that targets Solanaceous plants (tomato, pepper, potato, eggplant), fusarium wilt often causes no symptoms until plants are mature and green fruit begins to reach its full size. At that point foliage, sometimes on only one side of the plant, turns yellow, and a sliced stem will show brownish, discolored tissue. Control includes crop rotation, so that the wilt organisms, deprived of a host, will die down in affected soils where it winters. Since cool, damp conditions favor infection, avoid spraying leaves, especially in cool weather. Use resistant varieties.

Mosaic Virus

There are actually several closely related viruses (the tobamoviruses) that cause the wilted, mottled, and underdeveloped fern-like leaves characteristic of the tobacco mosaic virus. All are spread by what are termed mechanical means: something or something that’s been in contact with the virus touches an uninfected plant, and voila — you’ve got an infected plant. Sanitation is therefore of the utmost importance, starting with never smoking near tomato plants, as tobacco can carry the virus. Infected plants should be destroyed. Back-yard plants purchased from a reliable nursery or grown from certified disease-free seed and handled in a tobacco-free environment by only one or two people, are unlikely to develop this disease.

Verticillium Wilt

Like fusarium, verticillium is caused by a fungus that, once established in soil, is virtually impossible to remove. Symptoms are almost identical to those caused by fusarium wilt, but are less lethal. The edges of large, older leaves turn yellow, then brown and crumbly, and stems show vascular damage. Unlike fusarium, verticillium wilt affects a wide variety of crops, but lowers yield without killing plants. Again, avoid spreading infected soil and watering foliage, and again, use resistant varieties.

Environmental Conditions

Blossom End Rot
If your ripening fruits develop a dark spot at the lower end, a spot that gradually widens and deepens, you’re looking at blossom-end rot. It’s an environmental problem most often caused by uneven watering or by calcium deficiency. (These can be related; uneven watering can interfere with the uptake of calcium.) The simplest treatment is therefore pre-treatment: make sure soil is rich in all necessary nutrients, including liquid calcium, and water regularly. Mulches also help maintain even moisture levels.

Catfacing
Catfaced tomato plants are deformed to a greater or lesser extent, having deep grooves or indentations running from the blossom end all the way around to the stem. The condition results from cool weather or insect damage while the plant is in blossom. Tomato varieties with large fruit are most susceptible and tomatoes are often rendered inedible — although considered safe to it. To avoid the problem select resistant varieties whenever possible.

Cracking
Several things can cause cracking in tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, especially small ones, frequently split at the stem end, sometimes all the way to the blossom end, and it does not indicate any sort of disease or problem. The skin of a tomato becomes less resilient as it matures, so the fruit often outgrows the skin. Pick cherry tomatoes just before full ripeness to avoid this.

Circular splitting at the stem end, (concentric cracking) or cracks running towards the stem (radial cracking) usually result from a sudden increase in moisture after a dry spell. Once again, the tomato fruit expands beyond the skin’s ability to adapt. Keep soil evenly moist to avoid this phenomenon.

Sun Scald
The tomato’s skin will look bruised or leathery, the skin sunken and puckered. It is essentially what it sounds like, a sun-burn, tomato style, and it occurs when fruit is too exposed during hot weather. This problem primarily affects staked and trellised tomatoes, which are more aggressively pruned than are caged or free tomatoes. To prevent this problem, be sure to leave adequate foliage on plants when pruning. Reusable shade cloth can also be used to protect tender vegetable plants. Once sun scald has occurred, you cannot do anything for affected fruit, but you can provide shade for the unaffected ones.

Effect of phosphorus rates on tomato in calcareous soil

Phosphorous (P) has a significant role in root growth, fruit and seed development, and plant disease resistance. Currently, no P fertilizer recommendations are available for vegetables grown on calcareous soils in Florida.

The objective of a new study was to evaluate the impact of different P rates on leaf tissue P concentration (LTPC), plant growth, biomass accumulation, fruit yield, and postharvest quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown on a calcareous soil.

The experiment was conducted with soils containing 13 to 15 mg·kg?1 of P extracted by ammonium bicarbonate-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (AB-DTPA). Phosphorus fertilizers were applied at rates of 0, 29, 49, 78, 98, and 118 kg·ha?1 of P before laying polyethylene mulch. Tomatoes were grown using drip irrigation during the winter seasons of 2014 and 2015.

No significant responses to P rates were found in LTPC during both growing seasons. Plant height, stem diameter, and leaf chlorophyll content at 30 days after transplanting (DAT) were significantly affected by P rates in 2015, but not in 2014. The responses of plant biomass were predicted by linear models at 60 DAT in 2014 and at 30 DAT in 2015. There were no significant differences in plant biomass at 95 DAT in both years.

At the first and second combined harvest, the extra large fruit yield was unaffected in 2014, but predicted by a quadratic-plateau model with a critical rate of 75 kg·ha?1 in 2015. The total season marketable yields (TSMY) and postharvest qualities were not significantly affected by P rates in either year. Phosphorous rate of 75 kg·ha?1 was sufficient to grow a tomato crop during the winter season in calcareous soils with 13–15 mg·kg?1 of AB-DTPA-extractable P.