Video:Common Tomato Foliage Diseaseswith Pete Nitzsche
Common tomato foliage diseases and disorders occur from poor planting conditions and tomato abnormalities. Learn more about tomato foliage diseases and how to combat them.See Transcript
Transcript:Common Tomato Foliage Diseases
Hi. I’m Pete Nitzsche, County Agricultural Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Morris County, here for About.com. I’m going to tell you about some of the more common tomato foliar diseases.
Common Foliage Diseases Include Early Blight
One of the most common pests or problems that people encounter growing tomatoes are foliar, fungal diseases. Which often are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed properly by gardeners, they don’t know what’s infecting their plant. Early blight is one of the most common fungal diseases that effects tomato plants. It causes spotting on the lower leaves of the plant and then eventually the whole leaf dies. And then you see the plant start to defoliate from the bottom up.
It starts to occur right around flowering and fruiting when the plants starts to set fruit. And then it’ll affect the plant for the rest of the season. That gets on the leaves and it defoliates the plant over time and reducing the amount of photosynthesis going on, and the sugars and energy going into the fruit. So, sometimes we’ll see a plant that’s defoliated. They’ll be a red fruit there – but it’s not going to taste very good.
Reduce Wetness on Tomatoes
Early blight thrives on leaf wetness. Anything you can do to reduce the humidity and leaf wetness is going to help. And so one thing to do is to water from below, water in the morning and let the plant dry out. Another thing is it does over winter as spores on debris. And so, you try and rotate or move where you plant your tomatoes every year. If you can’t rotate then you want to get rid of that infected debris because it’s got millions and billions of spores that’s going to affect the plant the next year.
Gray Leaf Spots Occur in the Tomatoes' Soil
Gray Leaf Spot is another foliar disease of tomatoes, a fungus disease. Again, it’s in the soil in spores. It splashes up onto the leaves and it infects the leaf. It causes small, about a quarter inch round spots on the leaf. Which have light centers and little black dots which is the fungus, the fruiting bodies of the fungus forming there on the leaf. Where you’re reducing the yield of the plant, and the fruit doesn’t taste too good because it’s got no leaves.
Lift Tomato Plants from the Ground
Proper watering, keeping the leaves dry, proper rotation, if you can do it in your garden move them to a different spot where you haven’t planted before. Getting your plant up off the ground, training it up, staking it, will also help to let the leaves dry out quicker. The fungal diseases tend to be more of a problem then the bacteria and there’s less you can do about the bacteria.
Tomato Viral Diseases
Fortunately, virus diseases aren’t as common with tomatoes, but they do exist. There’s several that can infect the tomatoes causes twisting and curling of the new growth, they’re moved from plant to plant by Aphids and other small insects. But, unfortunately, with viruses, once it’s in the plant there’s nothing you can do. We recommend people discard those plants because if they’re there with the virus and Aphid could remove that virus to another plant and infect the rest of the crop.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.