Just when you think you have the perfect tomatoes, you notice your plants are under attack.
There are 2 main culprits: tomato pests and diseases.
There’s nothing more humbling than the tomato growing experience.
One minute they look great, and the next they’re on the verge of rotting.
Every gardener has been there.
But, you don’t need to go through this.
Now that you’re here, you can learn how to deal with bugs and tomato plant diseases. There’s nothing better than getting a headstart.
This will allow you to grow healthy bright red tomatoes up to the harvesting season.
Your tomato growing journey is about to become easier with this informative guide. You’ll learn how to spot and deal with tomato pests and diseases without damaging your plants.
Let’s get started!
Learn to Spot Infected Plants
Before knowing how to prevent disease of tomato, you need to know how they manifest.
You can identify infected plants by these following signs:
- Holes in the fruit
- Discoloration on the undersides of leaves
- Consumed plant stems
Once you spot any of these signs, you know that your tomato plants are in danger.
Now, you may wonder what causes this damage.
There are different kinds of bugs that cause diseases of tomato. The most common pests are:
- Stink bugs
- Tomato hornworm
- Flea beetles
These bugs make your plant foliage look weak and affect the common tomato growth pattern.
But, there’s no need to fret.
It’s time to get down to the details on how to get rid of diseases and bugs on tomatoes.
Use Pest Repellants
Not to state the obvious, but this tactic is the main control method.
Yet, what you don’t know is, there are two main types of pest repellants. That is, natural and artificial pest repellants.
Saving your tomatoes begins with knowing what products you use on the young plants. Focusing on natural insecticidal soaps makes your gardening experience stress-free.
Here are the main differences between the two kinds of pesticides.
Research studies show that the best natural-commercial insecticides to use are:
- Bacillus thuringiensis
Gardeners have been using oils for about 200 years so it’s been thoroughly road-tested. Use these oils on broad-leaved trees and shrubs… The best spraying action is to cover both sides of the leaves and the bark and it’s best to spray in the cool of the morning.’’Source: reddit.com
Have a look at this table below which has a list of natural insecticides to use on specific insect pests.
If you have some doubts about these natural insecticides, you can still prepare your own. This is easy and you can find the ingredients in your kitchen too.
There are 5 simple DIY mixtures you can try out on your tomato plant to keep insects pests away. They are as follows:
- Mix crushed garlic, water, and pepper sauce
- Sprinkle Cornstarch on the leaves of young plants
- Use a combination of baking soda and water solution for the soil
- Mix a bit of Hydrogen peroxide and sugar
- Combine crushed garlic, water, and pepper sauce
Getting rid of insect pests is as easy as that!
Handpick the Pests off of Tomatoes
The number one problem with insecticides is that the pests may grow resistant to them. This means they don’t feel the effects of the bug-repellent.
As a result, they continue to infest your tomato plant, its leaves, and even your garden soil.
Instead, you can pick the insect pests off of your tomatoes one by one.
Hold on, this sounds like a lot of work, right?
Well, it doesn’t have to be.
For one, common tomato insects have a bright color and are easy to spot. Most of them are either neon green, white, brown, or yellow.
You can easily pick them up and dispose of them away from your garden.
Another reason is, not all insect pests are bad guys. Some play a crucial role in keeping your soil fertile and growing healthy tomatoes. They feed on predatory insects and their larvae.
This makes your job ten times easier than picking all the pests off one by one.
These beneficial insects are:
- Parasitic wasps
- Damsel bugs
Keep an eye out for them and encourage their presence. You’ll have insect-free plants in no time.
Other gardeners combine this with organic insecticides for a healthy garden.
Last year I had significant issues with pests and used neem oil and other organic control methods regularly… This year, I have released lacewings, ladybugs, and mantids in the garden. Some plants have minor damage… however, everything appears to be balancing itself so far.’’Source: reddit.com
Another secret to keeping natural predators away is to pick out the weeds in your garden.
It improves the general look of your garden and controls the growth of pests.
This is known as culture control. It deprives the predatory insects of a hiding place.
Also, you can set traps to catch these pesky pests.
Have you ever heard of pheromone traps?
These are popular to get rid of pests on tomato plants and leaves. They prevent the production of eggs which reduces the number of pests in your soil.
The best time to use the trap is during the growing season to protect the plants.
This great video below has all the information you need to make your pheromone trap.
After successfully making the trap, hang it among the plant leaves to catch the deadly bugs.
You’re all good to go.
Try Integrated Pest Management
Tomatoes plant diseases can be disheartening especially after putting in the effort.
You did everything right, so where do the diseases come from?
Research shows that other sources of tomato diseases are soil, seedlings, and even air.
Some of these common diseases are:
You can identify the early signs of these diseases by:
- Spotting holes on the undersides of leaves
- Discoloration of tomatoes
- Pale green leaves and stems
Now, it’s time to take action.
This is where Integrated Pest Management (IPM) comes into the picture.
Integrated Pest Management means the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and/or the environment.’’
-Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Gardeners use this method to grow healthy plants with minimal destruction of the ecosystem.
The results are more fertile soil and reduction of garden pests. This is achieved through the following IPM basic principles:
- There’s no single remedy for pest control
- Dealing with the cause of the problem is crucial
- Some level of pest damage is unavoidable
- Control methods are only used when necessary
Through IPM, you can get rid of predators in a sustainable way to ensure a healthy garden in the long run.
Tips For The IPM Method
You need to adapt some of your gardening routines to reap the benefits of the IPM method.
Consider these tips for successful pest control:
- Combine different pest control methods for soil-borne diseases
- Maintain at least 24 inches of space between tomato plants
- Prune your tomato plants the right way
- Use soil mulching to reduce the growth of weeds
- Practice crop rotation to reduce pest build up in the soil
With this expert-approved method, your soil and plant leaves will be bug-free in no time!
The Secret to a Thriving Tomato Garden
The tomato plant is amazing because of its different varieties and growth patterns. The glorious twirl of its vines and its juicy scent is enough to plaster a wide smile on your face.
There are so many secrets to achieving your dream tomato garden.
You can embark on this journey today.
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