In order to have healthy and tasty tomatoes, there are several things to follow up. Tomatoes are not easy to take care of, so in this article, you will find the best tips and tricks. Keep reading!
Choose optimal cultivation conditions
Like most vegetables, tomatoes need a sunny place and a good drainage land. They will be more vulnerable to diseases if you plant them in the shadow or in a too loamy soil. Also, a big help would be planting in a different place in the garden every year because some diseases can stay on the ground.
Stop the development of diseases in the soil
If you have soil poor in nutrients or you do not have room to always change the crop place, try to grow tomatoes in containers. Most varieties handle very well in large pots filled with a soil mix specially designed for such crops. Just make sure the pot is large enough – at least 30 cm in diameter – because many tomato varieties grow even 1.8m tall until the end of the season.
Select varieties adapted to the conditions in your area
There are hundreds of tomato varieties on the market for each area. For example, the University of Florida, US has developed a variety called “Solar Set” that loves warmth and moisture. Other varieties such as “Northen Delight” produce fruit very quickly and are ideal for areas with a short season. Inform yourself about varieties created for the conditions of your area.
Another method to prevent diseases is the choice of disease resistant varieties. They usually have a label that, besides the detailed description of the variety, also has a series of letters (for example, VFFN) which mean they are resistant to various diseases.
Provide proper care
Stressful growth conditions will weaken the plant by making it more vulnerable to disease. Make sure your tomatoes receive enough water during periods of drought and are well fed throughout the season.
To reduce competition for food, prevent weeds from invading the crop by creating a protective layer a few centimeters above the ground. It will also help you prevent some soil diseases from spreading on plant leaves.
Wet leaves encourage fungal diseases, so we recommend using a drip irrigation system or avoid spraying the leaves when you water. If you still need to use a hose and you can not avoid spraying the leaves, do this until the afternoon to let the leaves dry before the evening comes.
How do we solve the most common problems?
Cracked Fruits: When the fruit peel begins to crack, the problem is too much moisture and nutrients. Reduce the water and fertilizer offered and look for varieties resistant to this problem.
Fruit ends have dark, dry spots: these dry dots at the end of the fruit appear because the flower rotates at the end due to heat and excessive drought or fluctuating moisture. Maintain wet plants in warm and safe weather as they are constantly wetted.
Old leaves have brown or black spots: it is a common disease that disfigures older leaves. Break the infected leaves as soon as you see that the points begin to form; this will avoid spreading the infection to the rest of the leaves. A preventative measure would be a protective layer above the ground and keeping the leaves dry. Applying a fungicide may help you but only if you apply it before the onset of the disease. This disease can not be cured but only prevented or kept under control.
Old leaves have dark spots that appear to be damp: this is a very common fungal disease. It can be prevented by removing the infected leaves as soon as you see it has begun to form. A preventative measure would be a protective layer above the ground and keeping the leaves dry. Applying a fungicide may help but only apply it early before the disease gets worse. This disease can not be cured.
The leaves turn yellow before they get brown or brown: these are the symptoms of two very common diseases – verticillium and fusarium. Both can be prevented. Remove the infected leaves as soon as they begin to get sick – this prevents the spread of the disease and the healthy leaves. A preventative measure would be a protective layer above the ground and keeping the leaves dry. Applying a fungicide may help but only apply it early before the disease gets worse. Fusarium and verticillium can not be cured.
Large and green caterpillars that eat the leaves: these leaf-eating insects will quickly devour your precious vegetables. An organic and ecological solution would be to crush the caterpillars, collect them by hand and throw them in a bucket full of water and soap or apply Thuringiensis bacillus, a bacterium that attacks and destroys the caterpillars.
Additional Note: some wasp species will lay eggs on these caterpillars.