Prevention of pests and diseases in tomato is extremely important. This chapter discusses the most important pests and diseases and gives advice on their prevention and control. Practically all pests and diseases can be adequately controlled by applying synthetic chemical pesticides.
Always, scout to check out for pest. The common pests attacking your tomato crop include:
They are small white insects which hide below the leaves. They suck sap and spread viral diseases to your tomato crop. You can use Neem based preparation like Nimbecidine or spray with insecticides like ASATAF.
A very dangerous pest which eat the leaves, stem and fruits and suck juice. They also lay eggs on the leaves which hatch into larvae and feed on the leaves.You will see white lines on the leaves. The fruits will then rot and field dries and appears as it has been burnt by a fire. To control, use biological ways e.g Diglyphus which eats on leaf miner or mix 10g Cyro-Guard from Osho Chemicals with 20L of water in a knapsack. Spray the leaves when you see white lines.
- Red Spider Mites:They are tiny insects which form whitish-yellow spots on the leaves.
- American Bull Worms and grasshoppers: Thhey are insects which make holes on leaves.
- Aphids:You will see white spots on top of the leaves.
To control pests, weed early, use certified seeds and spray with effective insecticides.
This a common disorder caused by lack of calcium or a low pH in the soil. The bottom of the fruits gets black spots and starts to rot. To control blossom end-rot, do a soil test to know the health of your soil and pH every 2-3 years. Foliar spray with calcium rich foliar feeds like Easy Gro Calcium.
Most of diseases attacking tomatoes are caused by fungi and bacteria. They include:
Early and Late Blight
Caused by bacteria and common during rainy seasons. The leaves and fruit start to develop dark spots and start to rot. To control: use certified seeds/tolerant varieties, observe crop rotation and prevent with effective fungicides e.g. Ridomil or Mistress.
It forms white mold on leaves which then turn yellow and dries. To control, remove and dispose affected plants and spray with fungicides like Control 70DF.
Bacterial wilt has no cure. The leaves wilt and some may dry off. Always use tolerant varieties, do crop rotation and treat soil before planting. Remove affected plants.
It is a fungi also common in tomatoes. It is found in the soil and common in during seasons of high temperatures. The signs include yellowing and wilting of lower leaves and eventually the whole plant dies. To control, plant tolerant varieties and fumigate soil well before you plant.