Tomato plant diseases are caused by bacteria in the soil, air, or transmitted by insects. They can infect plants either growing in the field or in a greenhouse in the form of fungus, viruses, or stress. If not treated, a disease can spread to other plants and destroy a crop. Recognizing the type of disease infecting a plant will help determine the appropriate treatment.
Tomato Plant Diseases
Tomato plant diseases such as Septoria Leaf Spots are caused by fungus. It develops when the Septoria Lycopersici fungus is present. Infection starts on the fruiting plant as a small water soaked spot. It progresses into a lesion about 1/4 inch in diameter. The lesion soon turns into a gray-white spot with brown edges. Sometimes fungal fruiting bodies can develop in the center of the lesion as black spots. these spots can spread to other leaves during watering and by raindrops. If this condition persists, the plant my lose all its leaves. Early Blight is another fungus similar in appearance to Septoria Leaf Spot, and can occur on the tomato plant at the same time. It is recognized first on a plant’s lower leaves as a brown to black spot about 1/2 inch in diameter that merge into irregular blotches. After infection, the leaf will turn yellow they dry up. A fungus can also attack the tomato fruit at its stem end causing sunken areas on the fruit. Using fungicides can cure the problems, but, not working with plants when they are wet can prevent spreading disease.
Viruses are tomato plant diseases that can stunt the growth of the plant. The Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus causes yellow ring spots on the fruit of the tomato, and can effect the whole body of the plant. It infects plants when they are small transplants in the greenhouse. It will turn the tips of a plant’s leaves a purplish color before its growth is stunted. The disease is spread by a small green-brown insect known as Thrips. Aphids, another insect, can cause leaf curling.
Environmental stress can also cause tomato plant diseases. these diseases occur in plants growing in fields. Blossom End rot appears on green and ripe tomatoes as a black spot about 1 inch in diameter. It can lead to organisms entering the lesion and causing fruit to rot. the spots develop on the plant when calcium levels in the soil are deficient. Catifacing is a deformation of tomato fruit caused by cold weather at the time of blossoming. Certain cells in the tomato fruit are killed causing the fruit to develop deformed.
Tomato Plant Diseases – The Conclusion
Diseases in plants are resolved if recognized in the early stages. Fungus thrives in dampness and poor ventilation. Keeping soil ventilated will help oxygenate soil and destroy fungus. Protecting uninfected plants when treating infected plants will keep them from being infected. Diseases travel from the roots into the soil and reach uninfected plants. Once plants are infected they may not survive. Healthy plants need proactive measures to prevent the development of tomato plant diseases.