Spring and summer are ideal months for growing tomatoes, however they are susceptible to diseases that can affect the plants and fruit.
Most diseases are soil borne, so here are a few tips to ensure you grow disease free tomatoes.
Did you know:
- It is vital that you practice crop rotation as part of your disease control strategy. Leave garden beds for at least four years before growing any plants in the Solanaceae family (including tomatoes, chillies, eggplants, capsicum and potatoes) in the same area.
- Maintain good drainage by growing your tomatoes in raised beds.
- Keep air circulating around your plants by pruning or provide extra space between plants.
- Disease can also be spread on tools, stakes, boots, clothing, gloves and hands, so be sure to sterilise equipment, wash clothes and clean your hands regularly when handling tomatoes to help reduce infection.
- Control surrounding weeds which can be a common source of infection.
- Avoid overhead watering which spreads spores. Plant disease-resistant varieties where possible, including Roma, Green Zebra and Jaune Flamme.
Smokers can spread the Tomato Mosaic Virus onto plants with their fingers. Wash your hands after smoking or wear gloves if you like to grow tomatoes.