8 Ways To Prevent Pests & Diseases in Tomatoes
We all know how much damage pests & diseases can cause in farming. We should always be on the lookout to prevent such disasters that often lead to great losses.
Let’s have a look at how you can protect your tomatoes against pests & diseases:
- Feed the Soil
Healthy soil leads to strong healthy plants. Creating rich healthy soil is one of the most important ways of combating pests and diseases. The best way to add nutrients and improve soil structure is to add plenty of organic matter such as manure. Healthy plants are better able to fend off diseases.
What this means is; fertilize enough to keep plants healthy, and no more than that. DO NOT over-fertilize and practice regular watering. Healthy plants are much more likely to resist diseases and other problems.
- Crop Rotation
Crop rotation is one of the top ways to prevent pests & diseases on your farm. Move your crops around each year so that the same group of crops isn’t in the same area for more than one season. Avoid rotating the same ground with peppers, which can host the same diseases.
On top of your list should be weeding. As well as removing the weeds, if you spot unhealthy plants, remove them to cut down on the spread of pests & diseases.
- Correct Plant Spacing & Air Circulation
Healthy plants need breathing room so that fresh air can circulate around them. If they are too close, evaporation will be slow and the leaves will stay damp for longer thus encouraging fungal growth. Try pruning out excess branches or dividing large plants. Improve your cultivation practices like regular watering. When planting, leave enough spaces between the plants. Provide adequate light and ventilation etc.
Practising good farm hygiene can result in prevention of many diseases. This involves cleaning farm tools and equipment to ensure that they don’t carry over or spread a disease.
Mulches are useful for maintaining soil moisture and keeping weeds down. They are also very helpful in helping us keep our farms disease-free. Mulch prevents infested soil from splashing up onto the plants’ foliage.
Always be on the lookout for pests because they spread diseases between plants. Stay vigilant, and try to get rid of pests as soon as you see them.
And finally, DO NOT use tobacco near tomato plants. Wash your hands with soap before handling plants. This will avoid communicating tobacco mosaic virus. Here is a detailed article Pests & Diseases In Tomatoes; All You Need To Know highlighting the different pests & diseases that attack tomatoes.
In conclusion, it is advisable that you follow a planting guide. This guide will show you when what and how to spray your plants. It will also show you which chemicals to use to prevent pests & diseases. You can also engage the services of an agronomist. They will advise and guide you on how to prevent/ deal with pests & diseases affecting your tomatoes.
Mark Melly is a reputable agronomist with extensive experience dealing with tomatoes and other crops. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or +254719193297