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Home gardening is a popular pastime for millions of people around the world. Tomatoes are one of the most popular fruits (or vegetables if you would like to engage in that debate ) which are grown. They’re cheap, easy to grow and produce a bountiful harvest of fresh, succulent tomatoes which are a summer treat.

Problems…

Unfortunately, tomato plant issues are extremely common. Problems may include harmful insects, diseases and fungus which may be brought on by weather conditions, improper watering, nutrient deficiencies or underlying factors bred in the plants or seeds.

We’ll explore a few of the more common problems home tomato gardeners may face and provide suggestions about the best way best to prevent or solve almost all of them.

Brown spot

Brown round area on the blossom-end of this tomato.

    • Symptom: This is a frequent issue on homegrown tomatoes. It originally appears as a small, gloomy, leathery, brown area on the blossom end of the fruit and grows in size as the fruit ripens. The spot might wind up being as big as a dime or half-dollar if left untreated.
    • Cause: Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency coupled with wide fluctuations in available moisture. Pruning and training the tomato vines may also raise blossom end rot.
    • Remedy: Remove the affected fruit as well as other fruits on the plant will grow normally. Keep the plants well watered. Mulch around the base of the plants to keep a more uniform moisture source. Avoid cultivating or hoeing close to the roots of tomato plants. Some anglers also add crushed eggshells into the ground before planting seedlings to reinforce calcium availability.

Flower falling

Flowers form but fall before berries develop

    • Symptom: Tomate blossoms fall off causing very little if any fruit to really develop.
    • Cause:”Blossom Drop” is usually caused when the tomato plant undergoes a sudden change in the weather, typically earlier or later in the season when nighttime temperatures are lower than 55 degrees F. The warmth of the summer is also a frequent time when this happens, when day temperatures are greater than 95 degrees F or when night temperatures stay above 75 degrees F. Hot drying winds and a surprising lack of moisture to the plant can also intensify the problem.
    • Remedy: Add mulch around the to maintain the soil moisture . You can even use a tomato blossom set spray, available from your local garden shop. It’s an all-natural plant hormone which helps blossoms set fruit regardless of bad weather conditions, producing bigger, meatier tomatoes with fewer seeds. Improving weather conditions may also address the issue without action.

Skin cracking

Tomato skin suddenly splits or cracks

    • Symptom: The skin of the fruit suddenly grows large cracks, many times radiating out from the stem end. Cherry tomatoes are particularly vulnerable to this condition, occurring anywhere on the fruit.
    • Cause: Splitting or cracking typically occurs when the fruit undergoes accelerated growth that could be caused by a sudden rise in moisture after being overly dry, like a sudden summer rain after an extended dry period. Cracking also may happen when the fruit is overripe.
    • Remedy: The fantastic thing is that splitting or cracking doesn’t affect the taste and the tomato may nevertheless be consumed, however unsightly it might seem. To avoid the issue, provide consistent moisture to the plant or study and choose varieties that are resistant to cracking. With cherry tomatoes, select ripe or nearly ripe fruit right before a prediction rain storm to limit the chance of cracking.

Stunted appearance

Tomato plants have a stunted appearance

    • Symptom: Nematodes reside in the soil and cause swelling of the plant origin that, in turn, causes stunted plants and discolored plant leaves. The only way to verify diagnosis is to pull the strategy and inspect the roots.
    • Cause: Root-knot nematodes are soil-born microscopic eelworms.
    • Remedy: The good thing is there isn’t any treatment for an present nematode infestation. The fantastic news is that the affected plants can grow and produce fruit. Preventative steps to prevent nematodes in the future include picking varieties labeled with”N” and planting marigolds with your tomatoes. Many varieties of marigolds, such as’ Nema-gone’,”Golden Guardian’, or’Mandarine’, release a chemical to the soil which kills nematodes.

Chewed leaves

Visibly chewed leaves and tomatoes

    • Symptom: Chewed up plant leaves and damaged fruits which are still unripe are clearly observable.
    • Cause: Tomato hornworms are big, green-grayish caterpillars that feed from tomato plants and fruits.
    • Remedy: Although they could combine very well with surrounding foliage, once found, they are easily picked off by hand and disposed of.

Conclusion

Although some of the common tomato plant issues are highlighted, it’s important to not forget that there are a lot more diseases and insects that might affect your plants. For those who have a problem that you can not easily diagnose, please consult your local extension agent or backyard to learn what treatment is best for your particular issue.