What’s wrong with your tomatoes?

And that’s how our plant care checklist for growing a better tomato grows – starting with rotating the tomato bed, mulching, and constant watering. Also, don’t forget to regularly inspect the plants and remove infected parts. Then, at the end of the season, clean thoroughly.

If you are saving your own seeds, it is best not to harvest from diseased plants. Not all diseases can infect seeds, but some can, including fruit rot caused by anthracnose and late blight, as well as some bacterial diseases. Likewise, the self-sown tomato plants that appear in the garden next spring could be carriers of certain pathogens, including Septoria. Pull them out.

Speaking of seeds: Buy for prevention. Based on the information of all the serious issues that have arisen this year, browse the descriptions on Cornell’s list of resistant varieties before buying seeds next time. And pay attention to the labels next to each variety name in the catalogs – the series of letters like VFN (for Verticillium, Fusarium and nematodes, three other tomato problems) – to determine what type of “resistance package” each variety offers. , Dr. Wyenandt said. But selecting for resistance while maintaining good fruit quality and other desired traits is not easy, he noted, and for some problems, including late blight, there is little to choose from; there are still hardly any for diseases like septoria.

This harvest season, also practice proactive picking, especially with varieties prone to cracking like some varieties of grape, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, which are vulnerable when their large fruits absorb more water from heavy rain but that the skins can no longer develop. The famous Sun Gold cherry receives special treatment against cracking in the Holmstrom garden.

“If we know it’s going to rain,” Mr. Holmstrom said, “we pick anything that starts to change color before it’s fully ripe and let it ripen indoors. “


Margaret Roach is the creator of the website and podcast A way of gardening, and a book of the same name.

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Mary Moser

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