List of tomato diseases
Tomato cultivars vary widely in their resistance to disease. Tobacco mosaic virus is a common problem, so smoking and the use of tobacco products should be kept away from tomatoes. Different forms of mildew and blight are also often tomato afflictions, which accounts for why tomato cultivars usually get marked with letters like VFN, which indicate its disease resistance. V = verticillium wilt resistance, F = fusarium fungus, FF = Race 1 and Race 2 fusarium, T = tobacco mosaic virus, N = nematodes, A = alternaria leaf spot, and L = septoria leaf spot.
The damping-off fungi often attacks the young plants while they are in the hotbed. These fungi work on the stem of the plant, just where it enters the soil, causing it to shrivel and the top to fall over. Wet soil and a damp sultry atmosphere are conditions that favor the development of this disease. Frequent stirring of the soil and thorough ventilation will go a long way toward preventing the appearance of this trouble. A thin coating of tobacco dust or a mixture of three parts of lime to one of sulfur, spread over the soil after the seed is planted, will also help to hold the disease in check.
The blossom-end rot is a very destructive disease. It makes its appearance when the fruit first begins to ripen, thereby destroying the earliest and most profitable part of the crop. The fruit is attacked at the blossom-end. A small black speck first appears, which gradually increases in size until the entire fruit is affected. There is practically no remedy. The best thing to do is to gather and destroy the fruit as soon as it becomes affected.
Tomato-wilt often attacks the plants when the crop is grown on the same land more than one season in succession. Rotation should be practiced as a safeguard against this disease.
The nematode is a microscopic worm which attacks the roots of a tomato plant and causes small bead-like knots to form. Ground infested with this pest should be avoided and whenever there is danger of infestation, cowpeas should not be planted on the land preceding tomatoes, as most varieties of peas encourage the development of the nematode.
The boll-worm sometimes causes considerable damage. This is a large green worm that enters the fruit near the stem-end. As soon as the fruit becomes infested, it is entirely worthless and should be removed and fed to hogs or destroyed. The boll-worm can be partially controlled by spraying with arsenate of lead; put, as it seldom makes its appearance before the fruit is full grown, there is danger in using any poison as a spray.
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