During the vegetative stage, when tomato plants are actively developing leaves and stems, they become particularly susceptible to a range of diseases. Despite providing diligent care, the risk of these diseases affecting your tomato crops cannot be completely eliminated. In this article, we will discuss a few diseases that can affect your tomato crops during the vegetative stage and provide you with the best methods to control them. So, make sure to shield your tomato plants from these diseases to ensure a healthy harvest!
Common diseases that could affect your tomato plants during vegetative stage:
Damping Off or Collar Rot
Causal Organism: Pythium aphanidermatum
- Pre-emergent symptom: Complete decay of seedlings before they emerge from the soil, particularly in damp conditions.
- Post-emergent symptom: Once the seedlings emerge, the infected tissues around the collar region or ground level become soft and water-soaked, leading to the eventual collapse of the seedlings.
- Treat the seeds with metalaxyl-M at the rate of 2 ml/kg 24 hours before sowing.
- Drench solution of Blitox (Copper Oxy Chloride 50%WP) at the rate of 2-3 grams per liter of water. (Or)
- Drench Aliette (Fosetyl Al 80% WP) at the rate of 2.5 grams per liter of water.
Causal Organism: Alternaria solani
- Small black lesions appear on young leaves, which can develop into necrotic tissue resembling bull’s eyes during periods of high humidity and warm temperatures.
- The affected leaves eventually drop, and the stem may become girdled, weakening the plant.
- Spray Amistar Top (Azoxystrobin 18.2% + Difenoconazole 11.4% SC) at the rate of 1ml per liter of water or Melody Duo (Iprovalicarb 5.5% + Propineb 66.75% WP) at the rate of 2 grams per liter of water.
Causal Organism: Tomato Leaf Curl Virus (ToLCV)
Vector: Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)
- Yellowing and curling of young leaves, which also shows downward rolling and crinkling.
- Affected plants exhibit severe stunting of leaves.
- Older leaves can become tough and brittle, and infected plants may appear pale with bushy lateral branches.
- Spray Geolife No Virus (an organic viricide) at the rate of 2 ml per liter of water. (Or)
- Place sticky traps such as Eco Sticky Traps, at the rate of 8-10 traps per acre to monitor for whiteflies (vector), which can spread the disease.
Safeguarding your tomato plants against common seedling diseases is crucial for a healthy harvest. Diseases like Damping Off or Collar Rot, Early Blight, and Leaf Curl can cause significant damage to your crops if left unchecked. By employing appropriate preventive measures, such as drenching or spraying solutions containing the recommended fungicides or viricides, you can effectively control these diseases. Remember to closely monitor your plants and take prompt action at the first signs of disease. With proper care and attention, your tomato plants will flourish and reward you with a plentiful harvest.