Caring for your tomato plants

ciLiving.TV

Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Tomatoes are actually tropical plants, originating in south America and require additional care when planted in our climate

• Watering
o Tomatoes need through and consistent watering droning hot periods
o Consider drip irrigation to improve efficiency and limit wetting of leaves

• Staking or cages
o Tomatoes are vining plants, providing support gets them up off the ground
o Limits contact with soil and fungal pathogens
o Aids in drying leaves

• Fungal Diseases – there are a quite a few fungal diseases that impact tomatoes
o Some basics for lowering susceptibility
 Do not overhead water since leaves get wet and moisture promotes fungus
 Keep plants somewhat pruned or open to dry leaves quicker
 Promptly remove infected foliage, must be removed and destroyed
 Mulch you tomato plants to limit contact with soil, which harbors fungi
 Clean up your garden before winter to limit reinfection next year

• Insects
o Tomato horn worm
 Probably the most common
 Simply remove by hand and dispose of
 Most easily found at night

• Blossom end rot
o Caused by a calcium deficiency, creates misshapen fruits with brown or black
o In consistent soil moisture causes this
o Apply mulch to help regulate soil moisture
o Provide regular and consistent watering

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