Protect tomatoes from disease
Natural Disease Prevention
In warm humid conditions tomatoes invite a range of diseases, but you can grow them without chemicals, or at least minimise spraying by paying attention to soil, water and feeding for strong vigorous growth and taking some preventative measures:
- The more diverse your varieties, the better. Start with a selection of disease resistant varieties. Grafted tomatoes have disease resistant rootstock.
- Don't plant tomatoes in the same soil in consecutive years. Also avoid soil that has previously grown potatoes or capsicums.
- Never remove tomato laterals on a wet or humid day and use clean hands.
- Remove lower leaves if they become diseased. Removing lower leaves also helps with air circulation. Use sharp, clean secateurs.
- Apply Copper in a trigger sprayer or dab with Yates Tomato Dust when removing laterals or cutting off leaves.
- Avoid overhead watering, which increases humidity and promotes disease.
- Apply water at ground level.
- Don't plant too closely.
- Mulch to cut down on watering and slow weed growth. Weeds encourage disease!
- Buy fresh seed or seedlings from a reputable supplier. Seed saved from an infected crop may carry over disease to the next crop.
- Choose early ripening varieties to avoid the more humid conditions of late summer.
- In wet humid summers, spray with copper to prevent disease.
- Plant good companions: basil, marigolds, calendula, garlic, chives and spring onions help keep tomatoes healthy.