Tomatoes are quite susceptible to various diseases, but there are methods out there that will certainly at least reduce the chances of you having to then deal with some kind of problem that could potentially kill off the entire plant. Now, the extent to which each method is going to work could possibly vary somewhat, but they have all been shown to be effective in their own right.
Method 1: Choosing Disease Resistant Varieties.
The first method is to be careful with the varieties that you end up trying to grow as some are more likely to attract certain diseases than others. You should be focusing on hybrid tomatoes as they have been created in order to be as disease resistant as possible.
Method 2: Always Start with Good Strong Plants.
Another top tip is to make sure that you always start off with strong plants. The sturdier the seedlings are then the more likely that they will be able to resist diseases and various things attacking them. However, that does depend on various other things that you do as the plant grows but strength and health are extremely important.
Method 3: Create the Perfect Growing Conditions.
If a plant is growing in less than perfect growing conditions then it is going to put the plant under stress and if it is stressed through incorrect temperatures, poor soil quality, too much humidity and even issues with the watering can increase the chances of the tomato plant becoming diseased. So, if you reverse all of that, then clearly in perfect conditions the exact opposite will happen. Grow them in large enough pots, plant them deep enough, and water accordingly.
Method 4: Improve the Soil.
If the plant is content with the soil that it is planted in then you are going to be rewarded by a better plant. You should add in new compost and organic matter to the soil as this will give the soil more nutrients leading to stronger plants. If they are stronger, then they are more resistant to disease.
Method 5: Good Healthy & Hygiene.
Health and hygiene is always going to mean you are less likely to pick up disease and infections and this also applies to tomato plants. If you are a smoker, then wash your hands before you touch the plants although this should apply all of the time and not just for smokers since you do carry diseases on your hands that could play a role in infecting the plant.
Method 6: Be Careful with Water.
It is all too easy for diseases to be spread in connection with water. For example, fungus is going to excel when the conditions are far too humid over a prolonged period of time. Also, the way in which you water the plant can throw up spores from the soil onto the plant so you should not water from a great height either. In addition, never harvest or handle the plant when the leaves are wet so keep the leaves dry as possible as water does often lead to diseases.
Method 7: Sterilize the Tomato Seeds.
One of the main issues is planting seeds that actually contain certain diseases that are trapped in them. It is best to look at sterilizing them and one tip is to use a diluted bleach solution where it is one part bleach to nine parts of water. However, you then need to rinse the seeds before you go ahead and plant them.
Method 8: Sterilize your Tools.
Another area which can transmit disease is in the tools that you use especially if you have previously used them with plants that have also been diseased. The fungus or spores can stick to the tools and then when you use them to prepare your tomato plants so sterilizing them in advance is important. You might want to use the bleach solution again just to kill off any bacteria.
Method 9: Disinfect the Tomato Tools.
This follows on from the previous method but in particular we are talking about you disinfecting the pot that you are going to use as the home for the tomato plant since this can also be used to transfer bacteria and other diseases that have been in previous plants or soil. Wash them out thoroughly before you then think about adding soil or you could be making life difficult for yourself.
Method 10: Remove any Infected Leaves Immediately.
If you spot any leaves that are showing some signs of infection, then you have to remove them immediately as this can stop the disease or infection from spreading throughout the plant. This does mean that you have to understand the different diseases that are most likely going to have an impact on tomato plants so you can identify the tell tale signs before they become too established.
Method 11: Destroy those Infected Plants.
If a tomato plant clearly has signs of serious disease, then do not try to just save it if the disease is too widespread as you are wasting your time. Also, you are then putting your other plants at risk if you continue to try to cope with a single diseased plant especially if they are close to one another as the disease can easily be carried in the air so you could eventually have your entire crop of tomatoes wiped out if you are not careful.
Method 12: Prune Out the Dense Foliage.
If your tomato plants are quite dense when it comes to the foliage, then you are potentially storing up trouble for yourself. The main thing to think about is that if there is dense foliage then there will be less air able to circulate around the plant and when there is an issue with a lack of air then you are going to be making life difficult. This is going to be the perfect way for fungus and mold to grow on the plant and also if you make the leaves wet then they can rot as the thicker foliage will just not dry out. By pruning it, then you remove that potential problem.
Method 13: Take Control of Insect Pests.
If there are some insect pests appearing on your tomato plants, then the best thing that can do is to tackle them and control the issue before it becomes too widespread. There are various sprays that you are able to use but it is always going to be best for them to be organic rather than using a number of different chemicals and spraying them on your plant.
Method 14: Using the Appropriate Amount of Fertilizer.
It is important that you understand the correct amount of fertilizer that you use on the plant as that is also going to play a role in the way in which the tomato plant is going to be able to protect itself against disease and infections. The main thing is to make sure that you do not overload the plant with nitrogen simply because that is going to result in excess growth of leaves and foliage in general and when this happens it does mean that the plant is going to be more susceptible to disease thanks to it being thicker. Consider using simple compost or a slow release fertilizer as that will slow down the growth and reduce the chances of disease or pests.
Method 15: Organic Fungicides.
The final method is to use organic fungicides although most people will say that this is going to be a last resort when everything else has failed. Indeed, people will often try everything in their power to avoid using it for fears of what it may do to the plant or if it could have a negative impact on the fruit itself. The problem is that they are only going to stop the disease from spreading rather than curing the disease that is already on there. The best approach is to remove those leaves or branches that are already infected and then go ahead and spray the rest of the plant.
As you can see, there are a number of different options when it comes to tackling the issue of disease or pests on tomato plants. Perhaps the main thing is to just make sure that you identify the problem as early as possible and also to then take the appropriate action before there is a chance for the disease to spread and completely kill off the plant.
However, just because a tomato plant has developed a disease does not mean that it is going to be the end of the road for the plant. Instead, by carefully managing the situation there is no reason why you will not then be able to go ahead and still harvest a healthy crop of tomatoes but take your eye off the plants and the disease or fungus is going to be able to take a firm hold and then your chances of getting those fruits will be gone forever.