My Tomatoes Are Wilting & Rotting on the Vine – What Is Wrong?

Biting into pieces of freshly picked, ripe, juicy strawberries in the garden is one of the great pleasures of life. You can’t help feel depressed and disappointed if your tomato plants wilt and the fruits rot on the vine. Common bacterial diseases, such as early blight, late blight and fusarium wilt, cause wilting and rotting of tomatoes. Tomatoes can also decay as a result of pests, diseases and ethnic problems. A common environmental issue encountered by home gardeners is blossom end rot.

Early Blight

Early blight on tomatoes is characterized by black and brown spots on stems, leaves and fruit. The fungus Alternaria solani causes early blight. The spots often form concentric circles and might develop a yellow surrounding area. Spots first appear on the older or lower leaves. The disease spreads from the bottom to the top of the plant. Overhead watering and cool, humid conditions favor disease progression and might cause severe damage to plants and fruits. To control or slow the disease, remove dead, infected foliage once you first visit it and then mulch around the tomato crops. Another way to control disease is to apply a copper fungicide every seven to 10 days.

Late Blight

The fungus Phytophthora infestans causes late blight on tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables. The Irish potato famine illustrates the serious damage that this fungus may inflict. Late blight on tomatoes causes irregular, grayish green, purple or dark brown spots on stems and leaves. Areas expand and spread quickly and involve the emerging fruit. At times, whitish mould, containing the fungal spores, forms on the underside of infected leaves. Fruits develop brown and black lesions but stay firm. Late blight spreads rapidly during periods of high humidity combined with warm temperatures. The disease can destroy tomato crops within days. Remove contaminated plants and all plant debris near healthy plants to prevent the spread of this disease. Avoid overhead watering since it might help spread the disease.

Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt impacts all parts of the tomato plant and is brought on by the soil-dwelling fungus Fusarium oxysporum. The disease starts with yellowing of leaf, usually on just 1 side of this plant. Wilting can spread to the whole plant even when sufficient soil moisture is available. Cutting open infected comes shows brown streaks. The disease blocks the transfer of water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant. Although it is hard to rid the soil of fusarium wilt fungus, then you might succeed in case you solarize the soil. Solarization is a technique that increases soil temperature. It’s best to grow tomato varieties resistant to fusarium wilt if you know your dirt harbors the fusarium fungus. Tomato plants resistant to fusarium wilt are marked with one or more “F” on the tag.

Blossom End Rot

When isolating spots kind on the blossom end of ripening tomatoes, the condition is known as “blossom end rot.” It can start out as a small place, but it soon takes over almost all of the fruit. Blossom end rot is not caused by a pathogenic organism — it is brought on by environmental conditions that result in reduced levels of calcium and water in the fruit and plant. Tomatoes grown in sandy or low-moisture soils are prone to blossom end rot. Blossom end rot won’t be treated with any pesticide since it is not caused by a pathogenic organism. Avoid blossom end rot by checking the soil moisture of your planted tomatoes and water them when the soil gets too dry, but do not overwater. Adding tomato crust can help prevent blossom end rot by keeping your plants free and vigorous of nutrient deficiencies.

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