Isnt six months enough? With planning and not that much more effort Harvest up to 10 or more months in MD Increase variety and flavor
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Self-pollinating, tender herbaceous perennial; produced as an annual crop around the world. Fruit is 95% water; flavor determined by free sugars and acids, texture and growing conditions. Optimal growth and development occurs when mean daily temperature is 70-75 degrees F.; growth stops below 50 degrees F. Flowers and fruits may drop when day temperatures >90 degrees F. and night temperatures >75 degrees F. Produces adventitious roots along stem. Growth habits vary determinate, indeterminate, patio, jointless. Whats the best tomato? They all grow well in MD!
Some IPM tips Prevent problems and increase satisfaction by picking at breaker to pink stage. Ripen indoors unrefrigerated. People dont notice the start of foliar diseases. Wilt (loss of turgor) is a misused descriptor. Dont suspect late blight unless warranted. Disease resistance is variable (field vs. genetic). Is it ok to plant in the same location? (common question)
Tomato plant & pest problems that cause greatest yield loss Arthropods- spider mites, stink bugs Diseases- foliar leaf blights (early blight, Septoria, gray leaf spot), late blight, fusarium wilt Wildlife- mainly deer; also groundhog, squirrel Abiotic- poor growing conditions, climate change, blossom-end rot, catfacing, cracks/splits, pithiness
INSECTS AND MITES
Some effective organic insecticides Pyrethrins- controls or suppresses a wide range of insects (Pyganic- 1.4%) Neem extract suppresses beetles and caterpillars Neem oil- insecticide and preventative fungicide Spinosad- controls beetles, caterpillars, flies, thrips
Im feeling sluggish these days and whats with these hitchhikers?
The braconid wasps win! Photo: Rosemary Noble
Brown and green stink bug (native) and fruit injury
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)
Photo courtesy: Susan Levi-GoerlichPhoto courtesy: Jane Hayes
Eggplant leaves coated with Surround (kaolin clay)
Surround- kaolin clay 2006 research demonstrated significant flea beetle suppression in eggplant- may be effective against other pests. About $1 per lb. Rate: 1 cup/1 qt. water. Spray when leaves are dry. Apply thoroughly to all leaf surfaces. Maintain white film coating on leaves; may take 2-3 applications. Re-apply if rainfall washes off white coating. Can be used up to the date of harvest.
Juliet has tough skin- suffers less BMSB feeding
Is it a problem? What can be done?
Corn earworm a.k.a tomato fruitworm Usually enter at stem end
Larvae mine and fold leaves and infest fruits. Tomato pinworm
Spider mites love it hot and dry
Spider Mites 8 legged, non-insect; active on leaf undersides. Two-spotted and European red are primary pest species. Sucking mouthparts produce stipples; tiny bleached areas on leaf surface; leaves yellow and die Webbing is a sign of severe infestation Wide host range; many vegetable plants Thrive in hot, dry weather Many quick generations each year
Organic Management Mites like it hot, dry, and dusty. Hose off plants to dislodge and annoy mites. Horticulural oil and insecticidal soap is most effective on eggs. May be used if leaves are not too damaged or hot to tolerate it. Excessive nitrogen fertilization increases mites Mites will migrate from neighboring weeds, so keep weeds supressed. Clean up garden residues.
Cultural control strategies Grow resistant varieties. Clean up and compost plant debris at end of season. Prune out injury; bag up badly infested plants. Plant lots of flowering plants to attract beneficial insects.
Disease ID codes help you select resistant hybrid varieties Totally Tomatoes
Early blight (fungal disease)- tomato
Advanced symptoms of early blight
Early blight- Alternaria solani Principal foliar disease of tomato; also attacks potato, eggplant; a cosmopolitan pathogen. Splashes up to lower leaves and progresses up plant; often appears with other leaf spot diseases. First symptom is irregular brown lesions with bulls-eye pattern and yellow halo. Can spread rapidly with warm, humid weather and defoliate plants. Over-winters in crop debris, wooden stakes, and in soil.
Organic management Cultivars vary somewhat in susceptibility. Give plants more space; improved air circulation. Remove badly infected lower leaves. Spray with fixed copper fungicide; other organic sprays have not proven effective. Manzate (mancozeb) and Daconil 2787 (chlorothalonil) are chemical fungicides.
Septoria leaf spot another foliar leaf spot disease
Cutting or pruning out suckers also increases air flow around leaves, reducing disease incidence.
Late blight Phytopthora infestans Iron Lady (resistant cultivar from Cornell breeding program) is available in 2013 from High Mowing Seeds.
Late blight fruit symptoms
Fusarium wilt of tomato
Fusarium wilt- brown streaking under stem epidermis; also visible in many cases on outside of stem.
Anthracnose- a fungal disease of ripe and overripe fruit. (Another reason to pick fruit at the turning stage).
Frost/cold injury- leaf whitening, small gray/brown spots, or blotches Phosphorous deficiency early in season due to cool soil and small root system
Edema- excessive soil moisture early in season, especially in containers.
Blossom drop due to environmental stress (usually high temp.). Photo courtesy: Jerry Brust, Ph.D.
Blossom-end rot (nutritional disorder) Epsom salt is NOT the answer.
Muskmelon leaf burned with pyrethrum and soap insecticide
Adventitious (aerial) roots
Physiological leaf roll (heat stress)
Concentric cracking Radial cracking
Graywall (blotchy ripening); inside fruit walls are brown or black Pithiness- excessive white tissue
Green shoulder Uneven ripening Zippering
Garden located next to large driveway that was resurfaced. Injury from petroleum products coming off liquid asphalt cement
Resources Grow It! Eat It! http://www.extension.umd.edu/growit We have all types of practical food gardening tips and information. Check out our popular blog! Home and Garden Information Center http://www.extension.umd.edu/hgic Here you will find factsheets, photos, and videos. You can also subscribe to the free monthly e-newsletter. We answer gardening questions 24/7just click Ask Marylands Garden Experts Maryland Master Gardener Program http://www.extension.umd.edu/mg Consi