Home grown tomatoes are renowned for their flavour, but they can suffer from a number of problems.
Guidelines to grow healthy tomatoes
Some tomato diseases are carried in the soil, so choose a different spot each year (avoid planting in the same part of the garden for at least four years). If you don’t have enough space for this, think about growing tomatoes in a pot, ensuring its at least 400-500mm wide.
Some tomato diseases are fungal which, like all fungi, need moisture to germinate, so the first step is to keep the leaves dry. Do this by applying water at the base of the plant and by watering in the morning so the leaves can quickly dry. Removing lower leaves will help, too – they can be affected by water splashing up from the soil – as will mulching around the base of the plant.
When buying tomato plants or seeds, look for varieties that mention disease resistance. Tomatoes are particularly disease-prone in warm, humid climates, so wilt-resistant varieties such as Tomato Big Beef Hybrid and Tomato Roma are good choices for these areas.
Prevent blossom end rot – sunken areas at the base of the fruit – by applying Yates Thrive Natural Garden Limeor gypsum before planting. Water regularly and mulch plants to avoid fluctuations in soil temperature and moisture.