Home grown tomatoes are renowned for their flavour, but they can suffer from a number of different challenges. 

Guidelines for healthy tomatoes

  • Many tomato diseases are carried in the soil, so choose a different spot to plant out each year (avoid planting in the same part of the garden for at least three years). If you don’t have enough space for this, think about growing tomatoes in a pot. Ensure pots are a minimum 400-500mm wide, so they don't dry out too fast in the sun. 
  • Some viral tomato diseases are spread by small sap-sucking insects such as aphids and thrips. Watch out for these little horrors – even though they’re tiny they can be deadly carriers. Spray leaves thoroughly with Yates Nature's Way Organic Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental Spray.
  • Some tomato diseases are fungal which, like all fungi, need moisture for spores to germinate, so the first step is to keep the tomato leaves dry. Do this by applying water only at the base of the plant and by watering in the morning, so the leaves can quickly dry off. 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 rotted-looking areas at the base of the fruit – by applying Yates Thrive Natural Garden Lime or gypsum before planting. Water regularly and mulch plants to avoid fluctuations in soil temperature and moisture. 
  • Tomato grubs chew holes into the fruit and ruin it, using Yates Success Ultra will help control these grubs, along with any caterpillars on the leaves.
  • Leaves that are distorted, yellow, or have black spots could be the symptoms of Tomato Blight. Prevent by spraying regularly with Yates Liquid Copper and remove affected plants.
  • Well-fed plants are better able to resist pests and diseases. Feed regularly with Yates Thrive Tomato Granular Plant Food.
  • Finally – if all else fails – grow cherry tomatoes. They don’t seem to be troubled by anything!


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