Vertex rot of tomatoes - prevention and control methods
Tomato is one of the most common vegetable crops on our sites. The culture is grown not only in open ground, it is well managed in protected ground, so you can get an earlier tomato crop. And although caring for a plant is not complicated, and yields are often high, gardeners often encounter such a problem as the top rot of tomatoes. This disease can cause considerable damage to the crop. Now let's talk about the top rot today and talk.
- Causes of apical rot of tomatoes
- How to understand that tomatoes are infected?
- How to treat the top rot of tomatoes?
- Vertex Rot Prevention
Causes of apical rot of tomatoes
The disease is very active both in greenhouses and in open ground, causing serious damage to the crop.
A disease can affect a tomato due to poor agricultural practices. Most often, top rot on tomatoes is manifested due to the increased temperature outside the window or due to too hot air in the greenhouse. As a result of the increased temperature, tomato plants begin to evaporate moisture as intensively as possible from the surface of the leaves, as well as the plant trunks. If the gardener does not understand in time that the temperature is critical and the plants suffer from it, and does not begin to moisten the soil by supplying water through the root system to the plants, then they will absorb moisture from the fruits that are beginning to form actively by that time.
Such, in fact, unnatural processes will lead to the fact that the overwhelming number of cells of tomato fruits will simply die out and the top rot of this plant will actively develop. It is quite problematic to cure it, but to prevent the appearance of this disease is much easier.
But these are not all the reasons for the development of apical rot of tomato. This disease can develop very quickly and proceed actively due to excess or lack of calcium in the earth, a large amount of nitrogen in the soil, and also if the soil has high acidity.
How to understand that tomatoes are infected?
To begin the treatment of tomatoes, you need to know the very first and often most important signs of the development of apical rot. Most often, vertex rot affects the unripe fruits of the third or second hand. Usually, something wrong can be noticed by paying attention to the very tops of the fruit; there you can even see with the naked eye completely flat or slightly depressed spots.
At first, when the spots are still not very large, they are painted a dark greenish color, and with a strong development of the disease, and accordingly, with the growth of the spots, their color becomes grayish brown, and as soon as the spores ripen, ready to fly over long distances, their color turns black.
As soon as the fruits are affected by vertex rot, their growth is immediately inhibited and their deformation begins. Only a couple of days will pass, and the skin of the fetus will begin to dry out, and after that it will crack. Then putrid infection penetrates into these cracks and begins to actively develop there. Usually, fungi of the genus Alternaria settle in the cracks, their vital activity leads to the fact that the flesh of the tomatoes becomes literally black and begins to decay sharply.
It is interesting that those tomato fruits that are affected by apical rot become colored (ripened) in the color typical of the variety, usually much faster than their healthy counterparts, but immediately after ripening they crumble to the ground. Such fruits cannot be eaten fresh, they cannot be used for processed products, even if you cut off the affected area of the fruit, and of course, you should not choose seeds from them for further sowing next year.
How to treat the top rot of tomatoes?
If preventive measures did not help and the tomatoes were infected with top rot, the very first thing to do is to pluck and burn all the affected tomatoes. Infected leaves and shoots should also go into the furnace.
As for the treatment of apical rot of tomatoes in the greenhouse and in the open ground, there are no fundamental differences. In most cases, as soon as the earth, and then the plant is saturated with calcium in plenty, vertex rot slows down sharply in its development, and then stops completely.
It is possible to saturate tomato plants with calcium very quickly by adding foliar top dressings, for which calcium sulfate is best used. This fertilizer does not contain harmful chlorine, it is highly soluble in water. Therefore, it is enough to pour a teaspoon of this fertilizer into a bucket of water, mix everything thoroughly, refill the spray bottle and the plants can be processed, trying, of course, to fall first on the affected fruits, but not to forget about the rest of the plant.
By the way, such treatments should be carried out in the evening, and if it rains in the afternoon, then the treatment should be repeated the next evening.
If you want to maximize the flow of calcium into plants, then you can add a little ordinary boric acid to the solution, for example, for ten liters of solution you need only 9 grams of boric acid.
To completely get rid of the top rot on tomatoes, a single treatment is definitely not enough, they will need to be carried out every week, combining foliar top dressing with abundant watering of the earth, conducting irrigation under the root.
There are also quite effective folk remedies for controlling top rot, for example, treating tomato plants with an extract from wood ash or soot. To do this, pour a full faceted glass of wood ash or soot into a larger container and pour a liter of boiling water, then let it brew for 24 hours, then strain and dilute ten times with water. It is advisable to add 15 g of soda to the solution and treat the plants with this composition every week.
Vertex Rot Prevention
Preventive measures relate to any disease, and the top rot of tomatoes is no exception. Prevention is much better than medication. The complex of preventive measures is quite extensive, and it begins with the preparation of seed material for sowing in the ground, and ends with the harvesting of tomatoes.
But before you begin to process the seeds in appropriate ways, we advise you to purchase new varieties that are resistant to diseases and pests, including drought and excess moisture. Buying a variety whose fruit ripens in the early stages and has large sizes, having maximum energy of growth, you risk the most because this plant requires more nutrients, and the surface of the fruit is larger and the likelihood that even a small crack will form on it - significantly higher.
Now about the disinfection of seed material: usually tomato seeds are pickled in a solution of "potassium permanganate" or iron sulfate.
Better to cook potassium permanganate - it is advisable to make a 2.5-3% solution of this "preparation", after which place the seeds there in a gauze bag and keep them in solution for thirty minutes. After this time, tomato seeds must be washed in running water for a couple of minutes and dried.
If your choice fell on a composition made of iron sulfate, then you need to dilute it in the following proportion: first, dilute a gram of the drug in a liter of water, then place the seeds in a gauze bag for a day, and then, without washing the seed material with water, bring it to a loose state (having dried).
Land preparation prevention
To protect yourself from possible rot attacks, which will lead to the formation of the top rot of tomato fruits, you need to well-know the earth with chalk or dolomite flour, or even slaked lime - the latter, as you know, perfectly reduces the acidity of the soil. Per square meter, you need 50 g of chalk, 300 g of dolomite flour or 200 grams of lime.
Then, already when planting tomato seedlings in the ground, half a glass of wood ash or soot should be placed in each hole.
Moisture in the prevention of vertex rot of tomatoes?
Prevention is not only the introduction of the necessary elements into the ground or seed dressing, but also such a simple event as watering, however, timely and correct. The fact is that in a drought, the roots of a tomato plant cease to absorb calcium, there is a deficit of it and all the troubles appear from here.
The gardeners noticed an interesting feature: tomato plants absorb calcium better at night, so watering is mandatory in the evening, so that the plant is properly saturated with calcium in the ground during the night. And so that in the morning hours the moisture still remains in the soil, it is necessary after each watering to mulch the top layer of humus (a layer of a couple of centimeters).
Conclusion So, if you have vertex rot on your tomatoes, then in no case should you panic. We have provided comprehensive answers on where it comes from, how to avoid its occurrence and how to deal with it by chemical and folk remedies. Now, the top rot of tomatoes to you, and more precisely - to tomatoes growing on your site, will definitely not be scared.