General tomato plant health: What to do about pests and diseases

I do not use pesticides..

Tomato plant disease and pests are everywhere … in the soil, in the air, maybe on your hands, maybe on your tools.  

Most disease comes from the soil. If a runny nose is going around, the tomato plant will probably get it.

When possible buy disease resistant tomato plants. The label on the plant will indicate if that particular variety is disease resistant. 

Remember, the word is resistant to a disease not immune from a disease. 

So, to avoid pests and diseases–

The No. 1 thing you can do is grow a healthy tomato plant. 

Just like in humans, the weak, frail and stressed catch illnesses. To grow a healthy tomato plant, remember we need:

  • Enough sunshine
  • Good soil
  • Right amount of water
  • Fertilizer
  • To pick a good variety to grow
  • To pick the best times to plant

Young plants are normally very healthy. 

As they grow, and tomatoes set on, disease eventually gets them. You try for a great crop of tomatoes before disease gets them. Usually you are successful. 

As those tomatoes start to ripen, leaves begin to turn yellow, that’s just what they do. Always remember … a tomato plant’s goal in life is to reproduce and eventually die. 

Once it has reached that goal of reproducing fruit and seeds, the tomato plant naturally reduces the fight against pests and disease. If you have a sick plant, here’s the cure … pull it out and plant another one!

You are welcome to share this information with others—clubs—perhaps share this with your general membership to include those that could not attend the lecture, family, friends, etc. 


Dave Freed  “The Tomato Guy”