tomato root rot

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The roots of a tomato plant are essential for its health and productivity but are often attacked by soil-based pathogens. Here in this post, I will discuss the tomato root rot problem and what you can do to prevent it from happening to your plant.

Roots of the tomato plants may decline and die from a variety of causes. Unfavorable environments that result in either waterlogged or drought conditions are common causes of poor root health on vegetable plants.

What is the Tomato Root Rot Problem:

Root rot as the name suggests refers to the rotting of tomato roots. Tomato root rot is a fungal disease. It can cause the whole tomato plant to lose its vigor and eventually die.

The worst part of the disease is that it can stay on the soil for a long time and the fungi can survive for years without hosts.

What Causes Root Rot Problem:

One of the main cause of this disease is the lack of a proper irrigation system. Tomato plants need slightly moist soil with good drainage. The roots of a tomato plant can easily get damaged by waterlogged condition.

Make sure your soil has great drainage. Avoid watering during the monsoon and check regularly for any waterlogged condition.

Plant your tomatoes in a slightly elevated area so the water doesn’t get settle down near your tomato plant.

Use crop rotations and never plant the tomato plant in the same location where the earlier infection has happened. Planting cereals as a rotation crop may reduce the level of infestation in the soil.

If you are growing tomatoes in containers make sure you protect your plants from heavy rain. Keep them under a roof. Even a plastic bag over the plant in heavy rains can help.

What Are The Symptoms of Root Rot:

If your tomato plant is affected with root rot problem you will find the plant is looking slightly yellowish. The plant also will not grow properly if the roots are getting damaged.

The root rot can damage the plant severely. If the main root of the tomato plant is infected, then the plant will wilt and die. Whereas if only the smaller roots are affected by the root rot problem then the plant will survive but it will appear sick and won’t produce fruits.

Being a root related disease it can be much more difficult to say when your plant has an infection. The two main symptoms you should look for in your tomato plant for root rot problem is

  1. Dull foliage color, and
  2. Yellowish and wilting leaves.

How to Prevent Tomato Root Rot:

Here are some steps you can take to make your tomato plants healthier and prevent any root rot.

Use The Best Quality Soil:

to make a tomato plant healthy the foremost thing you can do is to feed him well. Use quality soil or growing medium. Add enough compost to feed the plant.

You can either use your garden soil and compost or you can add growing mediums like coco coir, peat moss, perlite, with your soil and compost to make the medium airy and good drainage.

Test the soil before adding anything. Maintaining a proper pH is crucial for a tomato plant. A soil tester like this can help you measure the pH of the soil.

Work on Watering Your Tomato Plant:

In most root related problems one of the major solutions is to improve drainage of the soil. If the roots are waterlogged for most of the time it will sooner or later get attacked by fungi.

Water between intervals. Whenever possible make sure the soil is dry before adding water. Now, don’t reduce the amount of water. Lack of water will make cracked tomatoes.

First, give the tomato plant enough water to drink then wait for the surrounding to dry before giving the plant the next dose of water.

You can also try adding a drip system to water your tomato plants.

The good management of water is the key here. If you can do it properly you won’t need any fungicide to prevent the infection.

Use A Rot-resistant Variety:

Though no variety of tomato plant can survive a waterlogged situation for a lifetime, some variety of tomato plants are better at preventing root rot than others. Choose these varieties to grow.

Generally, a local variety that is more suitable for growing in similar conditions will better in preventing the root rot problem.

Proper Planting Techniques:

Make sure that the planting hole is at least twice the width of the root ball. The roots should not get crowded when you are planting the plant.

Treatment for Tomato Root Rot:

Now, if your tomato plant is already infected with root rot problem, here are some treatments that might help to treat tomato rot diseases:

  • Remove the infected plant.
  • Disinfect the area with isopropyl alcohol. This will prevent the spread of the disease among other tomato plants.

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