How to Control Tomato Plant Diseases


Tomato plants come in many varieties and along with all those types of plants come tomato plant diseases. Simple measures taken during planting and growing helps to control tomato plant diseases. From crop rotation to proper watering techniques, there is a solution to every problem when growing tomato plants.

Step 1

Purchase healthy tomato plants from a reliable greenhouse or grow your own plants from seed. You are better able to control insect infestation or disease during the early stages of growth. Reputable suppliers often carry disease resistant tomato plants for their customers.

Step 2

Till the garden bed and remove any decaying or rotting material which may be left over from last year's growth. Also remember to rotate the planting site as this reduces the danger of leaf diseases, according to North Dakota State University.

Step 3

Maintain a strict watering schedule for tomato plants using a soaker hose or bottom watering system. Texas A&M University note that a regular watering schedule helps control blossom end rot. Watering from the bottom keeps leaves dry, which also prevents leaf spots.

Step 4

Avoid using tobacco products while managing your tomato plants. Information from North Dakota State University states tobacco mosaic, a viral disease affecting leaf production, is transmitted from the hands and clothing of gardeners to the tomato plants. If you smoke or chew tobacco, wash your hands before handling the tomato plants. Avoid contact of spittle or cigarette butts with the soil in the tomato garden.

Step 5

Refrain from pruning the leaves of the tomato plants once fruit has developed. According to Cornell University, the tomatoes need the shade offered by the leaves of the plant to avoid contracting sun scalding. Sun scald results in yellowing or watery areas on the fruit, allowing fungus or disease to attack.

Step 6

Use organic mulch to keep weeds down and to retain moisture in the soil. Weeds often bring unwanted insects or disease to the garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • Apply fungicides at the first signs of disease to check the spread of infection to other plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Shovel
  • Fungicide
  • Mulch


  • North Dakota State University: Disease Management in Home-Grown Tomatoes
  • Cornell University: Common Tomato Fruit Disorders
  • Texas A&M University: Blossom End Rot
Keywords: tomato diseases, controlling tomato disease, growing healthy tomatoes

About this Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently, Richards has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.