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How to Protect Heirloom Tomato Plants From Disease?

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12/11/2014

Heirloom tomatoes are probably the most delicious varieties that can be easily grown in your own backyard. These varieties are more than 50 years old. They are one of the most popular varieties among home growers, because of their superior taste. However, without proper care, these plants can fall prey to various diseases that can hamper the growth of the plant and hinder fruit production. Here are a few tips you can use to prevent diseases from destroying your heirloom tomato plants.

While transplanting your tomato plants, make sure to place them deeply into the soil so they can grow a strong root system. Bury the seedlings down to where the stem begins and the plants will send out roots from the stem. More roots it has, more will plant be able to feed itself sufficiently.

You should also make sure to transplant seedlings enough apart to make sure the air circulation is better – this in itself will prevent various diseases.

Well, first thing to do after you transplant your seedlings into their permanent homes is to water your plants thoroughly. However, young plants do not need excess water, so do not over water. Watering every 2-3 days is sufficient in the first week and then you can water them every week for the first month.

Excess watering hampers air circulation and prevents the development of a deep and extensive root system. This root system is important for the plant to be able to absorb the required nutrition and water from the soil. Also, excess water and uneven watering decreases calcium level in the soil and lack of this nutrient can cause diseases such as blossom end rot.

Mulching and watering as needed will prevent the problem of uneven watering that can cause these diseases and problems in your heirloom tomato plants. Mulching also prevents in reducing the soil splash onto the plant. Soil splashing can cause various leaf diseases such as septoria leaf spot. Staking your tomatoes will also lift your plants off the ground, thus, providing better air circulation and preventing soil splash.

Some heirlooms grow over 6 feet tall and supporting these varieties can often become a problem. So, the stakes or trellises should be strong enough to handle the weight. If you want to cage your tomatoes, you can consider making one on your own using strong wire fencing.

Early blight, late blight, verticillium wilt, and fusarium wilt are diseases that can destroy your entire plants. Well-drained soil and crop rotation for more than 4-5 years with non-related crops is the best way to prevent these diseases from destroying your heirloom tomato plants.

Heirloom fruits should be harvested before they are fully ripe. So, as soon as they get some color, pick them off the vines and allow them to ripen indoors. This will prevent them from being eaten by pests and bugs. So, once you have picked your tomatoes, place them inside for a few days and they are ready to give an amazing taste to your tomato recipe!

Jimmy Casperson is a tomato growing enthusiast. Visit Growing Tomatoes Secrets for more expert advice on growing heirloom tomato plants [http://princegardening.com], and other tips you can use right now to grow juicy tomatoes at home.

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Article Source: http://princegardening.com