How to protect my tomatoes from mildew this year?

The plague that withered foliage and brought rot to the fruit of the tomato plant doesn't have to be a fatality. There are a few simple actions you can take in order to prevent the disease.

What is mildew?

Mildew is a disease due to oomycetes, a small organism that shares the same characteristics as mushrooms and algae. We see small brown stains appearing on top of the leaves, as well as a white duvet forming underneath. Later on, the stains start to take over the plant, if nothing is done to prevent the spreading both on the fruits (the tomatoes) and the leaves, they will rot.

In order to strive, the mildew needs humidity and a temperature below 21 C. These types of conditions are often met at the end of the season or during a wet summer. It is important to establish a strategy early on to prevent your tomatoes to take a hit.

Here are a few steps that you should consider early on in the season:

Step 1

Cultivating varieties of tomatoes that are highly resistant to a cold climate that will last further in the season such as :

  • Golden Nugget.

  • Husky Gold.

  • Orange Pixie.

  • Oregon Spring.

  • Siletz.

  • Celebrity

Step 2

It is important to keep dry foliage.

At the beginning of the season: You can consider building a transparent awning made out of glass or plastic while your plants are small. (not mandatory)

In the case of a storm: you can cover your tomatoes with transparent bags with tiny holes ((see the picture below) to let the plant breathe and not get the leaves of the plant wet.

Step 3

Always water from the bottom of the plant.

Step 4

Let air circulate between the plants the best you can. A 1-meter distance is a minimum between each plant, the closer the plants are the more they will maintain humidity. It also requires great tutoring of the plant so the tomato plant grows upward instead of broader. Prevent your tomatoes from being. too close to high bushes or hedges where the air does not circulate well.

With these few steps, you should be off to a good start.

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