The Q&A Archives: Tomato Diseases

Question: Can you recommend tomato varieties which are the most disease resistant? We have tried all the preventive measures and still have had problems with septoria and probably other fungal diseases. We have planted Celebrity and Beefmaster, Whopper. We do look for varieties that are indicated to be resistant.

Answer: You are on the right track in looking for disease resistant varieties; among the most resistant to a wide variety of diseases are Celebrity, Big Beef and Viva Italia. However, resistance does not mean "proof" and so cultural practices are still very important. Since you have had disease problems in the past it is especially important to rotate your tomatoes (and their cousins such as potatoes, eggplants and peppers) on even as long as a five year basis; clean up, remove and destroy all plant debris during the season and in the fall; and generally keep the plants as healthy as possible by maintaining optimum soil conditions, fertility and adequate watering practices. Air circulation between the plants and avoiding overhead watering are also important in controlling fungal problems. Good luck with your tomatoes!

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