Nematodes in tomatoes

By Lynette Simango

While it is very important to prevent frost damage in your tomatoes this winter, you must also be on the lookout for some diseases and pests which can reduce your profits overtime.  It wouldn’t be good to have frost free yet unhealthy tomatoes. As such, let us take a closer look at nematodes and how they can wreak havoc in your tomato plants for a start.

Nematodes are small worms living in the soil that feed on plant roots and cannot be seen by naked eyes. Their infestation can reduce the plant’s productive capacity as they feed on plant sap. The worst part is when fungi or viruses enter through the injuries they cause.

Nematodes can be treated by using velum, oxamil or fernamiphos. Though costly, they are very effective but if you can’t afford these chemicals, it doesn’t mean you should just allow yourself to drown into loses. You can try one of the following integrated pest management measures (IPM-measures) to suppress or limit a nematode infestation:

Firstly, you can try rotating tomatoes with other crops such as cereals, cabbage, onion, groundnut or cassava. You should remove weeds and plant remains and also interplant with plants that emit substances via their roots which repel nematodes for example sesame. Lastly you need to frequently plough the land as this exposes the nematodes to sun and high temperatures and that will definitely kill them off.

#vaMudhumeni #Helpingfarmersgrow #growinghealthytomatoes

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