A Mist Sprayer is very effective in spraying tomatoes with fungicides, insecticides and foliar fertilizer. Spray at a rate of 1-5 gallons per acre to effectively cover your crop with swath widths of 40 to to 140 feet. Tomato producers achieve excellent results with fungicide treatment levels that are 25-30% below conventional spraying methods!
The Mist Sprayer provides more uniform coverage. no streaks or missed spots, and you find that you have 100% better control of the chemical and its target area with proper application and bordering. AmeriBest Mist Sprayer''s high and low volume mist sprayers create more uniform spray patterns with smaller mist size particles in a 0 to 140'' air stream that stays low to the ground. The swirling air vortex deposits spray droplets on all sides of the plant stems and foliage. In fact, 30% of the droplets are placed on the underside of leaves... this maximizes the spraying efficiency.
Blight, Anthracnose, Septoria leaf spot and blossom end rot are the most common.
Anthracnose is a common and serious disease of tomato fruit that can greatly reduce a crop into rotted fruit in just a few days in warm, moist weather. It is caused by a fungus that survives between crop seasons on infested plant debris in the soil. Spores splash onto the lower plant leaves in the early growing season. Infected green fruit develop small, water-soaked, circular lesions develop under the skin as it begins to ripen and then becomes sunken and dark. Dark specks develop in the lesions in concentric rings. In moist, warm weather, they can ooze and soft rot bacteria which enters the split skin over the lesions spread internally, forming a semi-soft decay that will ruin the fruit. Ripe fruit is very susceptible to this fungus.
Early Blight, also known as Alternaria leaf spot or target spot, causes premature loss of lower leaves. It develops as brown to black spots with concentric rings. Leaves turn yellow and dry up when only a few spots are present. Early blight can infect plants at any stage during the growing season but usually progresses most rapidly after plants have set fruit.
Late Blight can devastate tomato plantings during periods of cool, rainy weather. Late blight infects the tomato leaves and usually first appears as water-soaked areas that enlarge rapidly. It forms irregular, greenish black blotches and the underside of the leaves show a downy white growth in wet-humid weather. Tomato fruit infection produces large, irregularly shaped brown blotches that result in rapidly deteriorating tissue.
Septoria Leaf Spot can occur at any stage and first appears as small, water-soaked spots that soon become circular spot lesions that gradually develop grayish white centers with dark edges. Spores are spread to new leaves by splashing rain. Heavily infected leaves turn yellow, wither, and eventually fall off. Defoliation can be severe after periods of prolonged warm, wet weather. Lower leaves are infected first, and the disease progresses upward in persistent rainy weather.
Horticulturalists recommend that you begin a spray program 2-4 weeks after transplanting to minimize the introduction and/or spread of common tomato diseases. They note that the best disease control is often obtained by alternating active products, on a 7 to 10 day schedule.
Common Tomato Disease
Alternaria stem canker
Gray leaf spot
Pythium damping-off and fruit rot
Rhizoctonia damping-off and fruit rot
Septoria leaf spot
Tomato Insect Pests
Aphids are tiny bugs with a pear-shaped body that tend to congregate in mass clusters on the stems and buds of new plant growth. Aphids feed by sucking sap from leaves and reduce the vigor and growth of the plant, which can reduce yield. Aphids produce “honeydew,” that promotes black fungus growth which can get on tomato fruit, making them unmarketable. Aphids can reproduce quickly. Mist sprayers will allow you to address the problem quickly.
Flea Beetles are potentially devastating visitor that attack foliage. Adults produce numerous small holes in the leaves while larvae feed on roots. Flea beetles also infect corn, cabbage, lettuce, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. Use a mist sprayer to control numbers and to attack high populations.
Whiteflies feed on plant juices, leaving behind a sticky residue or ''honeydew,'' which can produce sooty mold. Mist Sprayer applications can control this pest with insecticidal soaps, botanical insecticides or horticultural oil which will smother Whiteflies in all stages of growth.
Colorado Potato Beetles feed on leaves and are yellow with 10 black stripes on their wing covers. Eggs are found on the underside of the leaf and are yellowish-orange color.
Tomato Pests: Aphids Thrips Spider Mites Whiteflies Leafhoppers Stinkbugs Leaf-Footed Bug Colorado Potato Beetle Flea Beetles
Moth Pests: Cutworm Corn Earworm Tomato Hornworm Army Worm
Foliar Feeding - Foliar feeding is used when insufficient fertilizer was used before planting, when a quick growth response is wanted, when micronutrients (such as iron or zinc) are locked into the soil, or when the soil is too cold for the plants to use the fertilizer applied to the soil. Foliar-applied nutrients are absorbed and used by the plant quite rapidly. Absorption begins within minutes after application and, with most nutrients, it is completed within 1 to 2 days. Foliar nutrition can be a supplement to soil nutrition at a critical time for the plant, but not a substitute since greater amounts of plant material are needed than what can be absorbed through the plant leaf at any given time. At transplanting time, an application of phosphorus spray will help in the establishment of the young plant in cold soils. For perennial plants, early spring growth is usually limited by cold soil, even when the air is warm. Under such conditions, soil microorganisms are not active enough to convert nutrients into forms available for roots to absorb; yet, if the nutrients were available, the plants could utilize them. A nutrient spray to the foliage will provide the needed nutrients immediately, allowing the plants to begin growth.