Growing Tomatoes in Sandoval County

Jul 13, 2020 | Tips & Ideas

By Sam Thompson – SEMG 2008 –  ‘The Tomato Maven’

There are three key challenges to growing tomatoes in Sandoval county: Low fertility soil, high temperatures, pests, and diseases. This month we’ll focus on the challenges of high temperatures and pests and diseases.


SUPPORTING TOMATOES THROUGH SUMMER HEAT

  • Smaller tomato varieties do better in high heat
  • Water in the morning
  • Wilted plant in the afternoon – likely normal; Wilted plant in the morning needs water
  • Water consistently to avoid blossom end rot
  • Provide some shade for the tomato plants
  • Mulch the plants
  • In this heat if you only have flowers give them a shake to help


TOMATO DISEASES

  • Curly Leaf Virus -spread by the Beet Leafhopper – stunts plant growth, leaves turn yellow and get leathery. No cure for CL; must pull out and toss all the diseased plants. Do not compost!
  • Verticillium and Fusarium – both soil borne fungal disease. Lab test needed to determine which disease is present


PROTECTING TOMATOES FROM PESTS

  • Inspect plants early in the day. Pick off and discard Tomato Horn worms. Tomato Fruit worms are small, striped and could be green, yellow, or brown
  • Nematodes – microscopic worms that live in the soil and feed on the roots
  • Use floating row covers – pest protection and light shade
  • Grow disease resistant varieties
  • Grow companion plants beside the tomatoes


COMPANION PLANTS FOR TOMATOES:

  • Onions, carrots, chiles, asparagus, basil, chives, parsley, and garlic
  • Cosmos, dill, alyssum, and California Bluebell, Plains Coreopsis and Buckwheat
  • Consider using insectary plants to attract beneficial insects to feed on the harmful ones. https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/H169/welcome.html

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