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Tomatoes are plants from the nightshade family. The homeland of tomatoes is South America. The Indians cultivated this vegetable as far back as the 5th century BC. In Russia, the history of tomato cultivation is much shorter. At the end of the 18th century, the first tomatoes grew on windowsills in the homes of some townspeople. But their role was rather decorative. Few people know, but at the time when the first tomatoes were brought from Europe to the imperial table, in the southern regions of Russia they were a fairly widespread culture. The first Russian tomato variety was bred by the inhabitants of the Pecherskaya Sloboda near the city of Nizhny Novgorod at the beginning of the 20th century; it was called Pecherskiy and was famous for its taste and large fruits.
Even some 50 years ago, when the tomato variety was much less, tomatoes grew well in open ground even in central Russia, since there was simply no greenhouse film at that time. Late blight did not rage either, from which modern tomatoes suffer both in greenhouses and in open ground. This is not to say that this dangerous disease did not exist then.
The history of the struggle of nightshade crops with the fungus phytophthora infestans is long and has tragic moments. For the first time, this fungal infection was noticed on potatoes in the thirties of the XIX century, and at first they did not pay attention to it. And in vain - literally fifteen years later it took on the character of an epiphytotic and in just four years reduced the population of Ireland by a quarter. Potatoes, which completely destroyed late blight, were the staple food in this country.
Stages of changing the pathogen of late blight
The main target of this dangerous disease has long been potatoes. And the causative agent of the disease was represented by simple races, most of all dangerous for potatoes. But, since the end of the 60s of the last century, the genotype of the causative agent of late blight began to change, more aggressive races appeared, which easily overcame the protective reaction of not only potatoes, but also tomatoes. They have become dangerous to all nightshade species.
Breeders all over the world are trying to develop varieties of tomatoes and potatoes that are resistant to this disease, but its pathogen is also constantly changing, so the war between nightshades and late blight continues and the prevalence is still on the side of late blight. In 1985, a new genetic form of the fungus appeared, capable of forming oospores that winter well in the ground. Now the source of infection lies not only in tomato seeds or potato planting material, but also in the soil itself. All this forces gardeners to take comprehensive measures to protect their tomato harvest from this dangerous infection.
Attention! In order to prevent phytophthora spores from remaining in the greenhouse all winter, it is necessary to disinfect both the soil and the greenhouse structure itself.
How to disinfect a greenhouse from late blight
- All plant residues are removed from the greenhouse. The tops of tomatoes must be burned, if you throw them into a compost heap, it will be possible to disperse a dangerous disease with compost throughout the garden.
- Remove all the ropes and pegs to which the tomatoes were tied; in case of severe infection, it is also better to burn them.
- Even weeds that remain in the greenhouse after the end of the season can become a breeding ground for disease, so they need to be removed and burned. All tools that were used when working in a greenhouse with tomatoes must be disinfected, for example, with copper sulfate.
- Thoroughly wash the entire greenhouse frame with detergents and then disinfect it. For disinfection, a solution of copper sulfate in a proportion of 75 grams per ten-liter bucket of water or a solution of bleach is suitable. It is prepared from 400 grams of lime in a ten-liter bucket of water. The solution must be infused for at least four hours. This treatment is most suitable for timber framed greenhouses. When processing is finished, the greenhouse needs to be closed for two days.
After processing the frame, it is necessary to disinfect the soil in the greenhouse. Every three years, the top layer of the soil in the greenhouse in which the tomatoes are grown needs to be renewed. The soil is taken from the beds on which plants from the Solanaceae family have not grown before, namely tomatoes. If late blight raged in the greenhouse during the season, the topsoil must be replaced. New soil should be treated. A phytosporin solution is best suited for this.
You can see how to properly treat a greenhouse from late blight in the following video:
Warning! Some gardeners advise cultivating the land with boiling water or formalin solution.
Of course, this will kill pathogenic microorganisms, but it will not be good either. And without them, the soil loses its fertility, the biological balance is disturbed, and next year pathogenic bacteria and fungi will develop even more actively.
During the growing season, care must be taken to protect the tomatoes. To do this, they should increase their immunity with the help of immunostimulants, feed the tomatoes correctly and on time, observe the water regime, protect the tomatoes from sudden temperature fluctuations and night fogs.
Will help protect tomatoes from late blight and preventive treatments with protective agents. Before flowering, spraying with contact fungicides of a chemical nature, for example, homa, can be carried out. When the first brush of tomatoes blooms, it is undesirable to use chemical remedies. Now microbiological preparations and folk remedies can become good helpers. One of them is furacilin from late blight on tomatoes.
Furacilin is a well-known antibacterial drug that is often used in traditional medicine to fight disease-causing bacteria. It is also used in the treatment of fungal infections in humans. As it turned out, it is also effective in the fight against the pathogen of late blight on tomatoes, since it is also a representative of the fungal microflora.
The use of furacilin to combat late blight
The solution for processing is very simple. 10 tablets of this drug are kneaded into powder, dissolved in a small amount of hot water. Bring the volume of the solution to ten liters by adding pure water. It must be remembered that the water should not be chlorinated or hard.
Advice! The solution can be prepared immediately for the entire season.
Due to its bactericidal properties, it can be stored well, but only in a dark and cool place.
During the growing season, you will need three treatments of tomatoes: before flowering, when the first ovaries appear, and at the end of the season, in order to protect the last green tomatoes. There are many positive reviews about this method of protecting tomatoes from late blight.
With proper protection, even in an unfavorable year, you can save tomatoes from such a dangerous disease as late blight.
Igor Nikolaevich, 60 years old, Demidov
I have been engaged in gardening for a long time. I love growing tomatoes, I collect different varieties. For a long time I could not find a suitable remedy to protect my tomatoes from phytophthora. I learned from a neighbor that he was treating them with furacilin. I tried it and was amazed at the result. Phytophthora retreated.
Nina Petrovna, 48 years old, Pskov
Summer here does not spoil with warmth. Fogs and cold nights are frequent. So that the tomatoes do not get sick, you must definitely process them. I tried a lot, but I liked furacilin the most. There are only three treatments and the tomatoes do not get sick until the end of the season.