Gardeners growing tomatoes typically like to have a few sprays on hand to improve the health and yield of the harvest and solve anticipated problems. Choose the safest possible products for your own harvest by preventing those using the words “warning” or “danger” on the label. Fungicides and insecticides should be labeled for the target pest, as well as the label should say that it’s safe to use on vegetable plants. The label is always the final word on how and when to use the spray in your own tomatoes.

Nutritional Sprays

Epsom salts contain sulfur and potassium, which are essential for strong, bushy tomato plants and large, flavorful fruit. Spray the plants with one tablespoon of Epsom salts dissolved in a gallon of water no longer than one time per month. Use the spray on light, spindly plants and when the fruit is slow to ripen. Seaweed sprays perk up light, sagging tomato plants in a few days. The chemicals and hormones from the spray provide essential elements and make it easier for the plant to absorb nutrition from the soil.

Insect Sprays

Bacillus thuringiensis, an environmentally friendly spray, kills tomato hornworms, tomato pinworms and tomato fruitworms. It is formulated for insect larvae and will not harm humans, pets or wildlife. The spray is most successful when bug larvae are very young. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils are safe insecticides that could be used in the treatment of several insect issues, such as aphids and mealybugs. These sprays must come into immediate contact with all the insects to be effective, so spray on the plant thoroughly, and don’t forget the undersides of their leaves.

Blossom Establish Sprays

When nightly temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above 70 degrees, and when daytime temperatures have been above 92 degrees for many days, tomato blossoms drop away without setting fruit. There isn’t anything you can do about significant temperatures, but when the problem is low temperatures, a blossom-set spray will help. Blossom-set sprays contain hormones that encourage fertilization.

Disease Prevention

Most diseases that infect tomato plants can’t be cured, so the focus needs to be on prevention. The best disease prevention is proper spacing and pruning to allow good air circulation and sunlight penetration, and there are a few sprays which may provide help. Ginger spray helps prevent fungal diseases. You can make your own spray by diluting reconstituted powdered milk or skim milk at the rate of 1 part milk and 9 parts water. Spray the tomato plants a couple times every month until midsummer. Milk also gives the plant a dose of calcium. Copper and sulfur fungicide sprays are also helpful in controlling and preventing the spread of fungal diseases.

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