jump directly to content.
Principles. Crops. Pests. Control methods Library. Links.
key visual: online information service for Non-chemical Pest Management in the Tropics

picture discription
Photo by Jewel Kinilitan-Bissdorf


Scientific name: Lycopersicon esculentum
Family: Solanaceae

Growth stages 



For weeds and diseases please see further down on this page. For rodents, snails and slugs please click here 


Sown seeds  Ants

Seedling Stage

Roots  White grub
Stem   Aphids
Leaves   Aphids

Vegetative Stage

Stems  Aphids
Leaves  Aphids
Flea beetles
Leaf miner
Leafhoppers (Jassids)
Spider mites

Reproductive Stage

Flowers  Armyworm
Fruits   Armyworm
Lygus bugs
Spider mites
Stink bug
Tomato fruitworm

Maturation stage

Fruits   Armyworm
Lygus bugs
Stink bug
Tomato fruitworm






Cultural benefits are derived when tomato is intercropped with two or more plant species (onion, nasturtium, marigold, asparagus, carrot, parsley, cucumber) in close proximity. The benefits include pests and disease control, higher yield, and an increase in the biodiversity of ecosystems (Kuepper; Dodson, 2001). Intercropping tomato with cabbage reduced flea beetles and diamondback moth. Tomato plants attract more natural enemies that search for preys (Oregon Biodynamics Group, 2000). Cover crops such as Tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius), Wedelia (Wedelia trilobata) and Sun hemp (Crotalaria juncea) have a protective effect on tomatoes against whiteflies. These cover crops serve as a refuge for the natural enemies of whiteflies and soybean looper, thus lowering their population densities (Pantoja; Cabrera, 1999). Planting dill and lovage as trap crops lures hornworms away from tomato plants (Ellis; Bradley, 1996: pp. 227-233, 485).

The nitrogen (N) requirement of tomato is moderate during foliage growth until fruit set. Phosphorus (P) is very important for vigorous growth and fruit production. Near maximum yield is attained at approximately 0.2 mg P/l soil solution. Potassium (K) is needed for fruit set and enlargement. Magnesium is to be applied in soils deficient in this nutrient. Calcium deficiency may cause blossom-end-rot or apical necrosis ( IFA, 2000). However, fertilizer recommendations based on soil analyses are preferred in getting the right amount of fertilizer to be applied. Ask for assistance from your local agriculturist office.

Bat guano taken from caves can be directly applied to the soil or made into tea as foliar spray. Till-in 2 kg/100 sq feet or 3 tsp per gallon of water. This stimulates soil microorganisms to develop. If you have access to fresh seaweeds, rinse these seaweeds first to remove the salt; then apply them as mulch. Apply -1 kg /100 sq feet area. Seaweed is a long-term soil conditioner and helps plants during stress conditions. It contains micronutrients, amino acid and enzymes plus growth hormones that stimulate plant cell division (Card; et. al., 2002: pp. 7-8).

To help control fungal disease, apply compost tea made from mature-based compost. The microorganisms present in the compost tea attack the fungi that cause tomato disease such as downy mildew. To make your own compost tea, place 1-gallon of matured compost in a 5-gallon pail and fill it with water. Stir well and let it stand for 3 days in a warm place. Strain the mixture which is then ready for application. Remove heavily diseased leaves before application. It is better to spray late in the afternoon, so that the leaves remain damp for several hours. Check affected plants every 3-4 days and repeat applications if symptoms persist (Ellis; Bradley, 1996: p. 427).

OISAT Field Guides

Field Guide to Non- chemical Pest Management in Tomato Production download (908 kb)

External links


 to the top        PAN Germany, OISAT; Email oisat@pan-germany.org