How to manage tomatoes in rainy season
Tomato is one of the most profitable crops anyone can cultivate in Nigeria. Cultivating and harvesting tomatoes in the rainy season in Nigeria can be very lucrative.
To cultivate and plant tomatoes in the rainy season in Nigeria comes with a lot of challenges. This is why a lot of farmers avoid growing tomatoes in the rainy season in Nigeria. But, you know what, harvesting and selling tomatoes in the rainy season can be very profitable.
The prices of tomatoes in the rainy season in Nigeria are usually very high because of the scarcity of this vegetable during this period.
Challenges faced by tomatoes farmers in the rainy season
The following are the challenges you can face as a tomato farmer in the rainy season in Nigeria:
During the rainy season in Nigeria, humidity increases and this encourages the growth of fungal spores on plants and leaves’ surfaces. This ultimately leads to fungal diseases.
Fungal diseases damages the leaves, stems, flowers and fruits of plants. Fungal diseases can lead to zero yield in tomato farming.
Tomato blight disease for instance can lead to near zero or even zero yield in tomato farming.
During the rainy season in Nigeria, there is a high weed pressure. Weeds can significantly reduce the yield of tomato plants.
Weeds also harbor pests and diseases that can negatively impact tomato plants.
Difficulty in the application of pesticides
In the rainy season, pesticides are washed away easily after application. When these pesticides are washed away, diseases and pests can quickly attack the tomato plants.
During the months of June and July in Nigeria, it is always a big challenge to apply pesticides on plants as frequent rainfalls will not let the pesticides stick to the surface of the plants.
Most of the roads leading to farms in Nigeria are usually very bad in the rainy season due to the effects of erosion.
Without good roads, evacuation of harvested tomatoes will be difficult in the rainy season.
How to manage tomatoes in the rainy season
The following are the ways to manage the challenges faced by tomato farmers in the rainy season in Nigeria:
To prevent fungal diseases, good fungicides should be used intermittently. Fungicides with different active ingredients should be used interchangeably to prevent issues of resistance.
Excessive amount of nitrogen fertilizers should not be used for tomato plants; this can also increase the chances of your tomato plants getting fungal diseases.
Sulfur dusts, microbial innoculants and bio-fungicides can also be used to prevent fungal disease in tomato plants.
The use of mulch
Plastic mulch can be used to cover the surface of the beds or ridges. This will prevent the growth of weeds.
Organic mulches can also be used to prevent the growth of weeds.
The use of systemic pesticides
Systemic fungicides can work on tomato plants for several weeks unlike contact pesticides that can be easily washed away by rains.
There are a lot of good systemic fungicides that can be used for tomato plants in Nigeria.
Tomato farming can be lucrative in the rainy season.
Do you grow tomatoes in the rainy season? If yes, why not share the challenges you face with us in the comments’ section.