Agriculture: Tomato Pest Management Guidelines

Planting to Prebloom

This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of California tomatoes grown for processing.

About Planting to Prebloom

  • Special issues of concern related to water quality: Fertilizer application, herbicide sprays, insecticide application, fungicide application, drift, and runoff due to irrigation or rain.

What should you be doing during this time?

With transplants, take caution not to move pests from the greenhouse to the field.
Before planting, visually inspect plants for diseases and insects.

  • Destroy plants with late blight, gray mold, sweetpotato whitefly or pinworm.

Consider an irrigation if your location has not had adequate spring rain.

Look for insects, seedling diseases, and blank spots:

Direct-seeded: from seedling emergence until the 2 to 3 true leaf stage

Transplants: for several weeks after transplanting

  • Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Damping-off
  • Darkling beetles
  • Flea beetles
  • Garden symphylans
  • Wireworms

Survey and manage weeds:

  • Cultivate weeds along plant line.
  • Consider hand weeding.
  • Consider applying herbicides after planting based on survey information.

Keep records on a weed survey form (PDF).

In furrow irrigated systems, consider sidedressing the crop with nitrogen at prebloom. Use a pre-sidedress soil nitrate test to help guide fertilizer applications.

Consider applying bactericides for:

  • Bacterial speck—if historically it has been common in the field or is present now and the weather has been cool and wet, with forecasts for similar conditions.
  • Bacterial spot—if present and the weather has been mild and wet.

Look for bacterial canker and manage according to the Tomato Pest Management Guidelines, especially under cool and wet conditions or in sprinkler-irrigated fields.

Sporadic or minor pests you may see:

Text Updated: 12/13