Agriculture: Tomato Pest Management Guidelines

Crop Rotation

Avoid planting tomatoes in the same field year after year. Rotating to a nonhost crop can significantly reduce pest populations in the field. The table below provides information on nonhost crops that interrupt certain tomato-associated pathogen, nematode, and weed cycles.

For winter annual weed control, choose wheat or small grains in fall and control weeds in these crops with a suitable herbicide. Consider managing summer annual weeds by growing corn in rotation with tomato. Use selective herbicides and cultivations.

Currently, research is lacking in California about how many years tomatoes can be continuously planted in non-problematic fields with drip irrigation. Preplant applications of fumigants or fungicides chemigated through the drip system can extend continuous tomato production.

Pest type Suggested rotation cycle in years Nonhost crop options and other comments
Verticillium wilt 3 Small grains, corn
Phytophthora root rot 1 Cereals for severe infestations
Bacterial spot 1 or more Nonsolanaceous crops
Bacterial canker 1 or more Nonsolanaceous crops
Fusarium wilt 2 or more Crops other than tomato
Southern blight 3 Small grains
Corky root rot 2 or more Small grains, corn
Other pests
Root-knot nematode Use resistant tomato varieties and other nonhosts
Dodder Use tolerant tomato varieties or grass crops
Text Updated: 12/13