Gray wall has a pretty impressive name for a disease that is fairly common and fairly easy to treat. I had never heard of this disease before, as my mother always told me that the tomatoes simply hadn’t ripened well.
Gray wall is basically that- a ripening problem. It occurs when the tomato or tomatoes on a plant don’t transition well from a green fruit to a ripe red tomato. There are different signs and symptoms of gray wall, most of them being different shades of each other.
When you see a tomato that has different gray, yellow, or brownish spots on it, it most likely has gray wall. It is an irregular ripening of the fruit, and occurs under bad growing conditions.
Gray wall is not a fungus, unlike another common tomato disease called Anthracnose. It is a virus that is spread especially under cooler temperatures, according to Cornel University’s report on the virus at http://gardening.about.com
So much like any gardening tip that I would give a person, as I have learned through all the years my parents forced me to keep a separate “mini” garden, would be to take care of your plant. Good growing conditions, and even better care are necessary in keeping a plant healthy. The same goes for this virus treatment. If you keep your plant in good growing conditions, it shouldn’t develop these ripening problems.
1.) Good Sunlight
It is essential that your tomatoes, as sun plants, get enough sunlight during the day. They need to have at least 5 hours of sun a day. They shouldn’t, however, get more than 8. This can be unhealthy for the plant. Not enough sunlight can lead to a lack of vitamins that are essential in the ripening process of the fruit.
2.) Good Watering
Yes, we all know that plants need water. What they really need is good watering. Making sure that your tomato plant has good drainage is essential to keeping it healthy. You can do this by putting it on a slant, so that the water doesn’t sit under its roots and develop fungi or viruses. You can also do this by planting your tomato plant above ground, in an upside down gardening fixture like the “Topsy Turvy” tomato grower.
Make sure your plant gets enough water to keep the soil kind of damp at most times of the day, but do not overwater your tomato plant. This can flood it, and cause all sorts of problems.
3.) Proper Fertilization
Remember, that a fertilizer high nitrogen, low potassium and compacted soils will increase the severity of this disease, according to Cornel. Good fertilization contains nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in moderate amounts to ensure the best growing process for your plant.
There you have it folks: Always remember to take good care of your plants. The best way to prevent a disease or fungus or virus in your tomato plant is to prevent it before it occurs. This is done through proper planting, good filtration of your water, and good soil. Good luck growing!