The app will help gardeners diagnose problems and offer solutions to get their plants back to a healthy condition, said Janna Beckerman, a Purdue Extension plant disease specialist and content specialist for the app.
“Even people who don’t consider themselves gardeners grow tomatoes,” Beckerman noted. “And every year, all of us tomato growers confront different problems. This app is designed to help home tomato growers identify problems and find a useful solution so they can thoroughly enjoy more tomatoes.”
The Tomato Doctor covers more than 80 common – and not so common – insect, disease and environmental problems that occur throughout the United States and around the world. It includes nearly 500 high-quality images to help users identify problems involving their plants.
Correctly identifying problems will help gardeners avoid using pesticides on their plants unnecessarily, Beckerman said.
“Not every problem needs a pesticide to manage it,” she said. “But when they are needed, we always start with the least toxic approach, and we try to recommend common varieties that are more resistant to certain problems. Sometimes, switching varieties is all that is needed. But for some people, they have to grow Brandywine or Speckled Roman, which may require a bit more protection. We included some common beneficial insects so growers don’t mistake a helpful insect for a harmful one,” she said.