New 'Tomato MD' Mobile App Helps Home Gardeners Diagnose and Treat Sick Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are one of the most common garden crops in the U.S. But while popular, they are not always easy to treat when affected by plant diseases or bugs. “With such a wide range of pests that affect tomato plants, gardeners at all levels--and even professional growers--can have a difficult time identifying and treating them,” says Neil Bell, OSU Extension Horticulturalist in Marion County.  

Enter Tomato MD, part of the new “Plant Health” family of apps for the iPhone or iPad. Tomato MD is an interactive reference that helps gardeners, professional growers, and consultants identify and manage more than 35 key diseases, insects, and physiological disorders of tomatoes. 

“Tomato MD is unique in that tomato experts have peer-reviewed all content to ensure the images and information are accurate,” says Bell. And while the information was reviewed by scientists, it is very accessible and published in an easy-to-use, non-scientific format.

Specific features of this app include:

An index of more than 35 common diseases, insects, and mites that affect tomato plants. Once the disease or pest is isolated, users can learn more about causes and sources, symptoms, management strategies, other plants that may serve as host to the pest, and more useful information

  • A peer-reviewed photo gallery of insects and mites and the specific damage they cause
  • A diagnostic key of tomato diseases based on physical symptoms and the location of infection, including the leaves, stem, fruit, and whole plant
  • A tutorial on packing diagnostic samples for the identification of diseases, insect and mite pests, and other disorders
  • An updated list of U.S. diagnostic labs where samples can be sent
  • Fully downloadable content. No internet or cellular connection is needed to operate the app once it is fully downloaded

Tomato MD was authored and peer-reviewed by members of the American Phytopathological Society, a nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to plant health. Among the contributors were members Margaret McGrath, Gail Ruhl, Michelle Grabowski, Daniel Gilrein, Robert Wick, and Margery Daughtrey.

Tomato MD is based in part on two APS PRESS Books: Tomato Health Management, Edited by R. Michael Davis, Ken Pernezny, and Janet C. Broome; and the Compendium of Tomato Diseases and Pests, Second Edition, Edited by Jeffrey B. Jones, Thomas A. Zitter, M. Timur Momol, and Sally A. Miller.

The entire Tomato MD app can be purchased at the introductory rate of just $1.99 through August 17.

Users can sample Tomato MD via the APS Plant Health app. Users can also find and sample the app by searching “Tomato MD” or “Plant Health” in their iPhone or iPad App Store.

For more information about gardening, contact the OSU Extension Service in Marion County at 503-588-5301 or Neil Bell, OSU Extension Horticulturist-Marion Country may be reached at 503-361-2671,

Oregon State University Extension Service offers educational programs, activities and materials without discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. OSU Extension Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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