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View Full Version : What's going on with my tomatoes??? Pics post 29



carolprudm
Jul. 24, 2012, 04:08 PM
I have several beautiful tomato plants with lovely big GREEN tomatoes. They just don't seem to get ripe, they're just hanging there, not doing much of anything. The two that have ripened were pale inside, almost white and tasted awful, worse than store bought in January.

Any idea what might be going on? Is it to hot?

HPFarmette
Jul. 24, 2012, 04:11 PM
I'm guessing the weather. Everything seems messed up this year.

Bacardi1
Jul. 24, 2012, 05:16 PM
Patience. You're picking them too soon. Particularly if you're growing heirloom types. They seem to take their own sweet time to ripen.

carolprudm
Jul. 24, 2012, 06:11 PM
Patience. You're picking them too soon. Particularly if you're growing heirloom types. They seem to take their own sweet time to ripen.

I've only picked 2 and they looked ready and practically fell off the vine. They are Park's Whoppers, a variety I have grown successfully in the past. I've given up on the heirloom varieties, way to unreliable in the heat and humidity

walknsound
Jul. 24, 2012, 06:37 PM
I'm no help, sorry. Friend has big beautiful tomato plants, no tomatoes at all. Not even any blooms. We blamed the weather, tomatoes gone crazy.

buck22
Jul. 24, 2012, 07:35 PM
I have several beautiful tomato plants with lovely big GREEN tomatoes. They just don't seem to get ripe, they're just hanging there, not doing much of anything. The two that have ripened were pale inside, almost white and tasted awful, worse than store bought in January.

Any idea what might be going on? Is it to hot?

Yes, its the heat. The white ring around the meat on the inside is called "grey wall", its uneven ripening due to the heat. Chances are you have "green shoulders" too. If the toms just got going during the heat wave then you might even have light "dry" fruit that have no gel inside, or feel very light.

Right now I am waiting until my toms get a good blush of color and then I pick them, they are mostly still green only just turning. I'm pulling them early rather than letting them vine ripen in hopes they don't cook out there. For me, 6 hours north of you, its been working out well. Only the toms I miss, that get vine ripe, have had grey wall.

Another thing you can do is water shallow every single day. Water too much and you'll split the toms and/or cause BER (blossom end rot) by screwing with the plants ability to uptake Ca... but if you water a little every day in the am's (water the ground only, don't get the plant wet) you can cool the root system and help the plant out.

If you haven't mulched deeply, do so, it stabilizes ground temps. Toms don't mind being hot on top so much as long as its not extended (though you will get blossom drop), its the root system that drives them nuts though.

Yes aggravation is the tradeoff for tasty heirlooms.... its the finickiness that led people to develop hybrids in the first place. You couldn't pay me to plant a hybrid though save one or two I really do like.

This is one of the reasons I plant many types of heirlooms every year. Every season has its own growing challenges and some toms thrive while other fail. I have two toms I was really looking forward to this year just fail in the last few days, they just can't take the heat and have given up. :no:

FWIW, the big farmer in my area who does only hybrids is suffering from greywall too, everyone at the farm stand complains its a bad year for toms. Vineyards are in heaven though.

'tis gardening.

Bluey
Jul. 24, 2012, 07:35 PM
It is the year.
The same here, was just talking to a friend and her tomatoes also not doing any good.
I have six plants and they have a few half grown green tomatoes, one red one, but too leathery to try to pick, would be awful to eat.

Cattle got in my little pen and ate the tops of two of the plants, but that didn't matter, it is the year and maybe tomato wilt virus and you can't do anything about that, although four of the plants are supposed to be resistant to that virus.

Chalk it to a bad tomato year.
No wonder so many commercial growers here went hydroponic.
Too many crop failures raising them outside.

carolprudm
Jul. 24, 2012, 07:59 PM
Yes, its the heat. The white ring around the meat on the inside is called "grey wall", its uneven ripening due to the heat. Chances are you have "green shoulders" too. If the toms just got going during the heat wave then you might even have light "dry" fruit that have no gel inside, or feel very light.

Right now I am waiting until my toms get a good blush of color and then I pick them, they are mostly still green only just turning. I'm pulling them early rather than letting them vine ripen in hopes they don't cook out there. For me, 6 hours north of you, its been working out well. Only the toms I miss, that get vine ripe, have had grey wall.

Another thing you can do is water shallow every single day. Water too much and you'll split the toms and/or cause BER (blossom end rot) by screwing with the plants ability to uptake Ca... but if you water a little every day in the am's (water the ground only, don't get the plant wet) you can cool the root system and help the plant out.

If you haven't mulched deeply, do so, it stabilizes ground temps. Toms don't mind being hot on top so much as long as its not extended (though you will get blossom drop), its the root system that drives them nuts though.

Yes aggravation is the tradeoff for tasty heirlooms.... its the finickiness that led people to develop hybrids in the first place. You couldn't pay me to plant a hybrid though save one or two I really do like.

This is one of the reasons I plant many types of heirlooms every year. Every season has its own growing challenges and some toms thrive while other fail. I have two toms I was really looking forward to this year just fail in the last few days, they just can't take the heat and have given up. :no:

FWIW, the big farmer in my area who does only hybrids is suffering from greywall too, everyone at the farm stand complains its a bad year for toms. Vineyards are in heaven though.

'tis gardening.

Thanks for the info sounds like indeed I do have grey wall.

I use a soaker hose under mulch. I have a variety of tomatoes , from the tried and true Roma and San Mazarino to Whopper and the newer Razzleberry Tomaberry and Juliet plus the odd volunteer

JB
Jul. 24, 2012, 08:03 PM
I have become convinced that if you live anywhere that gets too hot for maters, you need to be able to set up something to shade them from afternoon sun.

My maters are doing the best EVER, and we have not been cool (but not totally baking like some of you). Sure, we get hot, but I can't recall the last time we had so many upper 90's and low 100's in JUNE. Mine are such that they face almost due East, climbing (more or less) a netted trellis. And, they are on the East side of a hill that is the raised deep end of our pool. So, they are getting significantly earlier protection from the hot hot blazing afternoon sun, and I'm convinced that has made the world of difference.

Daydream Believer
Jul. 24, 2012, 08:15 PM
If you can't get heirlooms to grow in the heat, you just aren't growing the right ones. :-) I've found several varieties that perform very well in the heat and humidity of this area...Southeastern VA..and believe me it's nasty here. Today was 95F...medium warm for what we've been getting and heat index of 115F. I trimmed all day out there..it was miserable.

Good varieties for hot, humid summers are:

Arkansas Traveler. I only have a few of these left this year...something got some early plants. They did really well last year for me.

Homestead 24. Fantastic in the hot weather and great flavor. They are not the earliest tomato but do great in the heat

Atkinson...I've got some in this year and they are doing really well. Nice medium fruit and vigorous. Bred in Florida it loves heat.

My new favorite is "Old Virginia" a variety bred right here in SE VA over a 100 years ago. It is going nuts out there with big beautiful beefsteaks that are juicy and not meaty and bland as the hybrids tend to be.

Purple Price...a VA bred purple tomato similar to Cherokee Purple is doing OK...lots of small tomatoes on it but they seem a bit more susceptible to bugs.

Santiago is a variety from Guatemala and it's putting out a lot of small beefsteak type tomatoes. Not as good a flavor as some of the others but very vigorous.

Mrs. Maxwell's Big Italian is only doing average I'd say. It has some tomatoes trying to turn now but not as happy as some of the others in the heat.

Wickline Cherry...wow..nice big red cherries so juicy and good...covered in fruit. The plants have taken over one of my raised beds too..very vigorous.

Blondkopfhchen...means little blond girl in German. Yellow cherries and also going like crazy too.

Black Cherry...nice flavor and lots of fruit also. Good choice for hot places.

I've tried hybrids here like Celebrity and they all died last summer.

Tomatofest.com is where I got my seeds. They have a wonderful fun site.

Seriously try Old Virginia if you want big delicious heirlooms that the heat is not fazing at all...wow...what a fantastic variety. Mine took a long time to turn red also but when they did, they just keep coming and they are all setting fruit. I made a point of choosing heat resistant varieties only and only heirlooms so I can save seeds. This year was an experiment to try a few more varieties than I did last year and I've been having a blast.

eventgroupie2
Jul. 24, 2012, 09:02 PM
Same here in Lexington, VA- loads of green tomatoes- none seem to want to ripen. Then when they do, the darn crows beat me to them!!!! I have been picking them when they just show color, and let them ripen on the window sill. Might as well be buying them at Walmart :(

Laurierace
Jul. 24, 2012, 10:29 PM
Same here in Lexington, VA- loads of green tomatoes- none seem to want to ripen. Then when they do, the darn crows beat me to them!!!! I have been picking them when they just show color, and let them ripen on the window sill. Might as well be buying them at Walmart :(

Tomatoes ripen in the dark. Put them in a brown paper bag instead.

2DogsFarm
Jul. 25, 2012, 06:41 AM
I have become convinced that if you live anywhere that gets too hot for maters, you need to be able to set up something to shade them from afternoon sun.
:yes:
Agreed!
By serendipity I planted my tomatoes (2 standards, 4 heirlooms) where they are shaded and they are doing great even in the horrendous heat we've been getting.
They did take forever to start ripening - I had 2 baseball-sized green ones that finally turned this week after nearly a month on the vine!

Also they are planted in maybe 6" of straight composted manure on top of old feed bags.
I had intended to get them in the ground, then replant after adding another 6" of compost to the bed, but never got around to that.
Even so I've only had to water a handful of times - the compost really holds moisture well.

buck22
Jul. 25, 2012, 07:12 AM
My maters are doing the best EVER, and we have not been cool (but not totally baking like some of you). Sure, we get hot, but I can't recall the last time we had so many upper 90's and low 100's in JUNE.

Save 3 or 4 varieties, mine are all doing pretty good too this year, though I expect a short lived year, though never know might have a huge come back in August/Sept. Small guys like salads, grapes, cherries and cranberries are the only ones doing any kind of fruit setting in this kind of heat. Back in May however, we had ideal growing conditions and the larger toms had an incredible fruit set rate and they're starting to come in now in waves.

About half of mine are in beds that are in relentless full sun and they are doing well. Deeply tilled beds (by hand, no rototilling) of almost pure compost, deep roots, deep watering and lots of mulch has kept them happy enough to keep going.

Other happy accident I discovered this year was not weeding when it became nuclear hot out. Frankly it was just too hot and humid to be crawling around in the garden so I let it go :lol: Its not the picture perfect garden I normally strive for (though its not totally overgrown either as I did mulch quite a bit) but I think the weeds have helped by acting like a living mulch, keeping the evil day-star's rays from heating up the ground too much. I even let volunteer cukes roam around where I normally walk and snake their way around the toms. [shrug] Just a hunch.

Today I'm going to be watering my beds after I pull fruits, and it will be only the third time since May. Nieghbors say they are watering 3-5x per week in this heat, I'm doing practically once a month.

I have to say the hot dry pattern has been great against diseases and infestations, touch wood I haven't had to do much this year but pull fruit.

And the taste!! Sweetest toms ever this year, actually doing some canning this afternoon, they are going to taste GREAT in February.

buck22
Jul. 25, 2012, 07:15 AM
Tomatoes ripen in the dark. Put them in a brown paper bag instead.

agreed, if you want them to ripen fast, put them in a brown paper bag. If you want them to ripen more slowly, just put them in an unsunny location in your kitchen.

If you're battling heat stress I wouldn't pull the tom just to return it to the sun on the window sill.

bathsheba8542
Jul. 25, 2012, 07:26 AM
Thanks for all the good information...I have been having a hard time with mine also. I have about 8 varieties (24 plants altogether), including Lemon Boy, which was a terrific producer last year. I have 3 of this variety, and when there is ripened fruit, it has a harder skin than usual. We were put at a disadvantage with horrendous heat during a power outage with no water for a week, so I had alot of fruit crack. A disappointing year so far for tomatoes, but hopefully they come back in force in August.

Everythingbutwings
Jul. 25, 2012, 07:27 AM
Bonnie plants offers a variety, Summer Set, (http://bonnieplants.com/products/new-for-2012/summer-set-tomato) they say will set fruit in the horribly high temperatures most of us seem to have been experiencing.

We've had a few, mostly cherry tomatoes, of our plants that have set some fruit but are suffering from the heat. A local radio station, WTOP, offers advice for growers in a heat wave.
Garden Plot: Saving Tomatoes (http://www.wtop.com/902/2951763/Garden-Plot-Saving-tomatoes-avoiding-white-bugs-and-what-to-harvest-now)

showidaho
Jul. 25, 2012, 08:03 AM
Thanks so much for all of the great information! I've been wondering what's going on with my tomatoes too!

carolprudm
Jul. 25, 2012, 09:17 AM
Bonnie plants offers a variety, Summer Set, (http://bonnieplants.com/products/new-for-2012/summer-set-tomato) they say will set fruit in the horribly high temperatures most of us seem to have been experiencing.

We've had a few, mostly cherry tomatoes, of our plants that have set some fruit but are suffering from the heat. A local radio station, WTOP, offers advice for growers in a heat wave.
Garden Plot: Saving Tomatoes (http://www.wtop.com/902/2951763/Garden-Plot-Saving-tomatoes-avoiding-white-bugs-and-what-to-harvest-now)

Thank you for Bonnie's website, there's lots of info there.

While my tomatoes are suffering I'm getting great cucs and zucs though.

And tomatillos

Belg
Jul. 25, 2012, 09:25 AM
We're just now starting to get into "OMG WHAT WILL WE DO WITH ALL THESE TOMATOES" season here. We have pounds... all getting ready to ripen and some starting nicely.

JB
Jul. 25, 2012, 09:47 AM
Thank you for Bonnie's website, there's lots of info there.

While my tomatoes are suffering I'm getting great cucs and zucs though.

And tomatillos

LOL, yep, if you plant a variety of things, something will always do well. Hot dry Summers are great for peppers - a few years ago my Dad was picking peppers in October, and then he pulled the plants, put them in the garage, "Picked" more peppers, and they were eating peppers into January LOL

carolprudm
Jul. 25, 2012, 11:37 AM
We're just now starting to get into "OMG WHAT WILL WE DO WITH ALL THESE TOMATOES" season here. We have pounds... all getting ready to ripen and some starting nicely.

I wish.

I make and freeze tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos for salsa and stewed tomatoes and zucs. I'm also going to try and develop a catsup sweetened with carrots.

If I get any ripe tomatoes.

Forgot to mention I have lots of basil

SmartAlex
Jul. 25, 2012, 01:09 PM
It's so hot out...
How hot is it?
It's so hot my Sun Golds aren't even ripening.

**sigh**

I picked two nice Brandywines, a week earlier than my record. Nothing else is even thinking about blushing.

I get maybe one ripe Sun Gold every two days. I hadn't noticed any real tomato problems until I realised about a week ago that the Sun Gold was on strike.

When it cools off I'm going to get a deluge. The Brandywine has half a dozen ready to go, and the Paul Robeson over a dozen. Even the tomatoes I started in the cold frame the first week of May have nice large fruit. I may have to do some canning afterall.

Also, very few cucumbers. The vines just quit. Full stop. No growth, no blooms.

Belg
Jul. 25, 2012, 01:14 PM
I wish.

I make and freeze tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos for salsa and stewed tomatoes and zucs. I'm also going to try and develop a catsup sweetened with carrots.

If I get any ripe tomatoes.

Forgot to mention I have lots of basil

I've dubbed K's garden this year the "Jungle of Abundance" and so far, so good. I think we have enough Basil right now to keep entire industries supported... genovese, lime, lemon, couple others I think... that side of the beds looks like a hedge. Might make a nice brush jump actually...

cowgirljenn
Jul. 25, 2012, 01:17 PM
Our tomatoes are doing so-so. I think with the wonky weather I got them in a little late or else we would have had more. Or maybe tomatoes don't like me. I WANT to can a ton of salsa, spaghetti sauce, and tomato sauce and planted tons of tomatoes, but so far I'm not getting much. And now it is getting too hot to get many until the fall. :(

Our cucs died early this year. Jalapenos are struggling, bell peppers are struggling. We did get basil (and are eating yummy pesto this week) and we have zucs, butternut and yellow squash.

Daydream Believer
Jul. 27, 2012, 08:32 AM
Just thought I'd share some pics of some of the tomatoes I picked yesterday. These are all from the "Old Virginia" plants I mentioned earlier. They are going like crazy even in this heat which has not really let up in a month. Atkinson is doing very well also as is Santiago. Purple Price is also covered but the fruits are smaller than the others but that plant is doing much better than Cherokee Purple which it is very similar too in flavor and how the fruits look. In the past Cherokee purple does next to nothing in our heat and humidity.

Crazy as it sounds, I'm having a much better tomato year than I did last year. Many less bugs in the raised beds and the soil is a lot more fertile so the plants are stronger..which may explain the fewer bugs.

Anyway, here you go:

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/Farm%20pics/IMG_1810.jpg

buck22
Jul. 27, 2012, 08:55 AM
It's so hot out...
How hot is it?
It's so hot my Sun Golds aren't even ripening.

**sigh**May I send you some of mine please? (http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c54/buck1173/toms%202012/27f5b1dd.jpg) I've got 3 planted and I'm drowning in a sea of them. I pulled off 3 baskets alone yesterday and had to freeze a bunch because I just can't give them away fast enough. These guys are lanky and skinny looking this year, but they won't quit kicking out the toms. (http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c54/buck1173/toms%202012/5e3e6fea.jpg)



The Brandywine has half a dozen ready to go, and the Paul Robeson over a dozen.
Oooh, I'll trade you!! Paul Robeson is in the top 3 of my favorite toms of all time and I just can't seem to get it to grow here. I had one good year with Paul and thats it, never again. I finally gave up this year but miss the goliath.



Also, very few cucumbers. The vines just quit. Full stop. No growth, no blooms.
mine stopped too except for one volunteer that is winding its way around the bottom of my main bed. Lima beans are on strike too :cry:

buck22
Jul. 27, 2012, 09:00 AM
Just thought I'd share some pics of some of the tomatoes I picked yesterday. These are all from the "Old Virginia" plants I mentioned earlier. They are going like crazy even in this heat which has not really let up in a month. Atkinson is doing very well also as is Santiago. Purple Price is also covered but the fruits are smaller than the others but that plant is doing much better than Cherokee Purple which it is very similar too in flavor and how the fruits look. In the past Cherokee purple does next to nothing in our heat and humidity.

Crazy as it sounds, I'm having a much better tomato year than I did last year. Many less bugs in the raised beds and the soil is a lot more fertile so the plants are stronger..which may explain the fewer bugs.

Anyway, here you go:

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/Farm%20pics/IMG_1810.jpg
Very nice! Your toms are so nice and large and smooth, I picked a good bit yesterday before the rain (http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c54/buck1173/toms%202012/84598c98.jpg) but we have a lot of catfacing this year. Tasty toms still good for salads and salsas but not so much for tomato sandwiches or canning. I'll be roasting and then freezing most of this tonight.

My CP isn't doing well either this year, though it had a great start, the last few weeks were rough on it.

I'm actually not getting fruit set on anything larger than a lemon right now.

I am experiencing the same thing re bugs, I have two plants attacked by stink bugs, the odd corn ear worm here and there, and there MUST be a hornworm in there someplace but I haven't seen much damage yet. I wonder if its too hot for hornworms? Wouldn't that be something. I'm usually at war with the bastards at this time of year.

carolprudm
Jul. 28, 2012, 12:29 PM
Just ordered a bunch of Food Saver bags on sale...hope I didn't doom my garden.

pics
https://picasaweb.google.com/carolp3231/20120728#5770277688037707250

https://picasaweb.google.com/carolp3231/20120728#5770277747256233234

buck22
Jul. 29, 2012, 07:15 PM
OMG OMG I love your garden!! Your plants look so healthy and vigorous... and [grabby fingers grabby fingers] I want your greenhouse!!

Very impressive, thank you so much for sharing!

carolprudm
Jul. 30, 2012, 07:00 AM
OMG OMG I love your garden!! Your plants look so healthy and vigorous... and [grabby fingers grabby fingers] I want your greenhouse!!

Very impressive, thank you so much for sharing!


LOVE my greenhouse :) That is the reason though that I have soooo many tomato plants. I was starting just a few and must have hit the seed packets with the hose. I didn't notice for a day or so and all my seeds got wet. So I planted them. I've got about 50 plants.

I had one goat get loose though and she ATE all the tops off my pepper plants:eek::eek:

SmartAlex
Jul. 30, 2012, 11:17 AM
I am happy to report that with our frequent rains, the heat has broken a bit and the Sun Gold and Paul Robeson have decided to ripen. Now let's hope the abundant water doesn't wash out the taste.