Need a plan for better tomatoes
I have many years of experience with tomatoes and almost always have a good enough crop. BUT, I have had to put up with Blossom End Rot (BER) and Cracked tomatoes forever and I NEED A PLAN to deal with these two problems. You can look these up on the web and get the constant repetition of the same tired facts, blah, blah, blah even water uptake for cracking and blah blah blah calcium for BER. Right. same old. I have always mulched my tomatoes heavily and keep the water supply pretty constant, as evidenced by the leaves which never even wilt. In spite of this, crack city, especially late in the season.. I have to pick the fruit a little under-ripe and let it finish indoors if I want to avoid cracking. Cherry tomatoes are really bad. The clusters are made up of perfect unripe fruits, perfect light red fruits, and ripe ones, which are ALL cracked. I have tried over a dozen varieties of cherry tomatoes and they all seem pretty susceptible. And each year BER gets almost all of the first 4 or 5 fruits to set on each plant. Thankfully, I can wait this out and the remaining crop is free of this problem.
I am wondering if anyone has had either of these problems, taken specific action, and saw a significant reduction in the problem afterwards?
I also wonder if there are people out there in the midwest, midatlantic, or northeast who never get BER or never have crackiing of their ripening tomatoes?
For my part, I plan to increase the amount of limestone that I add to the planting hole for my tomato transplants and see if it reduces BER. For cracking, I plan to increase the mulch, avoid drowning the plants with water, and maybe back off on the fertilizer a bit.
It seems back when I first started gardening and had weak and sick looking tomato plants, that the few tomatoes I did get were actually quite free of both these problems. Now that my plants turn into 4-5 foot tall healthy, bushy monsters, I have these problems a lot more.
Any other ideas out there?
Thanks for letting me vent!!