This Year's Tomatoes

dvtown(6b)July 30, 2009

My tomatoes were doing great until a couple days ago when all sorts of problems set in. I went out of town for 4 days and came back with food poisoning and was out of commission for two days. Now that I've been back in the garden everything has tanked. The winds knocked down several, it appears that blight has set in some of the plants and very few of anything else are surviving very long. I've always had great luck with tomatoes and this is the worst I've ever had.

Anyone else out there depressed about your tomatoes or is everything just dandy?

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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

Mine look like they're melting. All this late season rain has done it. Probably some sort of fungus or black spot disease. Got lots of nice green tomatoes but I'm afraid the plants are going to die before any turn.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Dave: I'm right there with you, at least witrh my San Marzano's. I doubt I will ever grow them again, even if i'm just running in to bad luck this year. Anyways, I found BER set in very early (when you can barely saee the wee cm or so long mater peeking out) on the first bunch or two on both plants. I was told this is normal for a paste variety. Well, the 7-10 bunches since have all had BER also. I swear i've tossed 50+ maters just off 2 plants cuz they were no good. :-\ Maybe also due to the crazy weather this season. One way or another, this will make me go back to Roma's next year, i'm sure. I dunno...might try Amish Paste. Depends on what I can get my hands on in January & what's not gonna frickin rot with BER like these Marzano's.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 1:37AM
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I do have some Romas doing OK. They were Viva Italia from Parkseed.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 8:24AM
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My tomatoes have been horrible this year - a lot are rotting on the vine and now some of the vines have turned brown and died. Of the tomatoes I am getting they can look fine but when you peel them, just under the skin there are white blotches - what is that? Is that the beginning of rot or something else?

A lot of the first tomatoes rotted when they were green, then finally had 3 big pretty green Cherokee Purples we were anxiously waiting on when my nephew proudly brought them in the house to me. My heart sank, but didn't want to hurt his feelings so told him we'd set them aside for 'fried green tomatoes'. Got side tracked and didn't get around to frying them, and they actually ripened sitting on my counter. I knew they'd finish ripening if already showing some red, but was surprised and pleased that these green ones did - and who knows maybe he saved them from rotting on the vine!

The vines of my Cherokee Purple have seemed more susceptible to rotting than the Romas or the Rutgers, but the Roma tomatoes haven't had good flavor. So now, I'm assuming with all this rot and fungus I definitely need to locate my tomatoes elsewhere next year, right?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:06AM
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ladybug37091(z7 Tennessee)

My Cherokee Purples did not produce much and went fungal too. I did get to taste a couple of good ones before they went to you know where in a handbag though. I loved the flavor of them. I was impressed with the production of the variety called Delicious that my Aunt started from seed. I did not put the time in my garden this year and it really shows. My Aunts garden in Mt. Juliet is still rockin big time. Those Delicious tomatoes are big producers. I found the flavor of them to be average garden tomato though as far as a fresh tomato goes. On the other hand they really produced well and the canned tomatoes will be very welcome come winter time. Did anyone grow large, orange, low acid tomatoes this year? I love them low acid maters. I hope to plant some of those next year.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 11:43AM
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I tried the orange, low acid tomatoes, but the plant had major issues when I moved & didn't make it. :-\ My Marzano's continue to get BER. I just yanked 4 more off there an hour or so ago. This is getting frustrating. I may just cut down the plants if they continue to do Heck, at least i'll get a bunch of Early Girls.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 9:45PM
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I was out today in the garden and noticed some improvements so hopefully things will look better. I'm still getting tomatoes just not the one's I want! Cherokees are problematic but I'm determined to eat a second one. The first one was delicious. Too bad I've thrown out 10 or so. I think I have discovered the problem, a chipmunk. He's tasting a tomato then sampling another. Alvin's days are numbered!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 10:35PM
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BER is quite easily stopped/controlled with liquid calcium sprayed on the foliage, or mixed into the soil at planting. A winter application of hydrated or pelletized lime will prepare the spring soil. Sometimes irregular water may cause this, as the plant has a hard time taking up the calcium and other nutrients. Ber is not necessarily a terminal condition. Mulching, and improved drainage may help also.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 12:33PM
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Yea, I think for this year, i'm gonna mulch, calcium feed, cover the pots with something & probably also monitor the watering abit more on the Marzano plants. Maybe i'll still gets a good handful of maters off them if I cure the issue now.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

BER is a complex problem. It *is* caused by calcium deficiency, but that doesn't necessarily mean one's soil has insufficient Ca. A rather narrow set of fluid conditions in the plant are required to move calcium around adequately to prevent BER. Too little soil moisture, significant wet/dry swings, or soggy soil all impede calcium movement and thus cause BER. Tomatoes grown in heavy clay soils are much more likely to exhibit BER. And, as noted by other posters, some varieties are more prone to the problem than others. In my experience paste tomatoes as a group show BER much more commonly than slicers.

Solutions? Foliar sprays of Ca may help. I've never tried that myself. I've heard that foliar applications of compost tea help, too. Digging in organic matter to improve soil texture -- and applying gypsum if the soil is really heavy clay -- will certainly help. In my own garden I use Tomato-Tone at planting time and mulch. Consistent soil moisture is probably the single best preventive.

This summer's unusually high rainfall is perfect for fungal problems. In a normal year Early Blight hits just about everybody, and this year even more so. There's an additional problem out and about this season to be on watch for: a virulent form of Late Blight, which has wiped out vast numbers of plantings in the Northeast and Atlantic Coast regions. Evidently plants shipped from a huge grower in Alabama, one who supplies millions of starts to Lowes, Home Depot and the like, were infected with this terrible disease and it's just spread like wildfire. I haven't heard of it in TN, but wouldn't be surprised if it appeared here. I saw plants from that grower at a Home Depot in Nashville.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 10:24PM
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