Just had the first Moreton and Ramapo tomatoes of 2011 and they had a mealy texture to them. What causes this?
Left on the plant until over-ripe.
Is it just that they were overripe because these were picked not too long after color break and allowed to ripen indoors.
Inconsistent soil moisture levels also cause it. It is more common with plants grown in containers because of the difficulty in maintaining a consistent soil moisture. The smaller the container the more difficult the problem.
Hmmm, I water these every day and haven't seen wilting, but these first tomatoes were definitely mealy. Darn.
Stink bugs and sun scorching also causes this. Overripe would be mushy.
Sorry that should be sun scalding.
I water these every day and haven't seen wilting, but these first tomatoes were definitely mealy.
That isn't the point. It is the consistency of the soil moisture levels that is vital. Is it the same level of moisture at 2 pm as it is at 9 pm and 7 am and 10:30 am. The tomato tissue is developing 24 hours a day so does it have the same amount of moisture to draw on throughout that 24 hours?
Some days you may have to water 3 times a day or more. Other days not at all. Some containers may need several waterings a day while others need none. Size, container color, soil type, soil temperature, plant location and exposure, even variety determine when watering is needed, not the time of day. And watering daily whether the particular plant needs it or not is never a good idea.
These are all issues with growing in containers. In-ground plants roots can roam for several feet (and do) to find moisture and nutrients. Container plants cannot. Container plants' roots are 'contained' so they are totally dependent on that is in the container.
That is one reason why the larger the container the better is the common recommendation, avoid over-crowding, and why so many of us who grow in containers recommend things like moisture meters, deep finger test, and drip irrigation systems on an auto timer.
No. Mealy texture develops while the fruit is developing and before color break occurs.
I find first tomatoes are sometimes not so good. So fruits to come may taste much better.
I had this problem with all of my plants last season. The weather was very cold at night and we had constant rain right up through the middle of summer. We had a very poor crop and the only good tomatoes we got were two Opalkas planted in another area that doesn't have the high water table.
This season, I will plant my tomatoes in two different areas.
I am happy to report that the subsequent tomatoes did NOT have the mealy texture.