tomato tops not ripening. Picture...

bethscoAugust 20, 2011

Hi. Pretty much a novice and I just threw some tomato plants in the ground at our new house this year. I was pregnant and not too motivated to do it the right way. So now I have leaf curl on a number of my plants. :( Probably because the soil doesn't drain well? It's covered with plastic then mulch... or because it's too hot here? 90-100s. Both? I'm thinking to pull up the plastic the old home owners left and I already water them myself. They are only in sun in the afternoon and evening. There's not much else I can do about the heat.

The sad thing though is that I have lots of tomatoes but they are ripening on the bottom half only. I waited and waited but some I picked yesterday were still yellow/green on a bit of the top and over ripe on the bottom. What causes this? It's mostly Romas but I have some mixed variety Heirloom and cherry tomatoes too. The cherrys and Heirlooms maybe are not ripening right either.

Here is a link that might be useful: tomatoes pic

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I have tomatoes with green shoulders from time to time. Maybe someone with more knowledge will help out here. For example, this year I have some Rutgers growing. The bottom 2/3 is red, and the top 1/3 is green.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:25PM
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Some of what you have in that picture looks like sun scald. But if you have green shoulders, that can be due to too much heat. The heirlooms are more susceptible to this. Ripping out the plastic may help.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Thank you! Thank you! I'll look up sun scald. I forgot to mention I have basil and lavender growing in the same soil getting about the same amount of water... They are thriving. Don't know if that helps any.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 4:07PM
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are you giving it any fertilizer? certain minerails that are absent can cause uneven rippening and your inter curled leaves, the main one is potassium. magnesium will also cause tomatoes to have "green back" but you will get a different looking leaves.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:33PM
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Maybe not enough fertilizer. I'll try that too. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Your plant is obviously highly stressed so there may several things going on with it. Sun scald, tomato leaf roll, etc.

If you Google 'green shoulders' you'll find much more info. But basically green/yellow shoulders is primarily caused by high temperatures. The chlorophyll in the shoulders is slow to break down and results in a patch that remains green or turns yellow but not red.

Providing some shade for the plants and especially the the fruit helps and can reduce the sun scald too. You can also pick the fruit at color break instead of leaving it on the plant and let it finish ripening indoors to eliminate the problem.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:57PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The normal color progression is green to yellow to orange to red. If you get tan patches, it's sun-scald.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:32PM
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