Tomato problems - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Tomato problems

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's been a great year for tomatoes so far. It's been sunny and hot, both things that they like. There's not a lot of blight out there, even though I've heard of one case in Huntington. But generally, blights have not been an issue; foliar diseases haven't been an issue, but...

There's always something! With the hot dry conditions, tomatoes do have some problems. If they're setting their fruit when it's 90 degrees or above you get a pollination problem. The flowers don't set properly and the fruits get kind of gnarled and deformed. You might be seeing that on some of your tomatoes that set fruit a few weeks ago.

Also, if it's been really dry, and you haven't watered consistently you get blossom end rot. Now this problem is not a disease or an insect. It's caused by a calcium deficiency in the cell wall of the fruit. And that's caused by fluctuating soil moisture conditions. Such as when you get a lot of rain and then it dries out, and you get a lot of rain and it dries out. That creates the imbalance and you get this end rot.

This is why you should water consistently and mulch consistently so the water is there when the tomato needs it. You'll find it a lot on these big tomatoes, but you'll also find it a lot on paste size tomatoes as well. They seem to be more susceptible to this. You can still eat this, but you might have to just cut that area out. If you have end rot you can just chuck the tomatoes into the compost and the new ones that form should be okay.

You might find other problems when you cut open the fruit. You might find little white spots inside your tomato, that's called a whitening. The spots are tart and chewy. The syndrome where fruits are cracking on top of the tomato could be related to heat stress too.

Luckily, there are a lot of tomatoes out there, so if you've got some that have those problems, hopefully the ones that are forming now will not be as bad.

-by Charlie Nardozzi

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