Friday, August 6, 2010

No Tomatoes This Year

Feast or Famine? Normally we have tomatoes coming out of our ears by now. By this time of year I am usually canning tomatoes and salsa weekly. Not this year!!

This is what my porch rail looked like this time last year. With tomatoes lined up waiting for the canning pot.

I have beautiful green vines  but few tomatoes.

And what few large tomatoes I have are not ripening but are rather splitting.
Once they split then they rot.

I could just scream......
Or maybe cry : (

Just look at my tomatoes.

And why might you ask. Well the weather is the culprit. First we had a cool spring and early summer. Tomato blossoms will not easily set with nightime temps below 50 or above 70. Ideal Daytime temps are 70 - 85. Our temps were way too cool so the blossoms didn't set. They fell off. Then the temperatures turned in the 90's and triple digits which did not help the problem any. Then on top of that last week alone we got 5 and a half inches of rain. Thus the fruit that did set cracked because of too much water.

Below is why....

Cracking is a physiological disorder caused by soil moisture fluctuations. When the tomato reaches the mature green stage and the water supply to the plant is reduced or cut off, the tomato will begin to ripen. At this time a cellophane-like wrapper around the outer surface of the tomato becomes thicker and more rigid to protect the tomato during and after harvest. If the water supply is restored after ripening begins, the plant will resume translocation of nutrients and moisture into the fruit. This will cause the fruit to enlarge; which in turn splits the wrapper around the fruit and results in cracking. The single best control for cracking is a constant and regular water supply. Apply a layer of organic mulch to the base of the plant. This serves as a buffer and prevents soil moisture fluctuation. Water plants thoroughly every week. This is especially important when the fruits are maturing. Some varieties are resistant to cracking, but their skin is tougher.

Luckily I still have jars of tomatoes and salsa and okra and tomatoes from last year. So I will just have to use them sparingly or buy it. Now you see why when I have a bumper crop I can it!! If I am lucky I have enough for 2 years. Hopefully a crop won't fail for 2 years in a row. This year has been a bad year for tomatoes and cucumbers. Both were bumper crops last year. But this year was the year for lots of fruit. Thus we had lots of blackberries and peaches, plums and apples also.

Tomatoes are going at the farmers market for over $2.50 a lb.

Wonder what next year will bring?

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Lots of the blogs I read have had problems with tomatoes not setting or not ripening properly.
    My brother in Michigan has a varmint problem, so he's been picking his to ripen in the house like my grandma used to do.

    Hopefully next year will be better. Thanks for the info on splitting. The one year I tried to grow them, they split and now I know why. :)

  2. I am so sorry! I wish I had some to spare and I would box them up and send them to you. Ours are few and far between too. Really sounds like the same season as we are having other than the cukes are coming out my ears!

    Like they say you make hay when the sunshines! You put when you have it!! I understand!

  3. Our tomatoes look the same way up here. It about makes me cry:)) And this was going to be the year I stocked up on tomotoes and dill pickles. Great pictures!

  4. Bad luck with tomatoes this year for me too. Blight seems to be the culprit. Sadly I did not can enough last year to hold us over.

  5. Yep, same thing for me too! We get to plant a fall garden here so I still have hope for this year!


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