Tomatoes Splitting

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Tomatoes Splitting
15
Tue, 09-04-2012 - 4:53pm

I have some nice green tomatoes that are very slowly ripening.  But I have moticed that about a third of them have big splits in them.  Does anyone know what causes this?  My Roma's have a lot of bloosom end rot, but they ripen in spite of it and are fine.

~Misty~


 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Re: Tomatoes Splitting
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 2:14pm
Thanks for the great info on the blossom end rot! I read a bit about it online, but nothing said to add gypsum. We used vegetable potting soil, but next year we are definitely going to add in the gypsum!

I'm not sure about the water situation and the splitting. Can changes in the temperature cause it also? That seems for likely for us. We haven't gotten ANY measurable rain since planting the tomatoes, we hand water all our veggies once a day, and I'm pretty sure it's equal. But we had almost 100 degree days for a long time, and 50's at night. Right now we're getting into the mid to upper 80's during the day and mid 30's at night, it's froze a couple times now. We put blankets over the tomatoes and peas and so far they haven't froze. The challenges of gardening in the high desert of Oregon!!

~Misty~


 


Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 6:55pm

Carol is right, it's uneven water.  And the bone meal or gypsum is a good plan.  


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Sat, 09-08-2012 - 1:01pm

I suppose high heat could dry a plant out more and so, especially if it's a thin-skinned tomato variety, when you water, the plant is being shocked. It could also be HOW you water... do you use drip irrigation or do you water with a hose (like I do). I wonder if using the hose results in a soaking followed by a drying and that that is part of the cause of my tomtaoes splitting.  Still, the CSA where we get weekly veg pick-ups told me they had issues with tomatoes splitting too and they drip irrigate so that can't be it. And we did have a LOT of heat this summer...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Sat, 09-08-2012 - 10:44pm
You know, now that I think about it, I do think they were being shocked. I'd soak them in the morning and evening, and I'm sure in between they were drying out a lot when it was really hot. Not as hot now, and I'm not watering as often. DH said a little all day. Do I HAVE to tell him he was right?! =D Next year, gypsum and drip watering! Oh, we did eat the first two tomatoes...they were split but SO good!!

~Misty~


 


Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 11:00am

Here is something I learned from a garden show back when I had my farm (and I should use this tip myself).  Take a 2 liter bottle and cut some holes near the bottom with a drill or slit with a knife. Bury it up to the neck by the tomatoes you are planting.  Fill it with water and cap it.  It will slowly and deeply water your tomatoes all day.  Just take the hose and refill it as needed.  

When I had the farm, I was using half gallon milk jugs buried by my tomatoes.  My favorite TV gardener, Paul James the Gardening Guy, and my favorite Organic Gardening editor, Mike McGrath, both endorsed the practice of planting tomatoes around a mulch pile.  

The fun of gardening is learning what to do next year!


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Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 11:16am

I think that the temperature in combination with the water can do it. When its hot the fruit will grow more quickly if there is enough water available to uptake. The quick growth then causes the splitting. A lot of my tomatoes (especially Brandywine) get splits which quickly scab over and don't affect the quality, just the appearance. I cannot quote any scientific source on this, it is just my observation over years of growing tomatoes!

Since you are growing in containers I imagine you need to be more careful about watering and fertilizing than if your plants were in the ground. How long before the splitting did you fertilize? Do you use a liquid or granular fertilizer? Could the plant have gotten a "boost" from fertilizer which gave it a growth spurt?

Is it typical for you to get those overnight lows at this time of year? You must have a very short growing season! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 12:15pm
I love the new siggy Karen! The bottle idea is good, now sure if it would be enough though. Maybe two? I'm in the high desert, so the air is really dry.

I need to ask DH about the fertilizer, I'm not sure what his schedule for it was this year. I know that he used Miracle Grow though. It was a granular mixed with water.

Yeah, the lows this tie of year are pretty cold!! We had 29 this morning. We put the blankets over the tomatoes and peas last night, and they look okay this morning, I hope they don't wilt later!

We do have a really short growing season, you almost have to have a greenhouse to have a lot of good veggies. We can't grow fruit trees or berries here, and potatoes are short. We just dug ours up yesterday and didn't get many. Next year DH had better be prepared to make our garden a LOT bigger!! =D The carrots and lettuce haven't frozen yet, they're still going strong. The green onions are okay, although I already harvested most of them. I'm going to have to get the red onions up and in the freezer before too long. They aren't very big, but I'm afraid they will freeze too hard also.

~Misty~


 


Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 12:36pm
I've got more work to do on the siggy! WOW, we will still be swimming up into October. We get our 6 months worth of summer!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 10:37pm
Late August is about the end of swimming season for us. Even if it gets into the upper 80's during the day, it can still get to 27 or lower at night. That is why alfalfa grows so well here, it has to do with the extremes in temps. in short periods of time. We normally can start getting in the pool mid to late June, but last year we had our last snow fall June 1st! i remember a 4th of July when I was a kid where it snowed a little. But we've also bbq'd in January.

~Misty~


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 10:40pm
I don't think I'd be happy somewhere where it stays warm so much. I'd get depressed. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I want to enjoy every minute of it! We went to Hawaii in 2006 the beginning in October. It was SO humid there, I about melted. I was miserable,and was wearing shorts when we got back to Portland in 40 degree weather and LOVING it. I couldn't wait to get home to 50 degree days and did a LOT of cooking!

~Misty~


 


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