Sunday, February 19, 2012

I think there is something missing from my soil. For the last 18 months I have been trying to grow a red tomato... it would seem that need to be content with orange ones - loads of ripe, juicy orange ones...


I have planted four different tomato seedlings from four different sources - the last a 'sister' seeding from my brother's garden and his produces scores of fat RED truss tomatos... mine grows orange ones. I have followed threads of web conversations suggesting too much/not enough..water, sun, shade, heat or cold but I don't reckon any of those reasons is it... it is a nutrient thing, I'm sure of it, I just don't know which one... any ideas you care to share?



10 comments:

Juise said...

Hmm, what have your temps been like?

clare said...

Hi Shannon
Tomatoes are heavy feeders. Do the plants have lots of leaf and very few flowers -> fruit? Do you trim the secondary shoots between the leader branch and side shoots? I fthe plants are 'free range' they just may need a bit more food. A water soluble tomato fertiliser should do it and a bit of a trim to get rid of the offshoots between the mainstem and the lateral leaves. Are the roots too hot? Add a bit of sugarcane or peastraw mulch.
Clare

themother said...

Shannon, your dad is investigating for you, but Clare's comments sound like good sense.
themother

Shannon said...

Thank you Clare,
There is certainly lots of leaf but quite a few flowers/fruit too. I am a very slack gardner and the tomatoes, like the chickens, are very much free range. I'll feed, trim and mulch and get back to you on the next harvest.

Juise..hot, bloody hot! and wet.. awful really :)

Ta Ma x

W-S Wanderings said...

I love gardening, but truth is, I know little about it. I do know that my veggies did fabulously in their old-hay mulch. Good luck.

Juise said...

If your temperatures are averaging 85° F or hotter, then your tomatoes will not ripen, or ripen very, very slowly. It sounds to me like that may be your problem, hot, bloody hot! sounds pretty hot. :)

You can try either giving them some shade with very thin fabric, or just pick them and bring them in to ripen.

If you bring them in, make sure not to stack them, spread them in a single layer and out of direct sunlight.

Shannon said...

Thanks Juise, though our temps are certainly above that (29C) I don't think it is a temp thing - they are ripening, and are soft, juicy and delicious they are just not red. But to test you theory I'll pick a few green ones and see. :)

Juise said...

Neat! I am curious to know what happens, so you'll have to let me know one way or the other. :)

I had a problem with none of my tomatoes or bell peppers reaching maturity last Summer, but the cause was not very mysterious... It was my 1 y/o, the little thief! ;)

Moon Daughter said...

Sounds like you have an orange tomato plant... if they taste good and seem ripe... they probably are fine. The seeds you got may have been hybrids, which is why you have something different than what the person who gave them to you had. Although, usually with hybrids you end up with a red cherry tomato in the next generation. Hmmm...

Also... tomatoes need lots of calcium. When I plant tomatoes I put a fish head at the bottom of the hole, along with mixing potash, bone meal, and organic fertilizer into the soil.

Good luck! My favorite tomatoes are actually the gold ones... sungold is the best variety for flavor in a cherry tomato.

Shannon said...

I fear you might be right moon daughter.. I quite like the orange ones too but the big girl won't touch them... funny thing she is.
Juise - they ripened...orange!