Common Tomato Problems I
Nothing feels better than picking a juicy, fresh tomato straight from your garden. It shows your dedication and all the energy you’ve put into your tomato garden is finally paying off! This is why vegetable gardening is so rewarding: you get to enjoy the product of your work for a long time.
One of the main appeals of tomatoes is that they are very versatile and can be used in many different ways in the kitchen. They are great in salads, and you may use them raw in many ways. When cooked, they are great in various meals. You may try many different recipes for your tasty homegrown tomatoes.
Tomatoes are the most popular vegetables to grow. They are also not difficult to grow so many beginner gardeners decide to have them in their garden. Tomatoes are great for newbies and they prove to be very rewarding. They are highly recommended for those who wish to try vegetable gardening for the first time. Tomatoes like warm, sunny garden plots, but you may even grow them in pots on patios. There are no complicated care instructions you have to follow.
However, beginner gardeners need to understand that there are some common problems they may encounter with tomato gardening. Being aware of these issues will help you a lot when it comes to growing your first tomatoes. These problems occur frequently and you need to be prepared for them and know how to deal with them to produce healthy, strong tomatoes in your garden.
Knowing about these problems and knowing how to deal with them will make your tomato planting so much rewarding. You need to be aware of these problems and solutions so can grow strong, healthy tomatoes and become a successful tomato grower.
Here are the most common problems tomato gardeners face:
End Rot (Blossom-End Rot)
Also known as Tomato End Rot or BER (Blossom-End Rot), this is the most common tomato problem you may encounter. You will recognize it as a leathery, brownish area on the blossom end of a tomato. The size varies: it can be like a dime or the size of a half a dollar.
This problem is typically caused by fluctuations in moisture levels and calcium deficiency. To prevent and cure this problem, it’s important to provide consistent moisture to your tomatoes. Mulching will help tomatoes keep the optimal moisture levels. You should also make sure that you offer the proper amount of calcium to your garden plants.
Yellowing of the leaves is another common problem you will likely encounter when growing tomatoes. The leaves might uncurl and become yellow at the bottom of the plant. This may be a sign that the plant is starting to die off at the end of the season. If this is the case, you should not worry because it’s normal occurrence.
However, if leaf yellowing occur earlier in the season and while your tomato plants are blooming, it may be a sign of a nitrogen deficiency. Another common reason for yellowing of the leaves may be pests or bacteria.
The first thing you need to do when you observe yellowing of the leaves is to apply a soil test to see if a nitrogen deficiency is indeed the problem you are facing. If this is the case, you should apply a nitrogen-rich supplement to increase the nitrogen amount in the soil. Next time, make sure to do proper soil preparation before you plant tomatoes in your garden. Use some rich organic material and compost to help your plants. Using these materials will most likely prevent yellowing of the leaves.
Tomato skin cracking and splitting is another common problem. However, you need to keep in mind that although it doesn’t look pretty it won’t harm your plants much and it won’t prevent your enjoyment of the tomatoes.
Cracking and splitting typically happens as a result of sudden, accelerated growth that may happen as a sudden increase in moisture levels after a very dry period. It may also occur when the fruit is overripe.
To prevent this problem, make sure to always provide consistent moisture to your tomatoes. It’s also useful to plant hybrid varieties of tomatoes. These are less prone to cracking.
Cherry tomatoes are the most common types of tomatoes to crack. If you wish to grow cherry tomatoes, make sure to pick them when they are ripe or almost ripe. Also, always pick them before a predicted rain storm. These measures will usually prevent skin cracking and splitting in cherry tomatoes.
Flowers Drop before Fruiting
From time to time, you may observe the flowers forming but they drop off before they manage to give fruit. If this happens it’s an unfortunate situation because you grow tomatoes for its fruit.
This problem typically occurs when the weather is changing in a way that is not common for your area. For example, if the night temperatures drop below 55 degrees F or if day temperatures rise above 95 degrees F, with the night temperatures not going below 75 F, the chances of blossom drop increase. However, if the plant is not blooming when these weather changes occur, you have nothing to worry about.
To prevent this problem, try mulching your plants. Mulch will help your plant retain moisture levels ideal for the plants. In case the hot temperatures occur at the same time as the hot winds, mulching can be vital in saving your plants.