Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Can I eat a cracked or blotchy tomato?

Almost all of my tomatoes have cracked and are getting close to ripening, can I eat them? Most of the cracks are at the top near the stem (like a circle around the tomato) but some have vertical cracks at the stem. This is a first time garden, and I am a first time gardener, and the plants show no signs of disease, so I am very curious. I have also noticed on another tomato plant blotchiness is this okay?

I have cut open the tomatoes that have ripened and a few that have not and I noticed no other problems or defects. Any suggestions, advice or websites where I can view pictures of cracked tomatoes would be great.

Can I eat a cracked or blotchy tomato?
Yes you can eat them just not the damaged parts. Cracking usually is because the soil was extremely dry and then suddenly over watered to compensate. Try to be consistent with watering the plants.
Reply:watch for signs of bugs or rotting. otherwise munch down
Reply:Most heirloom tomatoes readily crack and blotch, but they are still the best tasting. Work around the flaws.

I accidentally poured windshield washer fluid on my tomato plants! Can I save the garden?

I picked up a gallon jug of windshield washer fluid in my shed thinking it was a mix of Miraclegrow and water. I poured it onto the sand %26amp; soil mix around about a dozen tomato plants. Is there anything I can do to save the plants, and will the tomatoes be edible when they ripen?

I accidentally poured windshield washer fluid on my tomato plants! Can I save the garden?
LOTS of water!!!! wash it away!!!
Reply:Well, even if the tomatoes can't be eaten, they will present a spotless appearance!
Reply:Just water down the area really really good. That will help was it away so there is less of it in the ground.
Reply:Look at the chemicals in the bottle, which vary with the brand. Look up their toxicity and then make your move. I'd definitely replant elsewhere.

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  • Can I re pot my tomato plants while flowering?

    I have large pots(20Ltrs) with four tomato plants in each one and now I think that thay are too crowded, my problem is that thay are flowering and some even bear fruit, I don`t think I should repot them, but my husband thinks I should. Please help as this is my first time growing tomatos and i don`t want to ruin them.

    Can I re pot my tomato plants while flowering?
    Last year was my first with tomatoes in pots. Same as you.

    I had 5gal. pot and 4 tomato plants... By the middle of summer with around 100 degrees, I'd have to flood ( I mean

    Flood) twice a day at least, and sometimes that wasn't

    even enough! If the plants have been in for a while their

    roots grow like wildfire and should be completely intact

    for easy transplanting. Their heavy-have hubby help.

    Next year buy determinate tomatoes...Very best for pots.
    Reply:yes you can put them in bigger pot
    Reply:You can and should repot the plants. They may or may not be briefly stunted (tomatoes are pretty easy to transplant). However, even if they are briefly stunted, it will be far less worse than allowing to remain starved and rootbound. Repot them individually into containers and plant them deeper than you had them before. Then water them with miracle gro or another water soluble fertilizer.

    How often should I water my tomato plants???

    I am having a pretty hard time trying to figure out how much and how often I should water my tomato plants. They are about 6" high right now and are looking very healthy and I just wanna keep them that way. I have red mulch down around the base of the plants and it seems to help keep the soil cool. I just can't tell if the soil is cool and damp or just cool. I know you are supposed to only water in the mornings as the roots do there growing at night. I just don't know how often. Thank you, yes, I am new at this gardening stuff : ( P.S. I live in N-E Indiana if that helps at all..

    How often should I water my tomato plants???
    You should water them about every 3-4 days. Depending on the type of soil you have and what the weather is doing at the time, this may be modified a bit. For example, on days that it is very hot and dry, you may need to go every other day. If it has been cool and wet, then you could maybe go a week.

    Another thing that is really important is the time of day that you water. DO NOT WATER AFTER 5 PM! You want the foliage of the plant to be dry before nightfall because wet foliage = host for blights and disease. While you may not be able to control an evening rainshower, you can control when you water!
    Reply:it's not really a function of how often but how much

    tomatoes require at least 1 in of water per week.

    (grass requires 1-1.5 inches of water/week)

    under-watering tomatoes is one cause of blossom end rot (an ugly brown deteriation of the bottom/blossom of the tomato fruit...yes tomatoes are really a fruit)

    it takes a lot to over water tomatoes error on the safe side

    measureing the water can be the challange since most people flood water (soak the soil directly) tomatoes

    you may need to water several times in a week if it is really hot and dry
    Reply:Tomatos are very finicky when it comes to being watered.

    I water mine about every two-three days. Check the soil. It should be moist about two inches below the surface. With the mulch you have, it should hold the moisture pretty well. DO NOT use Miracle Grow every 7-10 days!!!! Follow the instructions on the box. I use Miracle Grow about every 3-4 weeks. My plants get to be 6ft high. Too much Miracle Grow will burn the roots and cause excessive growth. It will not promote more fruit.
    Reply:The plants will tell you when they need water. When you see the leaves start to droop, water. Too much water will hurt them, as well as too much miracle grow. Once a month with miracle grow is enough.
    Reply:water them once a day at least I do but I live in SC so it is hot. Also I use miracle grow evry 7-10 days. I already have 6 or 7 tomatoes. Good Luck
    Reply:Your plants are still very small, and you have plastic mulch around them so evaporation should be very miminal. I would not water more than once a week right now, but when you do, be sure to really saturate the soil. As the plants grow bigger and the temps of summer go up, you will have to increase the amount you water...I use plastic too, but lay a soaker hose under the plastic so it sits right next to the plant. This works great and saves me a ton of time later in the summer since I dont have to stand there watering....just hook up the hose and walk away for 1/2 hour or so. I should say though that the type of soil you have will affect how it holds moisture, if it is really sandy, it will dry out faster. One way to test for moisture is to pick up a handful and squeeze it tight...if it holds together the soil is moist enough. Good Luck!!

    Gnat-looking bugs on tomato plants? not aphids???

    I have a bunch of tomato plants, some of which seem more resistant than others (by variety) to having these tiny bugs that look like gnats that don't buzz around all over the tops--not the undersides--of the leaves. Are these aphids? None of the pictures of aphids I've seen seem to match what this insect is. Any ideas about what these could be and how to get rid of them before they lay eggs or destroy my crop?

    Thanks for your advice!

    Gnat-looking bugs on tomato plants? not aphids???
    I don't have an answer but the same problem. I agree they are not thrips. They are very tiny and if I remember correctly (it is dark outside now or I would go check) it seemed that their wings rested perpendicular to their back versus flat against it if that helps. They are not fruit flies either so far as I can tell. They don't fly around much but rather just cling to my tomato stems (in vast quantities) plus they are more wing than body if that makes sense.
    Reply:They're probably fruit flies, tomatoes are fruit. I used to have fruit flies buzz around my tomatoes all the time, I would probably get rid of the gnats by spraying the plants with pesticides, when your ready to eat your tomatoes be sure to wash them so the pesticides will wash away.
    Reply:Spray with Sevin suspended in water.
    Reply:They are Thrips. Ask at the greenhouse how to get rid of them.

    Regarding indoor tomato plants.........?

    Will they grow faster if I leave the standard 60 watt bulb on in the room at night?

    Regarding indoor tomato plants.........?
    some say yes. but i use 70 watts. i like the way it works. my mom always used it so i do. It might help you to.


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    My plants are suffering from the cold snap! Will any of them survive?

    I got too excited about my first attempt at gardening and now the notoriously unpredictable weather in Oklahoma threatens to kill my plants.

    I planted mostly herbs along with some strawberry, cayenne pepper and beefsteak tomato plants.

    The strawberry plants and most of the herbs are fine, but some of the leaves on the basil, pepper and tomato plants are turning mushy and/or brown or black. I have covered them with buckets and bowls from the house to protect them from the cold, but they still look damaged.

    All told, there have been three full days of cold temperatures and this is the fourth. It may be another day until temperatures return to normal. Is there any reason to believe that some or all of my plants will recover from this, or am I totally screwed?

    Note: So far there's no serious damage to the stems, just the some of the leaves near the tops of the plants don't look so good.

    My plants are suffering from the cold snap! Will any of them survive?
    Yup your screwed!

    I would wait a few weeks and re-start with healthy looking plants from your local nursery. The tomatoes and peppers I am sure are goners.

    Even if they did come back from the roots everything I have read says they won't be as good as they could have been before the freeze.

    Oh yeah and I have heard good things about the arkansas travelers variety of tomatoes.

    I do want to share with you my favorite gardening web site.

    They have a Oklahoma gardening forum for us okies to talk to each other.
    Reply:Same problems here..

    I'd bet your tomatoes and peppers are toast, as is the basil. They might regenerate, but I'd guess that you're probably going to have to replant.

    Reply:Well: in what you should of done first is to use " Mulch after

    planting seeds for the Garden Veggies that way those would

    be safe during winter's Frost yes %26amp; get some plant food Spikes !"
    Reply:Some will, some won't. Sorry..

    The weather has been wacky where I live too. Last week we had short-sleeve weather, then a couple of days after I got my plants in the ground we got snow!

    Fortunately, I had a clear plastic tent- you might even consider it to be a portable cold frame- that I could stake down around my little gardening area. The plants are fine now, and the temperatures are returning mostly to normal.

    Some of your plants might survive, but you'll need to give them some TLC.

    Good luck!
    Reply:Depends on how cold, cold is; also, depends on what type of plants you are talking about. How did you take care of them in the heat of winter? ....LOL sorry bad I know it.

    Cover them up the best you can do and give lots of tlc
    Reply:are they in pots or the ground? if in the ground put some fleece over them or bubble wrap, this year may have to be a lerning curve! I always grow my more tender veg/ herbs in pots so if we do get some bad weather (and lets face it in england that happens a lot!!) i can bring them in or protect them better. never give up though give them chance to surprise you! however i never plant basil outside anyway. too unpredictable. you can get loads of hardy herbs that will last forever!
    Reply:How cold was it any way and for how long. I tend to be hopeful, but the basil, pepper and tomato plants really can't take the frost. I know you've done a lot of work to protect them and that did help. Just keep on covering them when you have freeze warnings and see what happens, but it's not looking good. We've all rushed the season, so don't give up. Gardening is good for the soul, even with the disappointments.
    Reply:NO, this is the END!!!!! the honeybees are fleeing
    Reply:some plastic and wrap around the plants ans put soil around the bottom of the plastic to stop it blowing away plastic like w

    what a child would get candy in and supermarket plastic bagsthis year you wont get much strawberry's from your plants the first year is kinda disappointing next year you will get lots
    Reply:wait and see.
    Reply:In Oklahoma you will need a cold frame, or wait until there is no threat of a frost, which the weather service can tell you. You can make either a temporary cold frame each year, or make a more permanent structure you can store until you need it the next time. If you can afford it, even a small greenhouse can really help your plants survive cold weather, and start your vegetables early for a longer harvest season. I used to live in CA, and our early plantings were done in March, with the end of season veggies collected in November. Cold frames were good there, too!
    Reply:If you can build or put a good size of clear plastic over your plants and bury the plastic in the ground all around your garden. If your garden is fairly big then put pots full of hot coals to keep the plants from freezing. If small then maybe the plastic will be enough.
    Reply:I've had this same problem and gotten an e-mail about it from the Missouri Botanical garden in St. Louis(of which I'm a member)Here is what they say:

    In the aftermath of the recent record-breaking cold spell, gardeners must be patient with their damaged plants, especially our trees and shrubs. The freeze puts a damper on what had turned out to be an early, but beautiful spring.

    At this time it appears the worst injury is limited to open flowers, new buds, and new foliage. Spent flowers will be shed and most of the damaged leaves will continue to deteriorate in the days ahead, eventually drying up and falling off. Expect the appearance of your garden to decline aesthetically for a period of weeks before fresh, new growth returns. It may take until mid-summer before your garden looks “normal” again.

    Perennials with damaged leaves and stems can be cut back to the ground and will respond with rapid new growth. However, resist the temptation to prune frosted trees and shrubs. Healthy well-established plants will produce new growth. How quickly this occurs will depend on individual species, location in the landscape, and the severity of the damage sustained.

    Resist the temptation to fertilize heavily. With the loss of flower buds, all of the trees energy will be channeled into vigorous vegetative regrowth. Fertilizer could actually produce excesses of growth that will have to pruned at a later date, creating higher maintenance in the long term.

    Water cautiously. Avoid soggy conditions which can do more harm than good, but do irrigate during long dry spells. Reducing water stress may be the single best thing you can do to help your plants recover this summer.

    Overall, consider this untimely freeze only a temporary setback. Given time and patience, our gardens will recover. Since every dark cloud always has a silver lining, on the plus side we probably won’t have to worry about raking up any Sweetgum balls this autumn.

    Hope this helped.
    Reply:Same boat here...I planted some similar plants. I also planted flowers and bulbs, I live in Indiana and am probably experiencing the same weather as you...keep your fingers crossed because I have been told that we may be SOL...however, this weather streak should be ending this week, so we may recover our new life in our gardens! Good luck!
    Reply:No. Unfortunately, every one of your plants will suffer the same fate many fruit crops have suffered all over the country as of late. This will lead to a fruit shortage, and subsequent famine. Luckily, I was smart enough to stockpile Chunky soups, and grow my fruit and vegetable plants, inside the house. Sorry about your plants. You can have some of my soup if you want.

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