Tomato "green shoulder": always means too much sun?

Because of a cold wet spring, the tomatoes are just now coming in.
In many of them, the flesh around the stem is yellow/green and hard. The online plant problem Web sites say this is due to too much sun and that the remedy is to shade the plants.
However, our neighbor's maples have grown in to the point where we're only getting 2 to 3 hours of direct sun per day, so I have a hard time believing that's the problem.
On the other hand, the plants are in a corner formed by two exterior walls of the house which is like a little solar oven; it gets pretty warm in there during the period we do get sun.
Could the problem be heat, and not light?
Any other avenues to investigate?
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Bert Hyman | St. Paul, MN | snipped-for-privacy@iphouse.com

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Bert Hyman said:

It's very much connected to *variety.* Some varieties are genetically prone to green shoulders. Others are resistant.
As a specific example, two very early tomato varieties that other wise looked and tasted remarkably the same (when I grew them side by side): 'Stupice' (an heirloom) developed green shoulders as the summer went on when '4th of July' (a hybrid) did not.
Some of the old heirloom oxheart-types I've grown have had massively green shoulders, while others have not. We've had an exceptional amount of sunshine in the last month and a half. Of the varieties I'm growing this summer only one of them 'Juliet' is showing any sign of green shoulders (tiny ones). I'm growing 'Juliet' mainly for drying so will just cut the green parts when I halve them.

Do they start getting sun only in mid-day (the very peak of insolation)? It could be the timing of the sun exposure, though the heat is very likely a part of it.

Low potassium can cause blotchy ripening.
Found this, from the Royal Horticultural Society:
"Disorders of fruit are common; greenback, where hard, green areas develop on the shoulder of ripening fruit, is usually caused by heat injury and insufficient potassium. Good ventilation, shading, use of tomato fertilisers and choosing greenback-resistant cultivars will help avoid this."
http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0706/tomatoproblems.asp
Well, there you go then...
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Veering off the topic of green shoulders a bit. We also often plant Juliet. I did not realize they dried well. Do you do them in a dehydrator? Have you planted Sweet Baby Girl? That is my husband's favorite. I have been slow roasting and freezing those all summer.
Isabella
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Isabella Woodhouse said:

Yes, I use a dehydrator.
I'm trying Juliet to replace a variety I can't find anymore, 'Ruby.' 'Ruby' was grape-tomato size and I was able to dry it by cutting it in half. Ruby dried to a sweet, rich flavor, good enough to snack on. 'Juliet' is less sweet when dried, but has a complex flavor that brings to mind a dark, red wine. Not a substitute for 'Ruby' (certainly not for snacking on, at least) but should be interesting to cook with.

I've not tried that variety. I'll have to keep it in mind.
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It's very flavorful, sweet and amazingly productive. I cut those in half, too, when I roast them. We have more fun doing tomato taste tests every year. We lay out a bunch of different tomatoes and then go blindfolded one at a time of course. Usually we do the little tomatoes first by themselves. We comment on sweetness, flavor complexity, skin characteristics, texture, etc. We also rate things other than taste too.
Isabella
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On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 07:06:10 -0400, Pat Kiewicz

http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds1/product/560/1.html?SA 05 http://www.housecharm.co.uk/items/69-2100/Tomato-Ruby-F1-Hybrid-Seeds.html
http://www.valueseeds.com/item-560.html
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snipped-for-privacy@nomail.please (JustTom) wrote:

We get Thompson-Morgan seeds (mostly flower) on occasion and they've always been excellent.
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JustTom said:

Seeds.html
Thompson&Morgan I've heard of, but this is a link to the UK website. I don't order from their US catalog and don't know if Ruby is in there.
Housecharm actually doesn't sell them, it's from gardencentre.co.uk which doesn't look to be marketing to the USA.

Hmm...never heard of them. Apparently they re-market old T&M stock. Recent reviews* have been negative. However, they may be worth a try for this.
*at http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd /
On a tangent, I may have finally found a mid-season slicing tomato that both looks beautiful and tastes great, plus is highly disease resistant: a European variety named Royesta (available from Tomato Grower's Supply). It looks like an old heirloom type, what with the bumpy/ribbed shoulders, but has out produced the heirlooms I'm growing, and tastes much, much better than the other hybrid I'm growing. Royesta is State-Fair-exhibit pretty.
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[...]

I've passed this on to my DH who orders frequently from that supplier. Mortgage Lifter has done extremely well for us this year. Very tasty indeed.
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In wrote:

Yes; they're along a wall that runs north-south, which coupled with the neighbor's maple tree, means that they don't get any direct sun 'til a little after local noon. The other neighbor's maple tree cuts off direct sun by about 3PM local time.

Thanks. They're definitely getting a lot of heat in a short time; I'll check into the potassium issue nex year too.
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Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN snipped-for-privacy@iphouse.com

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to add to Pat's findings: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/tomato/colordisorder.htm
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