Tomato Ripening Problem

All our plum tomatoes are in one garden and the rest in a completely different area. The rest of our tomatoes appear to be ripening normally but the plums (Romas and San Marzanos) are very weird. They look totally ripe on the outside but when you cut them, they still have a lot of whitish green on the inside. And if you leave the San Marzanos to further ripen, they start to mottle and get bad spots! The Romas seem much less affected but are still problematic. I have never seen anything like this before. Does this anomaly sound familiar to anyone? We also have Opalkas (in the same plot) but they have not ripened at all yet. Might this be a nutritional problem? Missouri Z 5b
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Our paste tomatoes grow white insides if they are not watered heavily during drought and don't have a good limng in the fall with micros added. Our sandy soil requires that you add everything. Don't know where you are soil-wise, but Missouri soils should have everything you need. The heavy rains may have leeched what the soils need to produce. Gary

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Thanks for responding. We will reconsider our watering routines then. Our soil is on the clay side but not too bad AFAIK. I think a soil test is definitely in order--- especially since our other plot of non-paste tomatoes on the other side of the house does so well. The paste tomato plot has been a lawn for like 15 years and before that allegedly pasture for cows. The ground was not too difficult to til the first time so the clay is not too bad. But I have not tested the PH so we will have that and other tests run. Thaniks!
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Sandy and clay are two different beasts. As Pat said, excessive moisture may have more to do with your problem - also tomatoes are fairly tolerant of pH. See if the problems goes away as your soil dries up (like, the August tomatoes are going to be better). If they don't improve, I'd try some combination of foliar feeding for this year, and micro-rich organics for next year (some wood ash, and kitchen scraps).
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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote:

Whew, at least I was partially on target. We did go out and get some tomato food in foliar spray form. And we just added a second compost pile. Wood ash won't be a problem either, thank you :)
Our Park's Whoppers (in the other garden plot) are producing great guns now, as are the Juliets, Beefmsters and a few others. The Brandywines (potato leaved) has a lot of tomatoes now.... ENORMOUS... but they are still all green. The Early Girls are a disappointment. They seem to like to split and aren't all that pleasant tasting.
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Phaedrine Stonebridge said:

One thing about Early Girls as they turn red several days before they are *really* ripe. So if you pick them when they *look* ready, they will dissapoint.
That having been said, I replaced the 'Early Girls' with '4th of July' in my garden. I had tried 'Stupice' which are also nice and early and tastely, but they tend to green shoulders and give up producing later in the summer while '4th of July' keeps going.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

Ah ha..... I will try leaving them on the vine longer then and, failing that, we'll look into "4th of July" for next year. Thanks!
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On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 10:47:59 -0500, Phaedrine Stonebridge

We picked our first ripe Early Girls today - three of them. Small but ripe. The taste is disappointing. Drat.
I'll definitely try 'Stupice' next year and will think about '4th of July'.
Pat (Zone 5)
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I don't know if they are exclusive from Burpee, but I got my 4th of July as part of a package from Burpee's. I am pleased with the production. The fruit is small, (about the size of fruit one would find in the so called "cello" pack tomatoes) but excellent for eating, have decent (not great) flavor and the plant is fairly prolific. Mine did not manage to produce by 7/4 but rather began about 2 weeks later. Now that they've gotten themselves going, I am getting 1 or 2 ripe fruit a day. All in all I'm pleased with the plant...
wrote:

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On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 05:05:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

Pat, where did you get the seeds for "4th of July", please?
Thanks.
Another Pat
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Pat Meadows said:

Off the rack, possibly at Meijer's (a regional mega-mart type store). Or it could have been at a local nursery (Clyde Smith and Sons) which sells Burpee seeds off the rack.
(I don't get Burpee's seed catalog, but that's where you would mail order them.)
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Besides diseasesbeing the cause, tomatoes can sometimes turn red without ripeness when the fruit is on a blighted plant, in the presence of gases (like the hothouse tomatoes in supermarkets) or in the case of excessive heat.
Are the tomatoes smaller than you'd expect for mature fruit? Do they taste unripe? Perfectly ripe Romas can sometimes have a lot of green in the central vein of the fruit, too. -=>epm<=-
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. - Albert Einstein
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.no.junk (EvelynMcH) wrote:

Amazingly, the plants with the least problem (the Romas) have minor leaf curl and the others do not. We did have some BER but my DH thought it was due to a hose leak that had flooded that part of the garden. The tomatoes trying to ripen now, are not BERd. After an exceptionally cool spring for this area (Missouri Z 5b), we have had some really blazingly hot weather in the upper 90s over July. I thought the foliage looked a bit chlorotic and we were just exploring how to get trace elements to them when this happened. The previous owners did appear to have used a lot of chemicals on the lawn; they had a contract with one of those places. Both sprays and pellets were used according to receipts in the house book. Given that we are not having this problem in the other garden (which did not used to be lawn), perhaps that is also part of the problem?

The fruit is quite large--- MUCH larger than I would expect. I have never grown San Marzanos before so I am unsure of their normal size. Ours are like 4-5 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. They are huge! My dad used to grow plum tomatoes and they were a LOT smaller. The Romas seem to average a regular 3 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. They look very ripe on the outside but when you cut into them, they are quite green including the outer circle of the tomato. This is happening on both the Romas and San Marzanos but to a much greater extent on the Marzanos. They do not taste ripe at all either. The Opalkas, though enormous, are still totally green. Letting them sit out to ripen does not work either. They just mottle and spoil. :(

In this particular garden, we are successfully growing beans of all kinds, corn, raspberries and blackberries, cucumbers, eggplant, peas (done now), and we wintered over the plot with rye, tilling it in in the spring. We also tilled in the peas when they were done (an they are volunteering with the corn lol). Everything else has grown normally. Are tomatoes the "canaries" of modern gardens?
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Phaedrine Stonebridge wrote:

...

...
Pardon the snipage.I wanted to quote without being excessive. I'm in the same zone as you and having the exact same issues with tomatoes this summer (bland, white spots inside), under similar conditions (heat, lawn chemicals).
I'm thinking the heat has more to do with it than anything. All the grass and smaller plants on our property are starting to look a bit overdone from the sun, but it's not nearly as bad yet as it was a couple years back when our 30-year-old maples started to *wilt*.
I'm hoping the weather breaks before I lose the plants completely, I'd like to have tomatoes this fall.
Dawn
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Phaedrine Stonebridge said: <snip>

If the lawn clippings were carted off and replaced mainly with high nitrogen lawn fertilizers, it is very possible that you have an area that's been depleted of some critical micornutrient or even a macronutrient (like potassium).
Lots of people 'strip-mine' their soil by sending off the fallen leaves and grass clippings, and don't replace much more than the nitrogen. (Trees recover most of the nutrients from their leaves before they drop, but not all of them.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

Very helpful as I noted in my email. We are checking with the extension service about a soils test. Thanks again!
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