Tomatoes & soil ammendments

What can we add to our soil to sweeten our tomatoes? We worked in steer manure, chicken manure, and home made compost, at planting time. Since then we have added blood meal, and more compost. The tomato size is good and so is the flavor,but they lack the sweetnes that they had in the past. Would be thankful for suggestions. Sue
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Sue Clotere wrote:

Sweetness = sugar, which is the product of photosynthesis. Fertilizer will not make any difference. They need either more sun or more time or (slightly possibly) more water
- Peltiger ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

It occured to me after I postd above that you might be giving them to much nitrogen. That list of fertilizers looks impressive. Are th sugars that the plants produce going into green growth rather tha ending up in the fruit
- Peltiger ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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| What can we add to our soil to sweeten our tomatoes? We worked in | steer manure, chicken manure, and home made compost, at planting time. | Since then we have added blood meal, and more compost. The tomato size | is good and so is the flavor,but they lack the sweetnes that they had | in the past. Would be thankful for suggestions. Sue
Toms don/t need super-rich soil. Is this your usual planting method?
Are you raising the same variety as you have in the past?
Has there been a lot of rain during the growing season?
--
TQ



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THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSE> Yes this is our usual planting method. The same variety {Early Girl}. No rain during growing season. San Rafael, Ca.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net writes:

I have found that water can make a noticeable change in my tomatoes, both ways (either watering too close together or too far apart in time). If there is any one thing in my garden (under any kind of my control) that affects flavor, it's when I water. Also, it seems that if fruit is picked in the morning, the flavor is much better.
We've had a heat wave here this week, temps to 100 F which is not at all common. I'll be watering again tonight which will make it twice in one week. The flavor of tomatoes picked this morning was significantly less than usual. I hope to make some salsa tomorrow and want everything to be a good as possible so I will water well tonight so the plants can be well hydrated, hopefully improving the flavor over what it would be otherwise (and pick in the early morning). It's chiefly heirlooms in my garden so the fruits are more flavorful as a rule, anyway.
FYI, I use surface watering in the form of a soaker hose and leave it on 6-8 hours to ensure that soil is well watered, not only directly around the tomato plants but farther on as well so the water doesn't migrate away from the tomatoes. I do check the soil top each morning and when the soil hasn't gathered the early morning dew, it's time to water. For the most part that seems to be 6-7 days under normal conditions. Note, we are blessed with good drainage so there is no chance of ove-watering.
Glenna
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Sue Clotere said:

Some trace minerals might make a differents. Try foliar feeds of seaweed spray. (I use Maxicrop powder.) Kelp meal is an ingredient of at least a couple of different brands of fertilizer that are specially formulated for tomatoes.
IIRC, magnesium is sometimes suggested for sweeter fruit. Some folks give a dose of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to their tomatoes and melons.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Sue Clotere) wrote in message

way too much N. I see in another thread that these things are ten feet long, which is also what happens with too much N. Discontinue the blood meal at once. Probably a "sponge crop" will take care eventually of most of the excess, something like cabbage or chard, and you can replant in the same spot next year, if that is the only spot you have. Tomatoes need moderate amounts of N, and prefer large amts of P/K/micros. I found that wood ash (0/3/8) makes tomatoes sweeter, though I do not why, and I don't even know if it will work for you, since I have somewhat acidic soil and you do not.
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