Sun split tomatoes

Despite a very mild summer, temps barely in the low 90s at worst, my celebrities have come in and are sun split. They have latitudinal splits starting at the stem end. They taste great, are rather large compared to last year and overall a good crop. But what accounts for the splitting of the skin? I just harvested 20 tomatoes and all but 2 were split to some degree. Of course organic tomatoes are cosmetically imperfect but I'd like to address this next year if possible.
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On 8/13/2010 7:02 PM, Paul M. Cook wrote:

erratic watering:
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/splittomatoes.htm
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I think I'll try growing something easy next time, like orchids. Honestly, I put all my pots on automatic watering 2 months ago. They get the exact same 5 minute twice a day from these 360 degree emitters.
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I tried to warn you about inconsistent watering in June when you complained about BER and you didn't believe me then. Rather than take up orchids, give up on pots and put the toms in the ground. Even if you have to do a lot or work to prepare the soil, it'll make you life easier in the end.
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And as I've repeated
1) can't plant in the ground - not enough of it - my backyard is 95% patio 2) pots work great for everything else - you should see the cukes and zukes I got - hugely successful 3) I put all pots on automatic watering way back then and the moisture meters read perfect ever since 4) I can't do better than perfect 4) you got a problem with orchids?
I don't know how much more consistent my watering could possibly have been. But if some split tomatoes are the price to pay I guess I'll stick to pots. They do taste just fine. My yellow pears could not have done any better with the setup I have. I may just stick to smaller tomatoes since they seem less fussy to grow.
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Raised beds and/or straw bales <http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/straw-bale-gardening.html Instead of ammonium nitrate you could use 1 lb chicken manure/bale for conditioning, and if you're following the directions closely, use an organic 10-10-10 like E.B.Stone.
Both methods should solve your watering problems, because of larger mass, and the straw bales will work as a reservoir (organics hold moisture).
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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hey dude make sure you water them enough :)
--
DanielK


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Paul M. Cook wrote:

the meters might be in the wrong places or could not be calibrated correctly. did you dig down and check the containers and see if there were some spots that weren't getting the right amount of moisture. sometimes things compact or cavitate or layer or crust in such a way that water is not being consistently located in the medium...
and really, the meter is going by soil moisture content, but that does not address the fact that on different days the plants may need more or less moisture due to humidity and temperature and that will not have much to do with soil water content directly, but indirectly and as you've found automatic one factor systems are not going to address complete system variances...

it's not just watering, but temperature, humidity and soil structure.

cherry tomatoes... we have so many and they were a few weeks earlier. just too hard to make a sandwich from them and they are a bugger to can. :)
songbird
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as a suggestion for this fall -- after things are done... take those pots and turn the soil out on a sheet or tarp in one chunk and then see what it looks like as you peel it apart. if you upend it and it doesn't fall apart then you can see it might channel water or have spots that didn't get enough down far enough or whatever...
look at the plant roots and see where they went and if they spread uniformly or if they rotted, etc.
much to learn from observation... report back, we'll be happy to tell you what you didn't do right. haha. :)
peace,
songbird
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Frank wrote:

That's it.
D
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many orchids are easy to grow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

Time wounds all heels.
D
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Yea I hear ya but I have some calluses about ten years old finally giving up the ghost due to sandal wearing. Otherwise getting out of way or finding indoor orchids that like low humidity can be fun.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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I've never heard it said that the temperature of the roots vs the top of the plant could make a difference with regard to splitting tomatoes, but it might be worth trying to shade the pots, even if it means draping them with something as ugly as burlap.
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