I am trying a few tomatoes in pots this year - they are growing okay
but do not seem to be ripening to red very well. They remain mostly
green and are now crackening because they probably are almost
completely ripened? Any idea why they won't get red?
Ripening time can be the result of many factors, including the variety you
planted, fertility of the soil, moisture, and weather. Be patient with that.
Cracking is often the result of uneven moisture. In other words, letting the
soil get very dry and then watering heavily. Assuring proper moisture is
more of a challenge when growing in pots. Add a thick layer of mulch on top
of the soil. Grass clippings work well (assuming you don't use poisons on
your lawn). Otherwise, get yourself a bad of shredded cedar or hardwood
mulch (NOT PINE). And, find a way to shade the entire pot. Finally, if
you're using clay pots, which are porous, switch to glazed ceramic or
plastic pots next season. And, whatever size you're using, double it.
Thanks for response. You seem to be on the money.
I am using plastic pots, but I am watering very unevenly - like once
every day or two, and very heavily when I do. I am not using any
mulch - will do so next time certainly. I am surprised Pine is not
good to use - I thought tomatoes liked acid. Grass clippings are a
good idea too.
The cracking suggest too much water.
Do your pots have drain holes?
Don't water every day. It can cause root rot also, especially if the pots
get too hot.
I don't know your area of the country and climate.
Ripening depends on temperature, sun, and variety.
I posted once but it didn't appear.
It sounds like too much water either from raining or watering.
A lot of the potted tomatoes I have seen around here also have no hole for
drainage.The roots end up boiling or just plain rotting, in our heat.
The slower than expected maturing may be due to the variety and how long
they have been planted.
I don't know where you are or how much heat and sunlight exposure they have
so that limits my answer.
Because of deer problems, I'm using plastic pots (set on my deck) for the
third year. I use 15 gallon pots w/holes. The mix I'm using is about 2/3
soil, and 1/3 peat moss, well mixed together. I water every other day, a
heavy watering. For the third year in a row, my tomatoes are better than
they've been over the past 20 something years.
I'm thinking your pots are too small, and drying out too rapidly.
I have deer, too, but my tomato plants are caged. The deer are munching on
the ends of some of the branches that stick out of the cages, but I'm still
getting far more tomatoes than I can handle. Cages are the secret to
happiness, in more ways than one. Cleaner fruit, little or no cracking.
growing cherry tomato and roma tomato in plastic pots. The cherry
tomatos are ripening without problems. However, the leaves of the roma
plant are cupping ....esp the ones on the bottom of the plant.
Interestingly, we have a gardening guru in this area, Ciscoe Morris, who
is a real hoot. He briefly made a statement on his tv show last week
....Do not pick the first ripe tomato on the plant. Leave it there to
split and do whatever.....the fumes it emits is spose to be beneficial
to all the others on the plant. This is new to me.....anyone else ever
hear of this?
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