Monday, August 11, 2008


That first examination of a garden after a week away can be exciting, particularly during harvest time.  Only this season, there have been no guarantees of buffalo mozzarella-tomato-basil sandwiches for the rest of the month--just mozzarella-basil sandwiches for the moment.  I did manage to take home two tomatoes, though only one was ripe.  The other was a green heirloom that I accidentally severed from its stem while turning it over to inspect it for blossom-end rot.  Fortunately, there was none, though I did see some evidence that a slug or related pest may have burrowed in.

Allan from the Steering Committee checked in on my plot while I was away; the rainy weather last week as well as the pathetic harvest alleviated him from much responsibility.  In an email to me today, he indicated that "a lot of tomato plants in the garden are looking rough."  Then he upheld his reputation as a thorough web sleuth by forwarding some useful links.  One, a brochure about tomato diseases and disorders, provides clear descriptions and photos. 

The photos on pages 9-10 of tomatoes afflicted with physiological disorders could have been taken from my previous harvests.  However, I should stop beating myself up over fruits that have succumbed to blossom-end rot, cracking, and catfacing (those funny bulges that develop on beefsteak varieties), since they are usually the result of environmental stresses such as fluctuations in temperature and are therefore beyond my control.  Also, these conditions usually damage part of the tomato and can be cut away.


Bryan Bunch said...

Talking to several tomato-raising friends today, I realized that everyone is complaining that tomatoes are staying green on the vine. I had one perfect plum tomato a week ago, three or four small yellow cherry tomatoes this week, and today one tomato that had developed a black spot (like blossom-end rot) around the stem as soon as it was ripe. I picked it and cut away not only the black, but also some green parts inside, then chopped part of it into my salad. I think it is the weather that is keeping tomatoes green, which means they are on the stem longer and therefore more likely to develop problems. But I saw three or four tomatoes today that finally have that pink tinge that suggests I may have some more ripe ones in a few days.

Sally said...

It appears that things are tough all over, not just in the MSG. A friend of mine told me today that his tomato yield is about 40% of what it usually is. I hope you get more ripe ones soon!