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Heirloom Tomatoes - Page 2

post #31 of 40
Hi all :)

The tomato plants at home are growing fairly well, but I have run into a problem with one of them. I've got green zebra, garden peach, pruden's purple and thessaloniki.

All the plants are growing tall and full. I've got them in pots and fertilizing every three weeks. I'm also adding dehydrated milk once a month as well. I water up to twice a day if the HOT weather dictates.

All my plants have really good production of both flowers and fruit. With the exception of pruden's purple. This plant has a bit of a different leaf than I'm used to on a tomato plant, it's large and floppy. This plant is quite large and looks healthy. It doesn't have as many blossoms as the other plants...but the other ones are really loaded with blossoms and fruit.

My problem with the pruden's purple tomato plant is blossom drop. I've got some fruit...but 've noticed that some of the blossoms are drying up at the knuckle and falling off. I'm watering once to twice a day due to the soil drying up. I'll always give the plants a light mist when I water them...but should I be giving this plant more mistings? Should I possibly move the plant to an area protected from the sun a bit more than it is (or isn't) now.

Any and all suggestions appreciated!

(Also...I've got one producing branch that got damaged due to strong winds last night. It's got a slight, but not full break on one of the fruit producing branches. Could I repair this? Or should I just cut it off?)

post #32 of 40
Pruden's Purple is a potato-leaf variety, Dan, which is why you're seeing those large floppy leaves. They're called that because their foliage looks more like that of a potato plant than a tomato.

There are other differences as well. Potato leaf varieties are actually more primitive. They have extruded styles (which "modern") varieites lack, and, therefore, easily cross-pollinate with others.

The pink/purple tomatoes, particularly the potato leaf types, tend to be very sensitive to heat & humidity. That's why Brandywine, for instance, doesn't do well in the south. So you're aborting flowers might be due to weather conditions.

Another possibility: Every plant has a maximum biomass density. Once it reaches that it won't produce any more fruit until the existing biomass is reduced. Could be that your plant has reached that point. Although Pruden's Purple is one of the better producers among the pink/purples, they do tend to be less productive than other types.

As to the broken branch: Try splinting it, taping with duct tape, and see what happens. It probably will heal. If not, you haven't lost anything but a couple of minutes time.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #33 of 40
as mentioned, water stress is a "usual and customary" suspect in blossom drop - are the pots themselves shaded? i.e. not a black pot exposed to the hot sun? there's an old adage that tomatoes like the heat but like cool roots. I mulch mine (direct in the soil) very heavy - pots are slightly different.

>>dehydrated milk - for calcium?
calcium "deficiencies" is behind blossom end rot - but the 'deficiency' has multiple sources. lack of calcium is one, but cool temps prevent the plant from utilizing the available calcium - which can explain why the first flush of fruit often has BER but not later in the season. I've found milk to be messy - ground up eggs shells or a crushed Tums tablet works well.

what kind of fertilizer are you using? (N-P-K wise) nutrients do leach out of pots faster than 'soil' - but too much nitrogen can give you "all green, no fruit" - since you're getting a good fruit set, this may not be an issue, but generally, fruiting stuff is very fond of potassium.
post #34 of 40
Oy! Computer problems...gotta love'em :rolleyes:

Thanks KYHeirloomer and Dillbert!!

KYHeiloomer, both explanations sound like they could be the culprit. I'll keep an eye on them and see what happens as I take fruit off or as the weather changes.

Dillbert, The pots are a orange(ish) terracotta color. The pots are sitting on a Trex deck, which can get a little hot. The other plants don't seem to have a problem. But if the problem persists for this one plant I'll try moving it to a more friendly location.

The fertilizer I use is a 9-12-12. In the past years I've always had a problem with blossom end rot. The past year I started treating with dehydrated milk, which did solve the problem as time went on. So this year I'm treating the soil with calcium before I had BER problems. So far it seems to have worked well. I'll give some of the other methods you mentioned a try.

Thanks guys!
post #35 of 40
Dan -

9-12-12 should be okay. you don't want a lot of N for tomatoes.

it is advisable to 'treat' for BER when setting the plants. BER 'happens' when the blossom is pollinated - when you see it, it's too late.

>>problem persists for one plant
uhm. bad news is, not every plant thrives, and it's often not possible to decipher why. I set out eight this year. seven are flying high and one is a stunted runt. go figger.
post #36 of 40
uh oh! I meant to quote this post and I mistankingly chose to edit it. My original post is gone.

post #37 of 40
Hi all,

I'm not sure how everyone is doing (tomato wise), but I haven't got one ripe tomato yet! In the Chicago area we've been having pretty cool weather with little sun and very mild temperatures.

All the plants have a lot of fruit on them. I counted one of the plants (green zebra) and it had 67 tomatoes on it, none of the ripe. two of the other plants have equally as much fruit on it. The other plant (a potato leaf variety) doesn't have as much fruit...but it still has alot.

I wouldn't be as concerned about "my problem" but the plants are starting to look pretty stressed leaves (non-fruit branches turning brown and falling off. Leaves curled upwards) The plants are in 5 gallon terracotta pots. The cages that I've got aren't large enough to provide full support for the plants.

Should I leave things be to develop on their own, or should I pull some of the more mature fruit of the plant?

Next year I think I'll use a larger pot. I'm really going to be interested to see how full the pot is with roots when these plants are done for the year.

Thanks for all the help! This year is sooo much better than last year...now if we could just get some sun!

post #38 of 40
I have only been able to take 7 tomatoes off my plants.
On the west coast I know others have harvested many tomatoes.
Very few flowers, mostly they die off, my leaves are also turning brown and dying off.
I read that tomatoes like to be shocked in really hot really dry soil sometimes.
But that hasn't worked for me.
Last year, I got one tomato in my yard.
I do have maybe a total of 17 tomatoes on all plants combined but to me that's not good at all. I need help too and my heirlooms have failed me.
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
post #39 of 40
The Ph is still really high in the garden. But shortly after I posted this I bought some peat moss and tried to gently working it into the soil around the tomato plant. I also built a mound of peat up on the tomato plant after pruning some of the lower non-productive branches.

The results were really good. The Ph of the garden was at 8.2 this spring, before adding sulfur. The plants were still having a real tough time even after the sulfur was added to the soil along with some peat and other organic matter. But after I added the additional peat to the tomato plants they really perked up. The plants have grown into nice looking full plants with tons of blossoms! I'm not sure if the plant is going to have enough time to turn the blossoms into ripened fruit. But it is promising :)

post #40 of 40
Well, the ripe fruit is here. These things are so tasty! The mix of different flavors is a bruschetta is like nothing I've eaten before. What a joy! I am sooooooo enjoying discovering these flavors :D

But my problem with my green zebra plant continues. The fruit is still on the plant and it appears to still be ripening. But the entire plant has withered away with to nothing. The best of the branches are still soft but withered...and the rest of them are gone to a crisp. After doing some more reading I wonder if I could have late blight? Not sure...

but my plants are getting better each year!
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