QUESTION: My tomato plants are tall and full, and they have been blooming a lot but the blooms disappear. The flower usually dries up and falls off. Otherwise, they look healthy. Can you tell me what’s wrong with them? – D.S.
Two things could be causing tomato flowers to fall off: extreme heat and dry soil. When temperatures get above 90 degrees for several days – and we’ve had a lot of those days recently – tomato blossoms tend to drop off without setting fruit. Blossoms also drop off if the plants don’t get enough water. When the heat wave passes and if we finally get rain, you’ll probably see the tomatoes begin to bloom and set fruit again.
QUESTION: Some of my tomatoes look ripe but when I go to pick them they still have green patches that don’t ripen. – J.H.
I found information that suggests that the green patches on ripe tomatoes may be due to the tomatoes being on the interior of dense plants with heavy foliage. It’s a condition called “blotchy ripening.”
At the same Web site, which is CornellUniversity’s Vegetable MD Online, there are pictures of tomatoes with catface, cracks, russeting, zippering and other common disorders. If you want to see just about anything that can go wrong in a tomato patch, find it here.
Cooler weather is coming soon, inviting you to get back out to the garden. Look for the September Landscape & Garden Calendar Saturday in The Tennessean.