• 57°

Blackwelder column: Weather brings out worst in tomatoes

SALISBURY — Unusually hot weather over the past few days is causing a multitude of problems for this season’s tomato crop. However, there are some other situations that are causing problems with tomatoes. Cooperative Extension always receives quite a few questions from homeowners when their tomato crop is not performing as well they would expect. Below are a few questions received about tomatoes.
Q: My tomatoes are rotting on the end even though I had applied lime as a preventative measure. I thought that if I applied lime it would prevent blossom end rot. What am I doing wrong?
A: Blossom-end rot is actually a calcium deficiency sparked by periods of drought or in some instances, too much water. Tilling or hoeing around the roots also contributes to the problem. Adding lime before planting can be of benefit, but is no substitute for consistent irrigation. Tomato plants need to be evenly moist. Add mulch to your tomatoes to help keep moisture levels constant. Also, many tomato varieties are predisposed to blossom end rot; it’s always a good idea to plant different varieties for this reason.
Q: My tomato plants look great. They have beautiful foliage and no diseases. They are loaded with fruit, but when they ripen, they are all small. What can I do to make them larger?
A: Most likely you’re doing everything right; you have purchased mislabeled tomato variety. Seed or tags often get mixed during planting.
Q: (Sample brought in for diagnosis). My tomatoes and other vegetables are withered and don’t look right. It looks like a disease that is spreading through all my vegetables. What is the problem and how do I correct it?
A: Your tomatoes and other plants have herbicide damage. Roundup and other herbicides will drift during windy or hot weather, causing the foliage to wither and appear contorted. The giveaway is other plants have the same signs. Plant diseases are usually, but not always, host specific.
Q: My tomato plants look very good, but they are all vines with little or no fruit. What could be my problem?
A: Temperature extremes over the past few days are a major factor in tomato bloom drop. However, over fertilization, especially with nitrogen at planting, also yields heavy vine growth and low fruit set. Insufficient light is another reason for poor fruit set.
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Call 704-216-8970
www.rowanmastergardener.com
rowan.ces.ncsu.edu
www.rowanextension.com

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Down Goat: Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza