Growing tomatoes for the first time? You may run into a few problems with your plants as they flourish and grow. In this guide from The Soil King, we’ll take a look at 5 of the most common tomato plant problems – and how you can prevent or avoid them.
Blossom End Rot
Your tomatoes appear healthy – but when they ripen, you start to notice an ugly black patch on the bottom, and the inside is mealy when they’re cut open. This is called “blossom end rot” and happens when your plants aren’t getting enough calcium, or the pH is too low for proper calcium absorption. Make sure your plants have soil with proper nutrients and a pH of about 6.5 to avoid this issue.
Your tomatoes have flowered – but then the flowers fall off without any tomatoes developing. What gives?
This is “blossom drop.” It happens due to temperature fluctuations. Your tomatoes must have minimum night temperatures of between 55-75° F. If the temperatures drop lower than this, their flowers may fall off. Make sure you plant your tomatoes when there’s no risk of low nighttime temperatures.
Are you noticing cracks on your tomatoes in concentric circles? These cracks harm the fruit, and can make it easier for insects and birds to feed on it.
Fruit cracks usually happen due to hot weather followed by heavy rain. Tomatoes that are very dry after a hot spell will try to absorb as much water as possible – leading to cracking. Avoid this by watering tomatoes evenly through the growing season.
Tomatoes love the sun, but too much can hurt them. If you see yellow-white patches on ripening tomatoes, they may be scalded by the sun. To avoid sunscald, don’t prune your tomatoes – leave the natural foliage in place to help shade the fruits. Planting tomatoes in an area that receives both sun and shade can also be helpful.
Poor “Fruit Set”
If you have plenty of flowers but only a few tomatoes – or small, tasteless tomatoes – you may have planted your tomatoes too closely together, so they’re not getting the nutrition they need, and there may be pollination problems.
Make sure to leave at least 2+ feet between each tomato plant to avoid this, and make sure that your soil has the nutrients your tomatoes need to thrive.
Come To The Soil King To Get Help With Your Tomatoes!
Our expert gardeners can help you get the supplies, tools, and knowledge you need for a successful harvest. Come to The Soil King today, and we’ll help you get your best-ever tomato harvest.