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Old August 9, 2019   #1
Bruinwar
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Default Lots of cracking this year

Same varieties, totally new site, new soil that's been unused for many years. It's happening to pretty much all of my hybrids & some heirlooms. They are cracking badly on the top & turning black, see picture below. It's likely that this year is hopeless, but if I can find the cause &/or solution for next year, that would be great.

It's also likely that this is not the first post on this. I did search a bit but found nothing exactly like mine. The hybrids are Goliath & Celebrity & this is the third year I've grown these. They are for donation to the local food pantry & I'm not sure of they will want them.

Thoughts?


Thanks in advance.
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Old August 9, 2019   #2
JRinPA
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I have a bit of that this year. I'd say more than usual in the florida weaved big beefs. I don't usually see much. My weaved tomatoes see a lot of sun compared to my caged tomatoes with some house shadow. Seems to me there have been a whole lot of sunny, hot days in the last two months. I put out plant the usual time, after Mother's Day. They took right off. But first harvest of them for sauce was today, 8/9. That's got to be at least a week late. They just didn't want to blush and lot have light shoulders and cracks. It has been pretty dry and hot the last month or more.


If I remember I'll take some pics tomorrow before they go into the mill. They are in the pickup bed under ag19 right now. Big Beefs never get really red but I'm not used to seeing the yellow and shoulders and the cracking.
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Old August 10, 2019   #3
AlittleSalt
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That is internal BER. Rotting from the inside. It happens when there is too much water/rain too often. That's what Carolyn Male told me.
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Old August 10, 2019   #4
Bruinwar
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Thanks Salt & JR!

Rain might be it as we were getting a ton in June & early July. Deluges followed by heat. As I remember, cutting away BER doesn't help, the tomatoes always tasted horrible. I haven't bothered to try in many years. BER means toss it. These actually taste OK once I cut away the massive black nasty cracks. Not sure if my own anecdotal data is worth much though.

BER is a plague this year since we are talking about it. Low pH, lots of calcium, but again, the deluges we were getting is likely the cause. Not a great year but it ain't over yet!
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Old August 10, 2019   #5
JRinPA
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Internal BER...I don't consider this to be BER at all. I get a few BER each year, usually the first round, and they are a total loss. They mush out and corrupt everything else. These are just cracked at stem/shoulder and corrupted around the cracks. Cutting off past that they are fine. Like I said I think it was just harsh sun this year, and hot. One heavy rain in the last month that we got a huge 6" and flash flooding. The okra LOVED that. Maybe that laid the groundwork for the cracking on these. I had been trimming back blight though, and they are single stemmed, so trimming those bottom leaves back exposed them to a lot of sun.

I have some EB spots on these big beefs as well that I usually don't get until the third picking if at all. But again, the year is running behind and this already doing 1st pick at 2nd picking time.

My heirlooms in cages out back the house have a lot more foliage shade and late day house shade, and are not cracked like this, nor spotted.

I guess yours look worse than mine, at least those three. I have a few like that in the one tray (right foreground) that were bad ones I kept separate. I still sauced that tray and got about half the tomato worth out of them. I feel like if I had left these on another few days a lot more would have turned black like that.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
Guavatone
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I’m getting a lot of cracked ones too. But I had a lot of fungal issues and other disease. It’s been really humid. Not many dry days. And lately very cool nights.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
PhilaGardener
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Yes, me too. I think the extremes of weather, particularly moisture, are to blame.



My larger tomatoes are all ripening way later than normal. Cherries were doing fine, but a few nights ago a deer jumped my fence and vacuumed up everything that was starting to ripen.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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Well, there are a few solutions but only one of them is somewhat easy. The first is to not grow at the mercy of the weather, so a greenhouse. That would be a massive improvement in all sorts of ways.
Or, the easier way - look at those roma besides them, nice and zero cracking. Roma are incredibly crack resistant, but also there are a few bigger ones which resist cracking fairly well. You just need to try lots until you find some which do better (hint: you should definitely start with Crnkovic Yugoslavian).
Besides inconsistent watering, direct water on the fruit is also a big culprit, as well as big differences in day/night temperatures.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
GrowingCoastal
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If the area is small enough a green house is not necessary. I use a tarp that I hang over a clothesline. That keeps the rain off the plants and I am more able to control watering. Another plus is the slight shading it gives the plants which helps avoid sunscald. A tarp does nothing about temperature but it is minimal effort and cost.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
Bruinwar
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Thanks everyone for your replies. We seem to agree it's the rain.

A mini-hoop house! People think I'm nuts when I complain about rain on my tomatoes. They just don't understand. My dream is a hoop house. I saw an article on my news feed about an easy small structure using a Costco canopy, 10'X20'. I was very temped.

My plot is 25'X30' but located in a community garden. I chickened out due to worries about how other gardeners would react. You remove the tarp they provide & replace it with heavy clear plastic. Maybe 2020.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
jhouse
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I've had some cracking on my large varieties, yep lots of rain for awhile in Ohio. Now pretty dry lol.
I'm not sure if I watered too much at a time with soaker hoses when the soil dried out -- figured they should drink deep, but maybe contributed to cracking. I think I've only had to water twice all season, (heavily mulched with straw), so I'll blame Mother Nature.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
SeanInVa
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Have had a lot of cracking here myself. Mortgage Lifter and Brandywine have held up decently for the heirlooms, and 4th of July for the hybrids. Pretty much everything else that is still growing has been cracking (Delicious, MoneyMaker, Garden Leader Monster, Gardener's Delight, Pink bumblebee, Pineapple, Red Cherry).

Sweetie has been a toss up - they cracked early on, but seem to be doing better later in the season
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
clkeiper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruinwar View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies. We seem to agree it's the rain.

A mini-hoop house! People think I'm nuts when I complain about rain on my tomatoes. They just don't understand. My dream is a hoop house. I saw an article on my news feed about an easy small structure using a Costco canopy, 10'X20'. I was very temped.

My plot is 25'X30' but located in a community garden. I chickened out due to worries about how other gardeners would react. You remove the tarp they provide & replace it with heavy clear plastic. Maybe 2020.
unless you cover it with a different type of cover such as greenhous plastic you may not get enough light to produce tomatoes. they will grow but not blossom.

it is the weather though that is causing such ugly tomatoes. I have never seen such uglies as I have this year. not even my tried and true big beefs look like much. Now, inside my high tunnel its a completely different climate and the tomatoes looked great until the humidity started the grey mold. now the foliage looks horrid and the fruit is almost done but a second crop is now starting to set fruit if the aphids and white fly don't wipe me out.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
bbjm
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It must be very widespread. The radial cracking in my garden is severe. Some of the cracks are deep to the point of cracking well down into the flesh and even seeds. This is particularly true on my Wes tomatoes. Traditionally Wes has been a fairly blemish-free tomato for me. I'm also seeing uneven ripening. We have had periods of horrible heat and humidity. I blame that for the cracking and ripening issues, but I really don't have a clue.

We just had a few days of fairly heavy rain so I'm getting splitting. But I expect to see that. The deep cracking that has been going on all summer is new to me.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
nancyruhl
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This was not a typical year here. Because of the early season torrential rains and the delay in getting weather warm enough to plant out in, the seedlings just had it tough. Then they were exposed immediately to intense heat and dry conditions. I would not think anything I see this year is something to worry about or view as a permanent problem. I have a lot of cracking this year and I attribute it to hot dry weather. I might assume the cracking came first and then developed into rotted black areas. I have an unusual amount of hard green cores on otherwise nice tomatoes. I also attributed it to weather.

What I have learned from this season is that seedlings suffer and plants are affected negatively long term when they are left in their seedling pots too long. I plan on moving my seed starting time back at least a week next year.
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