New tomato problems to face

Hello, friends! Long time, no see – my gardening posts have been sparse this year, matching the amount of time I’ve had to focus on the garden itself. This year the plants are more or less on their own, with sporadic attention as a busy work and travel schedule allows.

I’m very pleased to say that our two tomato plants are still as healthy as ever -a dry spring ensured that tomato blight wouldn’t be a problem for the foliage, which has now become a jungle (and even eclipsed the patch of garden where hot peppers are still trying to grow).

However, the dry weather took an invisible toll, and I’ve been learning about all kinds of new problems that affect the fruits, not the leaves. They’re tragic maladies, really, because the fruits are nearly ripe and perfect, and then develop ghastly sores, cracks and intrusions right before they’re ready to be picked. (Does WordPress have a sad face emoji? If it did I’d put it in right here).

Tomato blossom rot July 2016 - NC Garden Gals

In early July, I began to notice this blossom end rot on the Cherokee purple tomatoes.

Concentric cracking

Concentric cracking in my paste tomatoes (these are the good, edible ones)

The rest of the tomatoes are too hideous even to photograph…big vertical cracks oozing unknown things. It is a very sad, sad thing to have to pick them and then throw them directly into the compost bin. I’d almost rather have no tomato plants at all.

But gardening is a learning experience every year…and if we get 10 tomatoes instead of 100? Well, that’s fine – I could never eat that many anyway.

Coming soon, more July “hands-off” gardening adventures…