I do find tomatoes one of the more idiosyncratic crops that I grow. Nothing ever seems simple with tomatoes. If its not the leaves, its the fruit, are they too dry?, are the too wet?, overfed?, underfed? there always seems to be something. This year my tomatoes seem to be doing reasonably well, the leaves are dying off a bit at the bottom of the plants but I think that is normal, it happens every year after all. Reassuringly the Burke’s Backyard website agrees with me it is so I’m going along with that for now.
Of the varieties I’m growing:
Broad Ripple Currant, Baby Red Pear, Sweet F1 Hybrid, Tommy Toe, Rouge de Marmande and Yellow Boy have all given me at least one ripe fruit and all have reasonable amount of fruit ripening on the plants.
Black Krim has heaps of lovely green growth but only just started to set fruit, there are two tiny ones I’ve have noticed in the last couple of days and that’s it.
Purple Russian set a few fruit a month or so ago but all but one fell off the plant. The one that remains has yet to ripen. The plant looks very wispy, not unhappy per se, but not really growing much either.
Black Cherry & Cherry Sweetbite were planted considerably later than the others, both have a few fruit set but they are a couple of weeks off ripening.
I do think, with the benefit of hindsight that it was a mistake to plant so many cherry varieties at the expense of more cutting tomatoes, particularly as the Black Krim seems destined to fruit so late and the Purple Russian looks to be something of a write-off.
I am also having some issues with the plants. My Baby Red Pear tomato plant had heaps of its leaves yellow on the same day but then it was 40 degrees that day. Those leaves have since died but the top of the plant remains healthy so I’m not too concerned.
This year however, it is the fruit I’m more worried about. The Sweet F1 Hybrid has the occasional fruit with what looks like Blossom End Rot and a few of the others (Rouge de Marmande & Tommy Toe in particular) have some (but not all) fruit with little black spots or indentations in them. Like this:
The leaves don’t have spots on them and in fact this particular fruit comes from one of my healthiest looking plants. I’m thinking it could be one of two things: either a lack of calcium (so I’ve scattered some eggshell at the base of the plant in the hope that will resolve it), or insect attack. If it is insect they are small and fast and I don’t think there is a great deal I can do about them.
Some of my other fruit have shown more obvious sign of insect attack:
Annoying isn’t it – I did eat the other half of this one though and it still tasted delicious.
If you have any ideas on what is attacking my fruit then I would love to know.