Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Whats wrong with these tomatos?

  1. #1

    Default Whats wrong with these tomatos?

    We planted some tomato plants, from a nursery, last year and they grew fine and produce good tomatos. We left some of the potatos on the vine and they dropped and rotted away. This year some plants came up from seeds and they appeared fine. We picked them when they turned red and took them in the house. In a couple of days they started to rot. What the...?
    Wondering if this is a sign that they were actually GMO plants or is there another reason for the rapid rotting?


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    57,534

    Default

    One of the wonders of gardening is you always have volunteer tomato plants. Since they will almost always be different than their parent plant I never allow them to grow. I consider them another weed. I am not aware of any common garden plants that are GMO. There's no reason for it since most hybrids have been modified through breeding over decades and are pretty darn cheap for the producers to grow. Corn and squash would be the only two exceptions but you won't find GMO corn or squash at the typical box stores or in garden catalogs or nurseries. Not yet anyway.

    As to why they rotted so fast...there are so many variables to rotting that you may never know. However, I'll give you one probable reason. You stored them near fruit. If the tomatoes were near bananas or apples then the tomatoes will rot quickly. Fruit gives off ethylene gas which increases the aging in all fruits and vegetables.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas, but travel widely
    Posts
    1,079

    Default

    Most seeds and young plants sold at nurseries are hybrids carefully breed that way and tested by your local university to be resistant to diseases and pathogens that cause the fruit and plants to die and or rot away early. If you attempt to grow a new plant from seed and not a cutting you will not get a true copy or clone. Often even a cutting may lose its disease resistants due to age. This is not necessarily a GMO. Plants that are not hybrids are also available and can be grown from seed, look for them online under names like "heritage" often these tomato plants are indeterminate. (i.e. vines grow large)

    It might be best if you emailed your local county extension agent (send detailed photos, was rot symmetrical? etc.) or talked to a help line run by the local master gardeners. I was a master gardener for many years here in Texas and helped PhD scientists test out new plants/cultivars (in my spare time). It was fun and I learned a lot. Less than 1 in 1000 new varieties (cultivars) ever make it to market were you can buy it and many of those are not available for long. I wish you success.

    Edit:
    Many of use master gardeners who volunteered to test new cultivars became frustrated that highly successful hybrids and "own root" heritage roses and vegetables were never made available or at least not for long in public for profit nurseries. The reason was that the public is very fickle, wants something new every year in annual color and most vegetables are sold for how well they transport from field to grocery store not how well they taste. I could go on and on but Rick told me members of this forum hate my rambling "novellas". Techical content is repulsive apparently.

    Discussion with your local agriculture or horticulture agent or an experienced m-gardener will hopefully cover your watering methods and frequency, bed prep, how well it drains, soil amendments such as compost and mulch, fertilizer such as naturally slow release organic or polymer coated synthetic. Methods to control fungus beyond cultural practice as mentioned above... many other topics. If the person you speak with is good they will ask you a lot of questions.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 09-09-2015 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Many many questions

  4. #4

    Default

    Any volunteer seedlings I get I also rip out. We have a bad case of Blossom end rot here and if I don't plant hybrids that are immune to it, I can't grow large tomatoes. Even then, I cut each tomato in half to check it before it goes in the sauce pot because I've had the rot show up on the inside lower end. The cherry tomatos don't seem to get it.

    There are currently no GMO tomatoes available to the public.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  5. #5
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    57,534

    Default

    BER is a pain in the keester for sure. I've tried adding calcium to the soil when planting. Very much hyped and didn't do a thing. We had tons of rain all through the growing season and no BER. I know consistent moisture is key and this year hit it perfect I guess.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    SE/SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    26,866

    Default

    Just a few observations ........
    Last few years we have been hit by a tomato blight.
    Starts on the bottom branches...leave turn brown, acts like it need water, but just keep spreading until all that left is brown stocks with brownish tomatoes on the vine.
    Seemed to start all at once....may have come for nursery grown plants....seems to over winter in dirt or containers.

    Used to mow up and compost all tomatoes at the end of the season....No more....now everything gets bagged up and hauled off to the dump, tomatoes and peppers as well.

    This year I just have 2 plants, in buckets (were washed with bleach water, with fresh dirt and compost hauled in)... plum yellow, and plum red...from plants started by a neighbor......so far so good.

    Stopped using my "Tomato towers" for the cross contamination reasons...or use for beans and cukes.......and generally slowing down in the garden.
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/organ...ato-cages.aspx

    BTW that site has pic's of my garden in it.........

    Different neighbor has three plants in containers as well and are blighted.
    When I first mentioned it, he told me that they just needed water and would be OK, actually were over watered and no drain holes.....are already pulled and gone.

    Bottom end rot is caused by a calcium imbalance, I am told........ seems to be hit or miss with no real consistent reason, as I do try to amend soil and stay organic as much as possible.

    Volunteers all seem to revert back to a sorta "Roma" looking, small pear shaped fruit....and I do pull and remove also.
    Never had much of a problem having them rot after picking as most never get to grow?

    Do put green tomatoes in a paper shopping bag with a couple of apples (to off gas) does seem to ripen in the bag, at the end of season...so I thinking Rick suggestion may be a possible reason.
    Last edited by hunter63; 09-10-2015 at 11:35 AM.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas, but travel widely
    Posts
    1,079

    Default Open pollinated and Heirloom vegetables are fun, but not easy

    Several years ago before my trees got too big and created excessive shade I grew several heirloom vegetables with some success. (Not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms, BTW) Early in the season I got some Brandywine tomatoes over 16 oz but as the extreme Texas summer heat progressed they would split so the size went down. Then later in the summer many pathogens hit the fruits and vines including bacteria, fungus and viruses. This is why when you ask people at the local nurseries or help lines or your extension service in this area they will often tell you the same old tired list of Cherry, Grape, Celebrity, Carnival, Merced etc. with those letters to indicate what they are resistant to: (VFStTMV).

    To reduce this problem some people start new plants at about mid summer so they have more resistance at the end of the summer. A Japanese farmer (probably more than just the one) I visited in Brazil grafted his vines onto the root stock of a wild nightshade (Solanaceae) that gave his plants added resistance to many of the diseases and his plants lived for many years producing huge vines and hundreds of pounds of fruit per vine. I often wondered if I could do that here in the USA and add a greenhouse around a vine to get it through the winter months. Someday perhaps...

    You can buy the "open pollinated" or so called "heirloom seeds" from jet.com or places like Seedsavers.org and many other places...

    http://www.seedsavers.org/onlinestor...randywine.html

    Collecting your own seeds from tomatoes is not difficult and avoiding cross pollination is not impossible. Avoiding cross pollination with corn however can be a challenge you will probably end up with some GMO genetics if you try that. I don't worry about what eating GMO corn will do to my body, mostly just what it might do to the environment. Probably best to avoid that topic it is very emotional and a bit political, mostly opinionated, facts are highly debatable...

    Edit: When I was in High School I grew over 2 acres of corn, it was fun except for the countless mounts of fire ants that were impossible to control... Someday I would like to grow corn again and soybeans (for the fresh green beans, edamame), and possibly sugar beats but all three of these today are almost for sure GMO in the USA or if you save the seeds and there are any commercial farms nearby your seed will almost certainly be part GMO... That is just life. Nothing you can do about it but complain, which is unproductive.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 09-10-2015 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Cross pollinated GMO in USA

  8. #8
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    57,534

    Default

    You can do that without grafting. If you pinch the suckers from between the limbs and plant it the little knobbies on the stem will put out roots. Since it's a sucker off the parent plant it's a direct clone, if you will. You can do this with each new plant and, in theory, have an unending tomato plant. Simply keep pinching the suckers from new plants and plant the suckers. At some point you are going to get mutations but you should be able to keep the same plant via "children" for quite a while.

    You can probably keep them outdoors in Texas but further north you'd have to plant them in pots for the winter and either greenhouse them or bring them indoors.

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas, but travel widely
    Posts
    1,079

    Default

    That is a good idea Rick. Most gardeners call that "cuttings" regardless of if you use a blade or not. There are many youtube and other detailed instructions on how to do it but it is fairly easy, some diseases to avoid, too much or too little water type of potting soil etc, best to be bacteria and pathogen free soil etc. Tomato plants are easier to propagate from "cuttings" than almost any other nightshade vegetable, they "root out" very easily. No need for rooting hormone in my experience but a little bone meal may help, test your garden soil for available phosphorus first.

    http://www.vegetablegardener.com/ite...-from-cuttings

    Some very expensive plants are propagated from tiny 1x2 mm cuttings of just a leaf in a petri dish like brand new cultivars of very rare orchids. One retired extension agent I know does this, she is one of a very few.

    http://www.apsnet.org/EDCENTER/K-12/...Activity5.aspx

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store...inconvenience.

    The grafting onto a different root stock (more common with roses) is just to improve the plants resistance to diseased that come from the soil over an extended length of time. In a colder climate this could happen in a greenhouse if you grew them in soil with heating cables in the soil and heaters above as well perhaps if that was necessary. Then remove the G.H. panels during the summer. That is too much effort for me today but perhaps I will get around to it in the future.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 09-11-2015 at 08:24 AM. Reason: many methods to clone plants

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas, but travel widely
    Posts
    1,079

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
    We planted some tomato plants, from a nursery, last year and they grew fine and produce good tomatos. We left some of the potatos on the vine and they dropped and rotted away. This year some plants came up from seeds and they appeared fine. We picked them when they turned red and took them in the house. In a couple of days they started to rot.
    "14. Q. What causes the black spots on the bottom of my tomatoes?

    A. Blossom end rot, caused by improper (fluctuating from too dry to too moist) moisture. Maintain uniform soil moisture as the fruit nears maturity. Remove affected fruit."


    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/a...es/tomato.html

    Not sure if you trust an Aggie but some of them are actually fairly smart. Did all the comments above answer your original question?

  11. #11

    Default

    Rot when in the house can come from a number of things that aren't BER.
    All it takes is a bruise of the fruit to start the process.
    Sometimes other mold spores from the garden soil or insect damage (fruit flies) will cause it too.
    Washing them and leaving a tiny puddle of water under it where it contacts the surface it's sitting on will do it too.
    If it is warm and muggy, your tomato may only last a couple days before it starts becoming one with the countertop.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  12. #12

    Default

    There is absolutely nothing to worry about with GMO anything. There is no common trait, no mutant X gene, that all GMO crops have. If you took a GMO hybrid and a conventionally bred hybrid to the best lab in the world, and denied then the ability to reference check known GMOs, but allowed them any test under the sun to figure out which was which, they couldn't do it. Because of the rapid decline in cost of genome sequencing, and the rapid increase in the powers of computers, computer aided traditional breeding can now by done to reverse engineer GMO crops. IE take a GMO crop, and rebuild it using only traditional breeding, until it is genetically identical, only no longer legally GMO. As such, GMO is a distinction without a difference. There are no valid complaints against GMOs, they reduce the need for fertilizer, land dedicated to farming, and water used for farming, all of which is good for the environment. There are valid complaint against the system for plant patents, there are valid complaints against certain herbicide or pesticides often used in conjuction with GMOs, but there are no valid complaints against the science of genetic engineering plants themselves. Most modern medicine, by the way, is built on a foundation of genetically engineered bacterias and yeasts. This technology is actually vital for the survival of our species. Regularly, because so much of our agriculture is a monoculture (another thing to validly complain about), we have production of this or that wiped out. The Irish Potato Famine, the extinction of Big Mike bananas, and almost papayas. We saved the papayas, yay science. This is likely to continue to happen, but now we have the knowledge to fix it when it does. If you want to know more, this is a decent presentation:

    https://www.ted.com/talks/pamela_ron...od?language=en

    This will make you want to scream at the antiGMO propagandists for the horrors they've created across the glove:

    http://www.amazon.com/Starved-Scienc...5311444&sr=8-1 - this book, by the way, has two forewords, written by two Nobel peace prize winners. Jimmy Carter (definitely not a corporate shill) and Norman Borlaug (one of the greatest men ever to live, saved 1 billion lives).

    Most GMO research is focused on staples, corn (field), wheat, soy, and rice. You don't really see it in garden crops, not that you should be alarmed if you did.

    As others have explained the reason your volunteers didn't perform well was because your tomatoes were hybrids and the spawn of hybrids are rarely good. Plant breeders will breed tens of thousands of plants looking for one new good introduction, so odds are low you'll get one.

  13. #13
    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Northeastern NC
    Posts
    8,530

    Default

    Around here, I know a lot of people who had 'mater problems, this year. About 2/3 of mine would either split, rot or both, before they got ripe. I ended up picking some before they were ripe and tried to use them in the small window between almost ripe and split and rotting. Most of my friends had the same problems with theirs.

    We had a lot of rain, so I thought that was the problem, but when the weather settled down, the problem continued.

    Looks like canned 'maters for a while. Hahaha.
    Writer of wrongs.
    Honey, just cuz I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid. (Jake- Sweet Home Alabama)
    "Stop Global Whining"

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •