|Posted by Mimi's Garden, Inc. on July 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM|
The extreme weather is taking it's toll, and the first real signs of damage are showing. Typically we don't see ripened tomatoes in the garden until August, unless they are cherry tomatoes. Surprisingly the beefsteak, although the fruits are small, are starting to turn red and it's only the secong week in July.
The problem is that the extreme heat, and lack of rain (been a month since our last rainfall) are creating less then ideal growing conditions. I have had to resort to using the sprinklers on a daily basis in the vegetable garden. The beds are bone dry by the afternoon, and the heat causes the foliage to wilt. Let's just say it has been challenging.
An unfortunate side effect of the extreme fluctuations in soil moisture and the extended dry weather has created a condition called "blossom end rot" on all of the early fruits. (This condition can also be caused by excessive moisture) It occurs when there is a lack of calcium to the developing fruit caused by slowed plant growth or damaged roots. This condition tends to be worse in the earliest developing fruits, so don't give up! This does not necessarily mean the entire growing season is scrapped.
The rot may effect up to half of the fruit, but the part that is uneffective is still edible. Best way to find out is to cut into it and see what's inside! Mine, unfortunately, was not salvageable... and since most of the other fruits are effected it may be a while until I get to sink my teeth into a fresh, juicy, homegrown tomato
Tomorrow I will lay down a fresh layer of straw mulch and set up a soaker to concentrate my watering efforts directly on the roots. Hopefully this will help to retain the moisture in the soil, and I won't lose too many more fruits!
Categories: Gardening Tips