sour tasting tomatoes

Asked August 14, 2015, 8:21 AM EDT

we had our garden soil tested in the fall of 2014..found that the phosphorus & calcium levels were very high. ground cover planted for the winter. tomatoes this year were sour. any suggestions? magnesium was low

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

While off-tasting vegetables can be the result of a nutrient imbalance, excessive phosphorus and calcium should not be causal factors.
We assume you planted a commonly used cover crop as your over-winter 'ground cover'. Oats, clover, or rye should not cause a flavor variation.
Different varieties of tomatoes have different tastes and some are more acidic than others which could account for the 'sour' taste you experienced.
There are several other causal factors that can affect the taste of vegetables, and they can be either environmental (weather, sunlight, soil, etc) to cultural (nutrients, irrigation, etc.).
Obviously, it's difficult for us to give you an exact cause for the 'sour' taste of your tomatoes, but we encourage you to keep growing them. Perhaps you could try some different varieties next year.
LS