Tomatoes Ripening on only One Side

Asked August 26, 2015, 5:21 AM EDT

I have six indeterminate tomato plants (beefsteak, early girl, better boy, and Cherokee purple) in a raised bed (6 feet by 8 feet by 2 feet high) in a sunny location. The beds have very good quality soil with lots of compost. The tomato plants have been producing nice fruit since around the Fourth of July. On a couple of occasions I have noticed tomatoes that ripened completely- even beautifully- on one side, while remaining green on one part or even on the entire other half of the tomato. (See attached photo of 2 tomatoes.) I always believed that direct exposure to sunlight was actually not really a factor in ripening (e.g., I thought too much heat inhibited lycopene formation and some of my reddest tomatoes have grown under a thick shaded canopy of vines). Am I wrong? Can you tell me what would cause a tomato to half-ripen? Thanks!

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

We have a good write-up about just this problem in our Grow It Eat It section, under Vegetables> Problems> Cultural and Environmental (scroll down to Uneven Ripening): http://extension.umd.edu/growit/cultural-environmental

ECN