Tomatoes won't turn red???

Asked September 21, 2018, 2:32 PM EDT

We have planted tomatoes for the last 6 years in a small south facing garden. It gets sunlight for about 1/2 the day (some shade trees block early morning and late afternoon). The soil is black dirt with peat moss rototilled in every other year, it seems loose easy to break up. The plants do very well in big steel cages 5' high, leaves and branches galore. We get many tomatoes but few turn red? Most will eventually turn if we pick them but they can rot prior to finishing? We pick off all new flowers starting in August and try to trim back some of the vines, but this doesn't seem to help? Lots of area residents seem to have the same issue?

Cass County North Dakota horticulture tomatoes

1 Response

There maybe a few things going with the plants. Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of good sunlight to grow well. Are they getting that much?

Second, it takes tomatoes 50 days or more fully grow and ripen, depending on the variety. Perhaps the tomatoes do not have enough time to mature in our short growing season. Do you remember what types you bought and their "days to maturity"? When did you see small tomatoes on the plant?

We have also had quite a range of temperatures this summer and that can delay the mechanisms that ripen the tomatoes. To cold and to hot slow ripening. Tomatoes prefer night time temps above 55 and below 75 degrees and daytime temperatures below 90.

Please contact me if you have further questions.