Tough tomato skins

Asked September 16, 2020, 6:43 PM EDT

Why do some of my home-grown tomatoes have tough skins? Also, we had a Lemon Boy plant in one planter that grew into a monster, with huge fruits. In a different location in the same yard, we had Early Girl, Beefsteak and some heirloom variety that were all slow-growing with small fruits. The area with the small fruits was subjected to a lot of wind.... Thanks.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Tomatoes are very environmentally sensitive. Excess stress due to drought, heat and even this smoke will affect their growth. Many gardeners, myself included, have remarked on the toughness of the skins on the tomatoes this year. I presume the poorly growing ones are in the ground. Yes, wind can be a big stressor. Many of our varieties have been developed for cool night summers and are not at all happy. In general, tomatoes are not fond of wind either. It has been a most challenging summer and the smoke and ash are causing many growth problems as well.