When do tomatoes go bad? There could be several reasons why your tomato plants have gone bad in the UK garden. Maybe you used the wrong pot size, you’ve underwatered or overwatered your plants, you planted them in the wrong type of soil, they received inadequate nutrition, or they contracted airborne diseases.
As a result, your tomato plants may not set fruit, the leaves may start to wilt, or your tomatoes turn out ugly and uneatable. These symptoms could be an underlying issue that can eventually kill your plants. With that said, here are four signs that your tomato plant has gone bad and what you can do about it:
If you notice cracks from the base of your ripe tomato fruit, this can indicate fruit cracks. When this happens, your tomato plants become susceptible to animals and insects that want to eat the fruit.
One of the main causes of fruit crack is the UK weather. If your tomatoes experience a long, dry spell, they become thirsty. When heavy rainfall comes, your plants will take up water fast, causing the fruit to enlarge and eventually crack.
Even though you can’t control the weather, you’ll be able to control the growing environment of your tomatoes by placing them inside a mini greenhouse. A polytunnel prevents your plants from being exposed to unpredictable weather, keeping them safe and healthy.
Sun rays cause sunscalds. The plants and fruits physically look healthy and normal, but as the fruit ripens, you’ll see yellow patches form on the skin of your tomatoes that’ll eventually turn to white scalds. Yellow patches and white scalds result in poor appearance and taste.
To protect your tomatoes from scalding, you can use tomato cages or a wire support system to support your plants while shading them. It also helps to place them in a mini polytunnel since you’ll be able to control the climate. If it’s too hot, you can shade your plants from the heat by moving your polytunnel to a shaded location.
Sunscald happens on plants that one has pruned vigorously, displaying the tomato fruits under the sun’s heat. Be sure to leave enough branches and foliage to shade them from the sun.
Fusarium wilt is tricky because your tomato plants look perfectly fine at first, but then they suddenly start to wilt. It starts affecting one side of the plant, and then after a day or two, you’ll notice that your whole plant will die within the day.
What causes fusarium wilt? A fungus called Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici targets the vascular system of your tomato plants. It affects the xylem tube – the one responsible for transporting nutrients and water from the roots to the leaves.
The best way to prevent fusarium wilt is to rotate your crops. Make sure that the tomatoes aren’t planted in the same garden bed consecutively.
As the name suggests, flowers will bloom on your tomato plants, but they will fall off before they even develop into fruit. Fluctuations in temperature cause blossom drops. For your tomatoes to thrive, the temperature needs to be within 55 to 75 degrees F to retain flowers that’ll turn into flavorful fruits. Other causes of blossom drops include too little or too much nitrogen, lack of pollination, insect damage, and lack of water.
Since you can’t control the weather, you can do the best thing to ensure that your plants are healthy by using fertiliser and drawing pollinators.
Why Should You Use a Mini Greenhouse?
Planting inside a mini polytunnel lowers the risk of catching the diseases mentioned above. With a greenhouse, you can control the indoor climate, temperature, and other factors that can harm your tomato plants. Other than that, here are some of the reasons why you should invest in a polytunnel kit:
A mini polytunnel protects your plants from pests
Aphids, cutworms, flea beetles, and hornworms are some of the insects that prey on tomato plants—keeping them inside a polytunnel lowers the risk of attracting those pesky critters. Your plants will continue to grow healthy and safe inside the enclosure.
You can use a small polytunnel to start plant growth early
With a small polytunnel kit, you can begin planting early – even before the cold season starts in your UK area. Once the weather gets better, you can transplant your healthy tomato plants into your British garden. In this way, you’ll be able to harvest your crops earlier than intended.
Apolytunnelkit keeps your plants safe from bad weather
Mini greenhouses are great for tender plants. It protects them from frost, high winds, storms, and excessive heat. You can place your tomato plants inside the enclosure until spring begins. You can then take them out or transplant them once the weather warms.
The Bottom Line: When Do Tomatoes Go Bad?
So, when do tomatoes go bad? Based on the most common problems tomato plants experience, temperatures, weather, and the overall growing climate in the UK contribute to developing certain diseases. To grow delicious and plentiful crops, make sure to monitor the state of your tomato plants.