We planted tomatoes in pots on the deck. The plants are very full and there are tons of green tomatoes. We have had a lot of rain this season and the four ripe tomatoes so far have been rotten through. Do you think it’s because of the rain or what else do you suggest?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello: It sounds like the actual plants are thriving but the problem is with the fruit itself. It is difficult to say what is going on with your tomatoes not being able to see them. Does the foliage have any discoloration? If so, late blight could be a possibility. It appears during periods of wet, cool weather. This disease affects the foliage, and if conditions persist a secondary rot can destroy the actual fruit. Blossom end rot is another possiblity, which is a calcium deficiency usually caused from uneven moisture levels. There are a number of rots and wilts that can affect tomatoes. For a positive identification, you should take a sample to your Cooperative Extension Service or to a local garden center with a knowledgeable staff. When growing tomatoes in containers, it is important to make sure they are planted in a loose, nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. The container must have drainage and the soil should be consistently moist but never sopping wet. A thin layer of mulch will help retain moisture. Avoid watering during the evening hours and avoid watering the foliage altogether. For now, remove all foliage that is not healthy, as well as any damaged fruit. This will prevent further spread of possible disease. Soil-borne fungus can splash up onto foliage/fruit during rainfall, so it is a good idea to strip the lower foliage of the plants to help reduce this possibility.