When Do Tomatoes Go Bad? 4 Signs to Watch Out For

When do tomatoes go bad? There could be several reasons why your tomato plants have gone bad. 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:

When Do Tomatoes Go Bad? 4 Signs to Watch Out For

Fruit Cracks

If you notice cracks from the base of your ripe tomato fruit, this can be an indication of 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 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. This prevents your plants from being exposed to unpredictable weather, keeping them safe and healthy.

 

Sunscald

Sunscalds are caused by sun rays. 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. This results 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 greenhouse 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 greenhouse to a shaded location.

Sunscald happens on plants that have been pruned vigorously, displaying the tomato fruits under the heat of the sun. Be sure to leave enough branches and foliage to shade them from the sun.

 

Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is tricky because at first, your tomato plants look perfectly fine 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 begins to wilt. Make sure not to water them, otherwise, the problem will get worse and your plant will be dead 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 the transport of 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.

 

Blossom Drop

As the name suggests, flowers will bloom on your tomato plants but they will fall off before they even develop into a fruit. Blossom drops are caused by fluctuations in temperature. For your tomatoes to grow healthily, 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, the best thing you can do is to ensure that your plants are healthy by using fertilizer and drawing pollinators.

 

Why Should You Use a Mini Greenhouse?

Planting inside a mini greenhouse 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 greenhouse kit:

 

A mini greenhouse 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 greenhouse 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 greenhouse to start plant growth early

With a small greenhouse kit, you can start planting early – even before the cold season begins in your area. Once the weather gets better, you can transplant your healthy tomato plants into your garden. In this way, you’ll be able to harvest your crops earlier than intended.

 

A greenhouse kit 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 to tomatoes go bad? Based on the most common problems tomato plants experience, temperatures, weather, and the overall growing climate contribute to the development of certain diseases. To grow delicious and plentiful crops, make sure to monitor the state of your tomato plants.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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