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First tomatoes lacking in taste... Will the next ones be better?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by benjimon, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. benjimon

    benjimon Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    Over the past two weeks some of our tomatoes have ripened. They look great and the plants look great too. However, many of them taste very bland and watery. Once picked, they also tend to split.

    I gather that the cause of this is either that I over-watered them during the drought (I gave them a fair bit of water most days) or that they haven't appreciated the heavy rainfall of the past few weeks. They are planted outside in the ground, in relatively composted soil. I gave them a bit of universal plant feed whilst they've been growing.

    There are many small fruits still developing and flowers that have yet to pollinate. So my question is, is the rest of the crop doomed to be tasteless, or is there anything I can do to help the flavour develop?

    Ben
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Welcome on board Ben.

    That is a shame after all your hard work so far. It sounds like you are doing the right things to get a good tasty crop. Splitting may be due to watering but is more likely the variety. Also the variety is the most important factor in terms of taste, so what are you growing?

    Finally you need to be feeding with a high potash feed, something like Tomorite (expensive) or the cheaper Wilko's equivalent. This won't affect the taste but will boost the flower and fruit production.

    Are they getting a good amount of sun each day or in the shade?
     
  3. benjimon

    benjimon Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi John, thanks for the quick reply and friendly welcome!

    We have three different varieties. They're growing in a communal garden and unfortunately I only know the name of one variety, which is Gardeners Delight. I actually compared one of the GD tomatoes with one of the other varieties and the GD has significantly better taste, though still not as sweet and tangy as I would have liked. Most of the ripened fruits we've had so far are from one of the other varieties, so hopefully the GD fruits will come out a bit better.

    The area around them is pretty clear so they should be getting plenty of sun. I may, however, have planted them a bit too close together.

    Is it still worth feeding this late in the season?
     
  4. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Hiya benjimon....agree with advice already given but I have found less watering actually improves the taste. :)
    My tomatoes are all formed, green to ripe and have been eating them now for 3 or 4 weeks. They are in the ground but in a gh. They are all GD simply because they are relished here above all others. My tomatoes will all be ripe and gone by first week or so of September. Much of the foliage has been removed and I no longer feed them.
    If you feel your plants are too close together, removing lowest leaves, all yellowing foliage should always be removed, will help create good air circulation and expose fruit to the sun and light. This summer should have provided plenty of heat to ripen tomatoes outside.
    I have to say there is currently discussion about GD tomatoes that their taste is more bland than in previous years. Personally, I have not noticed this and think they are as delicious as ever:)
     
  5. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Just to add to Verdun's post about Gardener's Delight there is a whole thread dedicated to the issue of GD taste :
    Gardener's Delight Tomato Seed Germination and Growing Thread
    There are 130 posts! So not expecting you to read all that! In summary GD has degenerated over recent years and it is pot luck what you will end up. A few of us are growing plants from old seed packets and they are great. I bought two fresh packets from two separate companies this year, one is excellent the other is watery and bland.

    So it seems you have been unlucky with your GD.

    As for the others you may have been equally unlucky in variety selection. Many people grow Money Maker simply because it is the most popular sold in Garden centres. Sadly it is bland and watery too.

    I love tomatoes fresh in a salad, so my bland varieties get added to sauces and fry ups, they certainly improve in flavour once cooked so all is not lost for you.

    I hope you stay with us and maybe go for a tastier variety next year. Look out for our tomato taste test thread which has run for the last few years. This is last year's:
    Tomato Taste Test 2017
     
  6. ricky101

    ricky101 Super Gardener

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    Hi,

    Rather than pull the fruit off the stem, cut the stalk so there is still some left on them, I find that helps reduce splitting.

    001058.jpg
     
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    • Cassie

      Cassie Gardener

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      Interesting Ricky, I will try that this year.

      There is a lot of variation in taste between varieties so as others have said you may have picked a dud this year. Never fear there is always next year! Have a look at others reviews and try a few different ones next time. I have been growing one plant each of eight or ten different varieties, with a mix of sizes and colours, trying different types and only repeating the good ones. For larger tomatoes I like mortgage lifter and Cherokee purple. Lots of tasty cherry toms around too.
       
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      • Marley Farley

        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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        Now I don’t know if this is true, but an old boy in the village who grew beautiful sweet tomatoes, whatever the variety, they were always sweet.. So one day I asked him why his tomatoes were always sweet and he said add a teaspoon of golden syrup to the watering can with feed or water.. So have tried it myself and have noticed a huge difference.. I start adding it when the green fruits are nearly full size and then on till the end.. You may or may not believe this but I think the proof is in the eating myself.. ;):SUNsmile:
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener

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          I use Molasses as it's a lot cheaper, bought from an animal feed store. No doubt it does make them sweeter.

          Also I spray with a 1/2 tablet Aspirin added to my spray gun at the start of the season. It gives the plants some blight resistance and improves the taste marginally.
           
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          • Marley Farley

            Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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            Didn’t know that one thanks @JWK

            I will try molasses when the syrup runs out which is soon.. Thanks John..
             
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            • JWK

              JWK Gardener

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              It was Kristen who gave me those tips Marley, taken from James Wong:
              Tomatoes - James Wong | Official Site
               
            • Marley Farley

              Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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              Oh Kristen had lots of good ideas, I hope he is doing well in that garden of his... I have read a lot of James Wong and used some of his recipes but not looked at Tomatoes with him..
               
            • Verdun

              Verdun Passionate gardener

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              Ha ha Marley....
              Reminds me of an old boy years ago who grew the best tomatoes. As a keen novice
              I asked him for his tips. He said he added salt and vinegar and I believed him. He saw me coming :love30:

              However, always willing to try things so the syrup will be tried. Prob attract aphids and ants though?? :)

              I spray my tomatoes a couple of times with skimmed milk in spring, epsom salts and use seaweed spray. A regime that seems to work here.

              A p.s. about JWK's post that I found very thought provoking..... I have noticed one of my GD plants produces less sweet than the others????
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                Careful @Verdun you don't want to catch what I have, I've got a BRIX tester (sugar levels), clip board and excel spreadsheet and do my inspections on the dot at 7:00am - it's called Tomato OCD for which there is no cure :)
                 
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                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener

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                  I've only been doing this 2 years and haven't noticed it attracting insects. I started to worry when I got rats in my veg patch so stopped using molasses about a month ago, I wondered if the sweet smell was attracting them.
                   
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