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By Funguy

Berkshire, United Kingdom Gb

My tomatoes have a strange texture. They are soft and squidgy and the texture is horrible sort of mushy.

This is on a few tomato plants that have been outside in pots. Only a couple of tomatoes have ripened which i picked,ate and discovered the texture.

Can anyone please explain what or why this happened?



A good early start weather wise followed by cooler temperatures and in particular cold temperatures at night is causing a lot of problems with tomatoes. We will be giving up on ours soon I think. The fruit that does ripen is okay but the size of marbles.

20 Aug, 2011


Hi Moon Grower, i am shocked to hear that even you are suffering and actually considering giving up on the tom's....although it is a lot of work for very little if any return. As you mention, they are not ripening and very small. I thought it was the aspect of my garden and a tree that creates shade between 12-1.30pm.

Do you think that the unripened tomatoes which are on the same plant, will likely turn out the same?
I think i'll pull them down if so. Last year i had the same problem,but this year its slightly worse.

20 Aug, 2011


Don't waste them, Funguy, make some green tomato chutney with them. It's delicious!! Annie

20 Aug, 2011


Not if the tomatoes have the texture Funguy is describing Anne. This means they will just break down to mush in the chutney.

Funguy B & I will keep a watch on them for another week or so and then pull the plug. Never had such a poor year for tomatoes before. Ah well there is always another year...

20 Aug, 2011


Oh yes, I will do Annie...
I find the recipes on the internet can be hit and miss, and i've not made it before.
Would you be able to recommend me a recipe?

20 Aug, 2011


This is my foolproof recipe for Green Tomato Chutney:
3lb chopped green tomatoes; 2lb chopped apple; 2 chopped onions; 4oz sultanas; tspn each salt and ground ginger; half tspn each ground nutmeg and white pepper; pinch allspice; 1.1/2 pints vinegar and 12 oz sugar.
Put everything except sugar and a cupful of vinegar in saucepan and simmer gently for 1.1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until ingredients are soft and liquid almost gone, then add rest of vinegar and sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Boil fast, stirring, until thick. Pour into hot dry jars and seal. Enjoy! :o)

21 Aug, 2011


I don't think it can be put down to cold temperatures at night unless it is going below 50'f every night and during the day.
I've had a normal crop of cherry and regular tomatoes, with temperatures in my greenhouse fluctuating between 50'f and 100'f on a regular basis.
Perhaps it's a compost problem. Ever since we were forced into eco friendly compost I make up my own, as results were so bad with them, and haven't added any liquid tomatoe fertiliser this year and have been picking the cherries since mid July. The regular ones started picking last week, which is normal for me.
All in all, an excellent season.

21 Aug, 2011


We use our own home made compost for the tomatoes too. Low temperatures do cause a problem and the temperature here has regularly dropped below 10˚C (50˚F) at night, during the day it has been 25˚C plus. That and the lack of regular sunshine has simply stressed the plants. Conditions in Shropshire are rather different to those in Moray.

21 Aug, 2011


My conditions are not to dissimilar, the same amount of stress with wildly fluctuating temperatures, not as much sun as usual but the original question came from someone in tropical Berkshire who's growing conditions are more in line with mine.
Maybe the variety grown has something to do with it?
I've grown cherry tomato "Tropical", and regular tomato "Cedrico" that have done extremely well.
The variety sun cherry has produced the fruits but has split easily, so they certainly don't like the fluctuation.
And Shirley has produced the fruits, but has suffered from blosson end rot.
I've also experimented with growing them in bags and in pots, and have found the pots are far superior.
So in my case, variety and growing methods are the key.
Not temperatures.

21 Aug, 2011


We have 6 different varieties - can't remember all their names right now and none is doing well. The cherry toms are doing better than the regular ones but still very poor. Yes large pots and staking the toms. helps.

21 Aug, 2011


I think the rain has been the only thing tropical in Berkshire this summer :)

My question was about outside tomatoes not greenhouse tomatoes scrumpy, but i'm glad your greenhouse tom's have done well.

These same problems with taste and texture occurred with my outside tom's last year, that was on all 4 different var's grown.... last years greenhouse tom's didn't have the bad texture, although struggled to ripen and where small.

This year i've grown another 4 different var's outside and same texture problem with all. Yesterday i tried the only ripened greenhouse tomato and its texture was normal.

Both inside and outside tom's have grown in large pots with non-eco friendly medium(good stuff), same method's and care. Plants started mid to end of feb.

As you said Moongrower, i think it is the weather and the effects on plants that are grown outside.

I'm going to try the green chutney recipe though. See how it turns out. :)

22 Aug, 2011


I have grown only tumbler or hanging basket tomatoes this year and have 9 of them in pots along the top of a sunny wall. I have had a bumper crop of lovely sweet red tomatoes and more to come. it's the best year I've ever had for tomatoes but I have no idea why!

22 Aug, 2011


Your weather is much better than ours so as long as you keep them watered they should do well

22 Aug, 2011


Yes, I'm sure you are right, Moongrower, but several times in the last few years my tomatoes have been ruined by blight. That's why I decided to grow only a few cherry/tumbler types this year, to avoid the cost of compost ( I never have enough of my own!) for filling large containers and all the labour of watering for poor results. It's been easy to fill a few smaller pots and keep them watered. Maybe it's just a good year, or maybe these small tomatoes are less susceptible.

23 Aug, 2011

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