garden5
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Tops of tomatoes not ripening?

OK, my stupice tomatoes are ripening, but the tops are staying yellow and, on one or two, green.

Myother toms aren't doing this.

Is anyone else having this trouble with stupice or another variety?
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The Helpful Gardener
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G5, I too have been seeing some of this; tomatoes ripening except for a bit around the stem, actually including into the fruit, with some hard green in a ways. I have been cutting it out but it is annoying when trying to get a good slice...

HG
Scott Reil

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rainbowgardener
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It's called green shoulders. Here's something I recently posted about that (emphasis added):

"When the stem end of a tomato remains green or yellowish, it is called green shoulders. The green area is also noticably harder than the ripened fruit. This can occur when temperatures remain high for a prolonged period or when the fruit receives too much direct sun exposure. The chlorophyll in the fruit that would normally break down as the fruit ripens, doesn't or does so too slowly.

This problem is more prevalent in heirloom varieties, since many hybrid tomatoes have been bred not to do this. If you find this happening to your tomatoes, make sure the fruits have good foliage cover. If the problem persists, try picking the tomatoes while they are still green and allowing them to ripen away from the sun."
https://gardening.about.com/od/vegetablepatch/f/GreenShoulders.htm

I have posted before that sometimes tomatoes have trouble ripening when it is really hot because the temps break down lycopenes and other constituents in the tomatoes that are responsible for ripening. Apparently this is one way that can look.

G5 you are here in OH with me, so I assume you've had a similar run of over 90 degrees most of July.... If it seems like if the temps are going to continue, some shade cloth might help, to cut down direct afternoon sun exposure. Also you could mist the shade cloth and provide some evaporative cooling.

On the assumption that these temps are likely to become our new normal, for future years you might look into growing some of the tomatoes that are bred for more heat tolerance. They tend to have names like Sunmaster, Solar Set, HeatWave, etc. Maybe some of our Florida gardeners will share what varieties work for them
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That's it... :evil:

Global Warming is ruining my tomatoes :x

:lol:

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Scott Reil

garden5
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Thanks for the info, guys. I was going to leave these toms on the plants in hopes that the tops will eventually ripen, but I felt one today that has a yellow top and it felt soft in a spot, like it's going into the rotting stage :shock:. You didn't say, but I think that by the time tomatoes ripen and the shoulders are still "green", the tops aren't going to ripen anymore and the toms should just be picked.

That's interesting you mentioned choosing a heat-tolerant heirloom, RG, as my stupice are indeed heirlooms and they have been touted as being cool-tolerant. They were the first to set-fruit and ripen this year, as well.

Pretty interesting stuff.
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G5, I have had some luck in bringing them indoors to ripen. It does seem to help even things out...

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Scott Reil

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The Helpful Gardener wrote:G5, I have had some luck in bringing them indoors to ripen. It does seem to help even things out...

HG
Thanks, I'll give that a try. Do you bring them in when they are completely green, or when the lower part turns redish/pink?
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rainbowgardener
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They need to be at least blushed or they won't ripen up very well.
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Yes I am having the same thing with quite a bit of my tomatoes. I believe RBG's previous response (to green shoulders) was to one of my threads or at least a thread I was in. I am down with the heat + heirlooms being the problematic ones.

Almost all of my black tomatoes are doing this. I have just been cutting off the green and eating away. They are still good, though you loose a bit of tomato. :x

I have been watering more lately and just put down another couple yards of compost. Hoping for cooler weather, or at the very least a fresh start next year. :cry:

Tom's are still coming in for me. In fact I just went through a week long drought of tom's but they seem to be coming back in force again. So put that on your plate heirloom haters. :P Though of course next week is supposed to be middle 90's to 100+ :shock: I just can't frigging wait. :wink:

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I agree with RBG, but you can do wonders putting them in a bag with a banana (colorwise; doesn't help much with sugar conversion, etc,).

HG
Scott Reil

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It's been such a strange summer here in Vermont with so many hot days. I have 50 tomato plants (45 in the garden and 5 in containers) that have grown into enormous giants. Even some of my yearly routine varieties have astounded me. They are absolutely covered with tomatoes and I couldn't figure out why they were about three weeks later in the ripening process when compared with previous years. The high heat didn't seem to affect pollination to any significant degree and I would have thought it would also have enhanced ripening. So, it's been difficult trying to figure out what caused the long delay. However, perhaps you are on to something and I very much appreciate hearing about how that high heat might actually have inhibited ripening by interfering with lycopene biosynthesis.
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Yeah VK, Brandywines have FINALLY started ripening here as the evenings have slipped into the sixties, and the days are eighties now...

Even the Early Girls are late... :roll:

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Scott Reil

msgenie516
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Hi,

I have found it to work very well to pick the tomatoes when they are blushing to get them out of the hot sun as soon as possible. They have ripened up nicely in the house and green shoulders are nearly nonexistant.

For me, everything is ripening or blossoming very early this year. It has been a peculiar growing season, to say the least. I did lose a lot of tomato blossoms because of a very bad heat spell we had, so I don't expect to get as many tomatoes as I originally thought I would.

Good luck! :D Genie

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