August 25, 2016 - 4:30 PM
PENTICTON - It would seem the tomato crop in gardens throughout the Okanagan this season is not great.
The nursery manager at Penticton GardenWorks has noticed. Scott Austin says a lot of tomatoes were undersized this year.
“We really noticed this spring that every plant that flowered had tons of flowers,” Austin says. “Even in the wild, there were lots of flowers.”
Austin says last year’s conditions and the early moisture experienced through most of the Okanagan this spring created a perfect set of circumstances for plants to produce flowers.
“It’s about plant physiology. Plants produce more flowers based on previous growing seasons, not because it’s a sign of a cold winter coming,” he says.
Austin says backyard gardeners may have gotten too comfortable with the last two summers of hot, consistent weather. This year’s roller coaster of inconsistent weather through July wasn’t the most ideal weather for tomatoes.
The poorer weather combined with larger than normal amount of flowers may have acted in tandem to reduce the size of the fruit this year.
Austin notes for the most part, commercial growers who routinely thin are producing normal sized fruits and vegetables this year.
He says the hotter weather in the past couple of weeks won’t make up for poorer weather earlier in the growing season for other heat loving plants such as eggplant and peppers.
“Every year is different. I think we’ve just gotten spoiled, compared to the last two seasons.”
To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016