Tomatoes are one of the most popular homegrown fruits and vegetables.
There are hundreds of varieties to explore and enjoy.
We can all agree that there is nothing better than biting into a fresh, juicy tomato with the perfect taste and texture.
Unfortunately, even the hardiest of tomato plants may produce fruit that isn’t ideal.
In some cases, you may bite into your tomato only to discover that it tastes floury or mealy.
If you’ve encountered this before, you’ll know that eating mealy tomatoes is not a pleasant experience.
Read on to find out what causes some tomatoes to become mealy, plus steps you can take to get your tomatoes looking ripe, healthy, and ready to eat.
Tomato enthusiasts often use the word ‘floury‘ or ‘mealy‘ to describe a tomato’s texture.
But what exactly is a floury or mealy tomato?
To sum it up, a mealy tomato will have a texture quite similar to cornstarch mixed with water – It’s gritty, and generally not very pleasant to bite into.
How does this happen? Well, tomatoes tend to become floury when they are still growing on the vine.
Are any of your homegrown tomatoes are tasting mealy? If you answered yes, there are a few fixes you can try right now.
Follow our lead to get your tomatoes back to that delicious sweetness you know and love!
Determining Why Tomatoes Are Floury Or Mealy
1. Is The Soil Right For Growing Tomatoes?
If the soil conditions are not right, your tomatoes are likely to be floury.
The soil should be loose, well-aerated, and of course, have ample mulch in it.
Tomatoes thrive in acidic soil. If the soil is not acidic enough, you will need to boost its acidity.
The good news is that there are plenty of low-cost soil test kits available from garden centers.
Simply loosen the soil, add good fertilizers, and be sure to test the soil.
It’s relatively simple to amend soil conditions.
This is a quick and easy first step that will help immensely if you are having issues with the fruit your tomato plant is producing.
2. Are You Overwatering Your Tomato Plants?
It can be all too easy to overwater your tomatoes.
Well-intentioned gardeners could try to keep the plants hydrated during the hottest parts of the year but could inadvertently overwater the plants.
Follow these simple steps to determine if you are overwatering your tomato plants:
First, feel the soil around the base of the plants.
It should be moist to the touch, but not muddy.
Ask yourself: Are the leaves of the tomato plant turning yellow at the base?
If so, consider a simple irrigation system that directs water to the bottom of the plants at a slower drip rate.
Next, water less! This is a simple, yet effective method that any gardener can be mindful of when caring for your tomato plants.
It’s certainly soothing to stand outside and water your plants in the evening, but there is such a thing as too much attention to your tomatoes.
3. Are You Underwatering Your Tomatoes?
There’s a fine line between underwatering, overwatering, and achieving the perfect level of moisture for your plants.
It’s essential to keep the level of moisture steady for the entire lifecycle of the plants.
Just as it’s easy to overwater, it’s easy to underwater. This is an easy fix you’ll be able to implement simply by watering more frequently.
4. Nitrogen Levels In The Soil
Tomatoes need nitrogen to thrive.
Adding nitrogen to your plants during the growth stage can ensure healthy stalks.
But it may also result in poor production of fruit. Adding nitrogen during the flowering and fruit-growing phase can ensure healthy tomato fruit.
Be proactive about nitrogen in the soil to ensure healthy, tasty tomatoes.
There are plenty of natural sources of nitrogen, including manure and blood meal.
Nitrogen fertilizer can be purchased in large quantities from garden centers – this is an easy fix that will produce significant results.
5. Is It Too Hot?
Tomatoes are typically grown during the summer months.
However, they are not ideal for the extreme summer heat.
Expect your tomatoes to struggle during the hotter summer months.
Extremely hot weather conditions could result in producing tasteless, floury fruit.
The solution? Try installing a shade cloth over the tomatoes.
This can help drop the temperature under the shade cloth and get your plants through the hotter months.
If you can get your tomato plants through the hotter summer months, they’ll go back to producing tasty and sweet tomatoes in no time.
Shade cloth is an affordable and easy fix that produces excellent results.
Are Floury Tomatoes Safe to Eat?
As a rule of thumb, when it comes to cooking, we are firm believers in ‘when in doubt, throw it out!’.
These tomatoes are entirely safe to eat! However, they won’t have the texture and taste that you are familiar with.
That being said, you should never eat tomatoes or any food you’re uncomfortable or unsure of.
Use your discretion and decide from there.
If you aren’t comfortable with throwing away your tomatoes, find ways to disguise the texture.
Use them to cook delicious meals such as soups, stews, and other recipes you can incorporate mealy tomatoes into.
This way, you won’t waste unnecessarily and you can still enjoy the benefits of the tomatoes.
What Is The Best Solution For Floury Tomatoes?
The best solution for floury tomato plants is to resolve the issue.
Start with an examination and test of the soil, and take it from there.
Take steps to monitor the amount of water you give your tomatoes, as overwatering them may be doing more harm than good.
As we’ve demonstrated, the issues that are typically behind the floury texture of your tomatoes are easy to fix!
Do you have any floury tomatoes you’ve been avoiding until now? You know what to do.
Implement our tips, and you’ll soon be rewarded with delicious, sweet, and juicy tomatoes.