En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - August 18, 2012

From: Spokane, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Edible Plants
Title: Problems with non-native tomatoes from Spokane WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 2 tomato plants in 1 whiskey barrel, they are in abundance with tomatoes. My problem is when the tomatoes start to ripen, half green & half light red within 1 day the tomatoes are really soft and scribble up like they turned rotten over night. What am I doing wrong?? one brand is Early Girl & I can't remember the other.

ANSWER:

Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates. Its scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum, which means it is in the nightshade family. You might be interested in this article from Science Daily on nightshade plants.

However, while the tomato is not one of the deadly members of this family, it also is not native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to  North America, but to the area in which that plant grows natively.

You can do a search on "tomato pests and diseases" and get a number of sites, with pictures and solutions, to answer your question.

Your best source of information, since this is a food grown to eat, is probably the Washington State University Extension Office for Spokane County. There is contact information on that website, and they are bound to know more about tomatoes and growing them in Washington than we do.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Plants not native to North America in Hawaii
February 18, 2009 - Do not know if you have any experience for Hawaii but here it goes. I live on Maui and have some coco palms, a line of 12, two of them right next to each other (15-20 ft). They are a decent shade of ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
April 18, 2009 - Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.
view the full question and answer

Difference between Convallaria majalis and Convallaria majuscula
May 17, 2012 - How do you tell the difference in the native convallaria from the European species?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Gloxinias
August 20, 2004 - How do I care for my newly acquired Gloxinias?
view the full question and answer

Leaf problems on non-native Pachira aquatica
January 31, 2009 - I have a Pachira Aquatica. I have had it for 6 months and it has been thriving and growing very tall with nice leaves. Lately some of the leaves have become mottled yellowish green and fallen off. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center