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Why Do Greenhouse Tomatoes Taste Bad

When you decide to grow tomatoes in your garden, you expect a delicious, better than store-bought, perfectly balanced summertime taste. But what happens when your garden-grown tomatoes do not taste as good as they should? Is there anything I can do to help my tomatoes taste better? You may be questioning, why do my greenhouse tomatoes taste bad? 

Your greenhouse tomatoes could be tasting bad for a variety of reasons. Most of these reasons have to do with the environment the tomatoes are grown in. Soil, water, sun, and even where the tomato plants are grown all play a part in how the tomato will taste.

This does not just apply to greenhouse-grown tomatoes either; any garden-grown tomatoes can be affected by external conditions. Read on to learn why your homegrown tomatoes taste bad and what you can do to make your homegrown tomatoes taste better. 

Why Do My Homegrown Tomatoes Taste Bad

Nothing is more disappointing than biting into your garden’s first red, ripe tomato to discover you did not grow a delicious, slightly sweet, slightly pungent tomato crop but grew a flavorless and watery tomato instead. Your tomatoes look right in color, size, and shape and show no signs of insects or disease.

So why do your tomatoes taste so bad? There are numerous reasons why your homegrown tomatoes may not taste as good as you had hoped. Luckily, most are simple fixes, and you may be able to salvage the rest of your tomato season. 

  • Overwatering your tomato plants, especially when the fruit has begun to develop, can lead to your tomatoes growing too fast, filling themselves up on the water, and diluting the tomato flavor you are hoping for. Tomato plants grown in-ground like to be watered twice a week with a good watering. Potted tomato plants prefer daily or every other day waterings. Avoid flooding your tomato plants as this will lead to excess standing water, which will either be absorbed by your tomato plant or attract mosquitoes and other insects that can be problematic.
  • When tomato plants do not get enough sunlight, it reflects heavily in their taste. Tomato plants are sun-loving and need at least 6 hours of sunlight. The UV radiation from the sun gives tomatoes their sweet flavor, which means when your tomato plants aren’t getting enough sunshine, they may become flavorless or bitter. If your flavorless tomato plants are being grown in a spot that does not get 6-9 hours of sunlight a day, grow next year’s tomatoes in a sunnier spot. 
  • Bad soil is another contributor to poor-tasting garden tomatoes. When tomato plants are grown in soil that lacks nutrients, they cannot produce a flavorful crop. Be sure that you grow your tomato plant in fresh garden soil. Most gardeners recommend getting a bag of soil geared toward vegetable use which you can pick up at your local garden center. 
  • When your tomato plants do not get enough fertilizer, they can taste flavorless. Just as you want to start the growing season with appropriate, nutrient-rich soil, you want to continue to ensure that your tomato plant is growing in healthy soil. Applying an appropriate fertilizer every two weeks once your tomato plant is established will help ensure that it gets all the nutrients it needs to grow large, flavorful tomatoes. 

Why Do My Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes Taste Bad

Even if you followed all the guidelines by growing your tomato plants in 6-9 hours of sunlight, properly watering them, and ensuring they were grown in healthy and nutrient-rich soil, your greenhouse-grown tomatoes might still taste bad.

This is because most greenhouses do not allow UV radiation to filter through. UV radiation is important in tomato plants as UV radiation gives tomatoes their sweet taste. While most greenhouse tomatoes will grow and taste just as tomatoes grown outside, some may not.

To help control the environment in which your greenhouse tomato plant is grown in, try growing greenhouse tomato plants in containers, this will allow you to control the soil, water, and fertilizer your tomato plant will receive.

It will also allow you to easily move your tomato plant outside of the greenhouse for a few hours a day to let it sunbathe in the UV radiation. Greenhouse-grown tomatoes will still most likely taste better than store-bought, even if they taste slightly less flavorful than other garden-grown tomatoes. 

What Is The Best Way To Grow Tomatoes

The best way to grow tomatoes depends entirely on you and your garden. You will want to ensure that your tomato plants get enough sunlight, 6-9 hours daily. So growing your tomato plants in a space that allows direct sunlight is essential.

Some gardeners prefer to grow their tomatoes in pots, either indoors or in a greenhouse. Some even grow tomato plants in pots but still place the pots in their garden. Growing tomato plants in pots allows you to control the environment more than in-ground tomatoes.

Growing tomato plants in pots also allows you to keep your tomato plants elevated. This can help protect your tomato plants from insects, worms, mice, and other pests. After deciding if you want to grow your tomato plants in pots or in-ground, water accordingly. Potted tomato plants need to be watered daily, while in-ground tomato plants only twice a week.

Be sure not to overwater as this can cause watery and flavorless tomatoes. In addition to sunlight and water, your tomato plants will get nutrients from the soil. Plant your tomato plant in fresh soil and fertilize it every two weeks.

You can find an appropriate tomato plant fertilizer at any local garden center or even big box stores. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for proper mixing and execution, as over-fertilizing your tomato plant can cause it to go into shock and even die.

Tomato plants do best when supported with cages or stakes as the tomatoes become quite heavy for the plants’ thin vines. If you follow these simple guidelines, you should be setting your tomato plants up for a successful and fruitful tomato season. 

Final Thoughts

Tomato plants, like all plants, can only produce to the best of their environments. Ensuring that your tomatoes get the proper nutrients is vital for tasty tomatoes. Overwatering can lead to watery, flavorless tomatoes, making for a disappointing yield.

Tomatoes that do not get enough sunlight or UV radiation may not taste as sweet as the tomato plants that do. Making sure to provide healthy fresh soil and nutrient-rich fertilizer is vital for tomato plants to have proper nutrients throughout the entire growing season. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll have a delicious tomato yield from your home garden that will be the envy of all your friends.