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Thread: Tomato plants have flowers, no tomatoes:what is my problem?

  1. #1
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    Tomato plants have flowers, no tomatoes:what is my problem?

    I have two heirloom tomato plants that are huge but aren't producing any tomatoes. The spot where I have them does not get sun all day. I've also been using Miracle Grow. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    The flowers will become the tomatoes. Ours are a little late this year, too. I wouldn't worry yet--the less sun they get, the slower their production will be, but you should get some!

  3. #3
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    Found this article, hope it's helpful...

    Generally, if tomatoes fail to bloom, the main two reasons are too low or too high night temperatures, and the tomato cultivar itself.

    Using a lot of nitrogen fertilizer(I think your Miracle Grow may be high in N) will cause the plant to produce a lot of foliage, but nitrogen does not have anything to do with the plant changing from the vegetative stage to the fruiting stage. It is the night temperature along with the variety (cultivar) of tomato that determines whether the plant will develop flowers or whether the blossoms will set fruit. If night temperatures are constantly below 55degrees F or above 75 degrees F, most tomato plants will not produce flowers, or will not set fruit. In our area which is zone 2, we have a short growing season (75 days without frost on average) with some very cool nights. I have grown many different tomato cultivars over the years and have had the same results as you are describing - a lot of plant, but no blossoms. Other tomato cultivars grew along side of those fruitless plants and produced many fruits. The same cultivar can vary in fruit production from year to year, depending on weather conditions.

    It could be possible that the night temperatures in your area have not been favorable for blossom set on that particular cultivar of tomato, or perhaps you are growing a very late season cultivar. One suggestion may be to try other cultivars in your garden. New ones are being developed that set blossom at lower and higher night temperatures.

    One other possibility could be a sulphur deficiency in your soil which results in delayed flowering of plants. Phosphorous also promotes flowering and fruit development and should be readily available for your plants. A soil test will determine if these nutrients are low or adequate in your soil.

    You may want to ask neighbours how their tomatoes are doing, and if they are flowering freely, ask them for the name(s) of their tomato cultivars (varieties).

    One final suggestion is to sprinkle one tablespoonful each of Epsom salt around a few of your plants and work it into the top inch of soil. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate heptahydrate) promotes heavy fruit production on my tomatoes.

    I hope this will answer your question.

    Brian
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  4. #4
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    We started our garden earlier but no tomatoes yet. Sometimes it takes longer. Check the instructions for miracle grow too or use the tomato miracle grow formulated for tomatoes.
    I think you will get your tomatoes sometimes they come in later.

  5. #5
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    I'm sure there are others who can help, but tomatoes need a lot of sun. That said, once the temperature gets into the 90s the plants do not set fruit, a problem we have in the south. Also the miracle grow is probably making the plants grow nice green leaves and not flowers - depending on how you are using it. I fertilze my plants about once a month. If you have lots of flowers and no fruits you have a problem of pollination. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everybody. It has been particularly cool and rainy in New England this summer.
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.My SIL down in NY on the Hudson River is having spectacular results but her plants are standard Burpee varieties and not the heirlooms I have. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

  7. #7
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    I know this doesn't have anything to do with producing plants, but I think due to the cool weather a lot of plants have been slow at "taking off." Only recently has my flower (petunias and other annuals) begun to look better than when I bought them a couple of months ago and I think that's directly attributed to the warmer weather we've finally been having.
    Springtime is my time of year!

  8. #8
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    Here, I would say it has been too hot. If you have very lush, big lpants and no fruit -- too much nitrogen. If it's too cool, could be a problem, but a lot of rain could wash away a lot of the pollen too. Hang in there, you'll get them soon. Squirrels have gotten all of ours so far this year. Not sure if we can remedy that without building a greenhouse.

  9. #9
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    If you have flowers, they will become tomatoes. We grew beautiful heirlooms last year (this year, we moved July 1, leaving tomatoes on the plant...ugh) We grew Cherokee Purples, Mortgage Lifters, Boxcar Willies, and Mountain Delights. All of the plants were slow to produce and did not produce as much as the neighbor's more traditional Better Boy hybrid types. But the flavor.... Ah, the flavor....

  10. #10
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    lsdesign,
    I'm having the same problem you are. It's even more troublesome since my non-heirloom tomatoes look great and have lots of (still green) tomatoes. I live in the Hudson Valley as well, and the weather seems to have been pretty decent. Oh well, I'll be patient and keep my fingers crossed.
    Alicia

  11. #11
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    Unhappy

    I FINALLY have one little green tomato on the yellow pear heirloom plant. I can't believe it. This plant and the purple cherokee are almost as tall as I am, 5'7"!!! Let's hope for many many more. I did put Epsom Salts at the base of both plants as per recommendation for magenesium. We shall see.

  12. #12
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    My coworker says that his tomatoes are very small so far this year. I think tomatoes are having a very tough season with the weather here in the Hudson Valley. Hang in there.
    Never mistake motion for action.
    -Ernest Hemingway

  13. #13

    Unhappy

    I have 4 pretty, green, big plants with lots of blooms and 2 slightly stunted plants with lots of blooms but NO tomatoes on either. We have already gone down as having the hottest June and July ever recorded in Shreveport, LA. Several days of 100 + degrees and more of the same ahead. Could the high temps be the problem ?

  14. #14
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    FWIW, this is a resurrection of a 6-year-old thread...
    Alicia

  15. #15
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    I sure hope she has tomatoes by now!

  16. #16
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    Actually, it is a timely thread even though it's so old. [I] might get some epsom salt for my tomatoes. My heirlooms only have a few tomatoes on them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vbak View Post
    Actually, it is a timely thread even though it's so old. [I] might get some epsom salt for my tomatoes. My heirlooms only have a few tomatoes on them.
    If you are feeding them then stop. Heirlooms may not put on as much fruit although I'm not having that trouble this year. I only planted heirlooms the last few years and I get enough to give away. Is there a chance that your flowers are getting knocked off?
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by donleyk View Post
    If you are feeding them then stop. Heirlooms may not put on as much fruit although I'm not having that trouble this year. I only planted heirlooms the last few years and I get enough to give away. Is there a chance that your flowers are getting knocked off?
    No, I'm not feeding them. They do have flowers , but maybe I'm too impatient?

  19. #19

    Thumbs up growing tomato

    Extreme temperatures, above 90 degrees or below 55 degrees, for extended periods will make blossoms drop off without setting fruit. Dry soil will also cause blossoms to dry up and fall off. Plants that are in the shade and receive less than six hours of sunlight per day will not set fruit. Finally, applying a fertilizer with too much nitrogen will encourage the growth of many leaves, but no fruit.

    There isn't too much you can do about the heat, except for shading plants during the hottest part of the day, which is labor-intensive. However, you can control the watering. Don't allow the soil to dry out. Mulch the tomato bed with organic matter: straw, mulch, compost, grass clippings (nothing contaminated with weed killer) or leaves.

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