Tomatoes are flowering but not setting much fruit : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My tomatoes are flowering but not setting much fruit. Does anybody have an idea why? Well actually some dont have to many flowers either. Thanks

-- P T (, June 08, 2001


Could be several things or a combination of things. Too much rain or too high humidity for the flowers to pollinate properly. Temps too high, usually 94 or 95+ during the day and 80+ at night, although most parts of the country have not had temps that high yet. Too much nitrogen in the soil or high nitrogen fertilizer will make lush foliage but not many flowers, as will not having enough potash/phosphorous in the soil. Too much shade will do the same. Not enough water will cause blossoms to fall off or not come on at all. Varieties that are not well adapted to your climate may not fruit well, either. (An example of this is that here in southeast TX the temps heat up so quickly that I cannot grow the really late varieties of tomatos, peppers, etc. that take more than about 90 days to mature--it gets too hot too early and they don't set blossoms well- -so most of my vegetable varieties are 70-80 days max).

About all I can suggest is the process of elimination. Go over the possibilities and see how many you can eliminate, and also talking to others in your area may help; see if they've had similar problems and what they did about them. You may try a product called, I believe, Bloom Set, that you spray on tomato blossoms as they open. It helps them set fruit. I used to use it but found that growing varieties with shorter maturity dates helped better. Good luck with your garden!

-- HannahMariaHolly (, June 08, 2001.

I forgot to mention one other thing--the variety of the tomato. Many of the heirloom and open pollinated varieties, while being unique and generally tasting better than a lot of hybrids or newer op's, simply don't set as much fruit. I grew a tomato years ago, can't recall the name at this moment!--that was just fabulous. Large, brick-red, pleated, soft, fruity, non acid, and only made about 8 fruit for the whole plant! I grew this for several years but now only grow one or two plants on occasion because it simply didn't make much fruit. Most of the heirlooms/op's have acceptable production, but be aware that some don't.

-- HannahMariaHolly (, June 08, 2001.

If you have flowers and no fruit it could be a lack of pollination! Do your neighbors use lots of pecticides?

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, June 08, 2001.

Tomatoes have both male and female parts on the same flower and so don't require bees for pollination. A bit of a breeze is all it takes to get the 2 together and make fruit. Greenhouse growers shake the plants lightly by hand every day or so to make up for the lack of wind indoors. If it has been very calm there, you may want to do the same.

-- Steve - TX (, June 11, 2001.

I had the same problem. Lots of flowers and very little fruit set. We went away this past weekend and when I came back the plants were loaded with fruit. It's been unusually cool the last 2 months, but this weekend it warmed up to normal temps. I kinda think that was the problem. Everything in the garden is going crazy, thank goodness, I was beginning to question my gardening ability.

If you've had more than usual rain or cool weather that could be the problem.

-- jennifer (, June 11, 2001.

Tomatos will not pollinuate when the outside tempature gets above 85 degrees.

-- mitch hearn (, June 12, 2001.

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