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Lots of blooms but no tomatoes!  RSS feed

 
Debora Griffin
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Can anyone shed light on why my plant's aren't producing any tomatoes? I have 4 heirloom beef steak plants (grown from seed) that are 4 - 5 ft tall, seem very healthy and have ton's of blooms but after months of blooming, still no fruit! I've tried to stress them a bit, pruned them a little and try to keep the suckers off but still nothing! Maybe the soil is too rich and they're just happy to keep growing!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Debora Griffin wrote:Can anyone shed light on why my plant's aren't producing any tomatoes? I have 4 heirloom beef steak plants (grown from seed) that are 4 - 5 ft tall, seem very healthy and have ton's of blooms but after months of blooming, still no fruit! I've tried to stress them a bit, pruned them a little and try to keep the suckers off but still nothing! Maybe the soil is too rich and they're just happy to keep growing!


They're Beefsteak tomatoes... That's what they do. That's why I don't grow Beefsteak tomatoes... Or Brandywines... Or anything similar...

With that said... Tomatoes require pollination which can be facilitated by wind, or by insects. Are yours growing in a greenhouse or highly protected location? I ask because greenhouse tomatoes typically require artificial pollination either by vibrating the flowers or by introducing pollinators such as bumble bees. Electric toothbrushes or adult toys are commonly used to buzz-pollinate tomato flowers. First thing in the season I buzz-pollinate the tomato flowers, just to give them a bit of an extra boost. The flower viability is affected by things like temperature and humidity, and it varies from variety to variety. Both high temperatures and low temperatures can prevent pollination. Higher humidity generally leads to higher fruit set. Some greenhouses install misting systems to increase productivity.

Buzz-pollinating tomato flowers:
 
Debora Griffin
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Thanks for the reply Joseph. Mine are in an outdoor raised bed garden. Have had lots of bee's and bug action in and around the plants as I have lots of flowers and other blooming veg plants around them. In fact the tree above the bed was just humming for a while. Now they've moved over to the sunflowers that are now blooming on the other side of my yard. It was much more humid earlier in the season than it is now but try to keep them misted or watered daily but careful not to over water. I think next year I'll go a different route than beefsteak!
 
Gregory Silling
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Location: Northeast - 5B
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i took a 45 min tutorial on tomatoes and they stated that the key is stress..watch your nitrogen you don't want a bunch of bushy green plants. tomato production is part of the plant dying... my plants are stressed hard, in fact i just ignore them and transplant them in the same bed(outdoors) year after year and they usually do great...weather does play a factor in my area, since i let rainfall water them.

As far as pollination. damn I never even thought about it.

the beefsteaks...I plant a few just to keep me humble! Usually get 6-12 per plant. good for a couple of BLT's or just salt and pepper olive oil. Never had enough to can them.

I like the San Marzano(Roma) type they are prolific producers and taste great, they are meaty and make a great Salsa, as well as for sauces and soups,canning etc.

Like i always hear from the growies on this forum... BTW the best people on any forum I have ever been on and who have far more experience then I do. If it doesn't work where they are try them somewhere else if they still don't work try something else. It was a hard change of mind set,i am new to gardening and probably took every failed plant as a personal failure. Now for me it's FIDO and life is good.
 
Ann Torrence
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It could also be that the blooms aren't setting. Many varieties won't set if it's above 95 or below 50. Living here, that's a pretty narrow window, so we have to choose our varieties carefully.

(You can go to "My Profile" and add some info about your climate to your posts, which would help folks better answer your questions.)
 
David Good
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My guess is that it's just the heat.
 
Debora Griffin
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Great feedback! I agree that it may be too hot. It was a fairly mild summer here in TX up to a point but once we hit mid July the temps have stayed over 95 - 100 easily. I will try stressing them a little more. After reading a few things and as one of you suggested, they may have too much nitrogen. Early on we used urine to increase the nitrogen in the soil. It worked then giving them a growing boost but may should have stopped after the first dose or two! :p
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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you could try adding some potassium and phosphorus those are the main things tomatoes use for setting fruits.
 
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