Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:19 pm
Location: St. Joseph Island ON

Big Plants - No Fruit

This spring I built a raised bed garden - 8'X8'X16". I filled it with 1 cu. yd of compost, 1 cu yd. of a loam/compost mix and enough sandy loam to fill it and mixed them very well. In it I planted 18 Brandywine seedlings that I grew from seed. I put them into the bed approx. 12 June and mulched them. Earlier I had planted 6 hills of potatoes along 1 side of the bed. it is now 16 August. I have tomato plants that are over 4' tall, lush, healthy plants with lots of blossoms and exactly 3 tomatoes! :cry:

I have pulled the potato plants and we are in the process of eating that crop. I have tried to remove the lower branches of the tomato plants and yesterday topped most of the plants in order to convince them to set some fruit although we are probably 6 weeks from our first frost. I have not given them any fertilizer because of the compost. I considered that they were too close together but because of the size of the plants don't think that this is part of the problem. The weather in this part of Ontario has been wet and relatively cool this summer.

This year is going to be a write-off but I need to know what I have done wrong. Any and all suggestions gratefully accepted.

Senior Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:36 am
Location: ks

My first thought is to much nitrogen in the you have them planted where the get at least 6hrs of sun?

Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:19 pm
Location: St. Joseph Island ON

Yes the bed is in the open and they gets lots of sunlight, more than 6 hours daily.

Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

I don't think you've done anything wrong other than maybe in selecting a single, relatively slow maturing cultivar for all your tomatoes. The weather here in Maine has been unusually grey and wet since mid-July. If you are experiencing the same thing it simply hasn't been good tomato weather this summer. Tomatoes like sun and heat and even in a good summer these are not ideal tomato growing latitudes. Eighteen plants in an 8' x 8' bed might be a little on the tight side and the ones toward the interior might not be getting an ideal amount of sun. I probably would aim for a 6' x 12' or slightly larger bed oriented (long axis) east-west for that many plants.

Next year I suggest you try more varieties. I always grow Stupice, not because it is a great tomato but because it starts producing ten days to two weeks before any other decent tomato I've tried. Carmello is a slightly later but superior and still fairly early tomato that has worked well for me both in Minnesota and Maine. Other possibilities that I haven't tried or have limited experience with include:
Glacier, ultra early like Stupice but determinate - some sources say it is better flavored than Stupice and others like Stupice better.
Cosmonaut Volkov, fairly early (65 days?) and supposedly fabulous but I haven't grown it.
Dona, another excellent French market tomato like Carmello, I have grown this and very slightly prefer Carmello
Mosvich, another nice tomato in the 65 - 70 day range
Pruden's Purple, this is slightly earlier than Brandywine with comparable flavor quality, huge fruit - don't leave them on the vine too long or you'll have trouble harvesting them intact.
Rose de Berne, another tomato I have not grown but some people think it is the best tasting tomato. Supposedly numerous small to medium sized fruit.

I'm growing Brandywine but is the laggard among the six varieties I have this year, slow and not terribly productive.

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: Elko, NV


I am beginning to think I am going to have to "top" my tomato plants as well. They are growing so well, I hate the thought of doing it, but who knows when we are going to get our first frost?

I want to be able to harvest something and 3-5 tomatoes on each big plant just does not seem like a huge harvest. I know I am going to try containers next year, but I have a pretty large garden.

This is kinda like my strawberries. I have tons of plants, as a matter of fact, everyone down the street does too, since I have been giving them away - but only had about 10 berries. I cut the runners, (and there were plenty), the plants are beautiful... but no harvest.

I am so sick of this! What am I doing wrong??

It is extremely hot here in the summer, and extremely cold in the winter, with the nights starting to really cool off, so the plants are going to get one or the other.


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