User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

When do you call it quits with a plant.

I know a stupid question. I have 8 tomato plants, they took forever to get going. But most in the past month have started getting fruit. I still have three that just aren't doing anything. They look great :D - but flowers are few and far between and they just haven't gotten one fruit in 2.5 months. They are taking up valuable space in my garden. Why do I feel guilty ripping them out, should I do something other then threatening them - I keep telling them to produce or they are gone. :evil: I live in Florida and time is ticking and it will soon be to hot. Any suggestions, has anyone ever just ripped out a beautiful healthy plant (without the guilt). :?:
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Beautiful growth and no fruiting is often a nitrogen excess issue. It could also be a deficiency issue, often phosphorus is the one that would lead to non-fruiting.

Before you go to the extreme check things over and see if the plants are in trouble and simply need some nutrients... not nitrogen!

Consider shading to help extend your tomato harvest through the hot months.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I have a modest stock portfolio, and the question always arises [when to sell?] Well, the common answer is, [when you find a better investment or place to put your money.] I think that same idea applies to you. If it is time to plant other veggies, that are likely to be more productive, then out with the tomato vines and in with the new crop. It is always a great idea to maximize one's return on investment, and that is usually not being achieved with a non producing asset!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

thanrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:01 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Avonnow, is this your first year growing tomatoes in Florida? I ask because I thought we should be able to grow year round, right?

Nope. Too hot for them to set fruit year round. They may blossom, but the blossoms will drop on slicing or Roma tomatoes. I can grow beautiful Cherokee or Black Prince or other lovely tomatoes, but it has to be in cooler weather than our typical 90 degree days. You'll find that cherry and berry tomatoes will do better over the hot months here.

I've even had larger tomatoes limp through the summer and take off again with fruit setting in the fall. Usually they just succumb to the heat and insects before July 4th.

User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Thanks

I ripped them babies out, I couldn't take it any longer and wanted the spot for another crop. Thanks for all the advice, but Mr Hendi-Alex got me thinking - sometimes you go with your gut and move on. Hopefully to something more productive. :lol:
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

User avatar
lakngulf
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1275
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Lake Martin, AL

Re: Thanks

Avonnow wrote:I ripped them babies out, I
Good luck with the new crop. Will you replace them with tomatoes, or something else. Also, I think you should be able to rig up something in Florida to get a lengthy tomato season. I know there are always early ones down there. I am in Alabama and this time of the year if we buy tomatoes from the Farmers Market and ask where they came from, the answer if always "Florida"

I know a guy in Canada, of all places, who has some trouble with his tomatoes getting too hot during part of the year. He has built a hoop structure of PVC and plastic to put over as a shade. Seems to me you could do something like that, but mayb use some of that stuff that Walmart and Home Depot have over part of their plants. I think it is the same stuff that some folks have over swimming pools.
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

It is hard isn't it.? Good luck with your choice. What are you gonna replace that space with?

I just reworked a section of my garden yesterday that has been doing absolutely nothing. I had to sacrifice a about a 1/3 of 4 rows of carrots and onions and some spinach that is doing nothing.

Still have some Brussels sprouts that are going very slow, still thinking about replacing them. Just hate doing this cause you know if you rip them out that would be the moment they start going gangbusters. But if you leave them there then they might not do anything.

Good luck

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Are you feeling like gamblers yet?

I sure do! When to plant, when to give up on something, when to start something, what is the weather... Great adventure, trying to beat the odds, huh?

Which area, which crop shall we invest our hearts and efforts in?
How long do we fight, before we give up?

And the guessing game of what the plants need or want. We educate ourselves, just like the portfolio based on history and known facts, and just hope it acts the same in the future.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I think tomatoes do fine in the hot, sunny weather so long as the night time temps drop below a certain temp. I believe it is 68 degrees F for a few days. I hope someone reads this post and corrects me, but I think the night time minimum temp is more important than the daytime high temp.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

tedln wrote:I think tomatoes do fine in the hot, sunny weather so long as the night time temps drop below a certain temp. I believe it is 68 degrees F for a few days. I hope someone reads this post and corrects me, but I think the night time minimum temp is more important than the daytime high temp.

Ted
I could be wrong myself Ted but I believe the lower threshold for tom's is 55.

Maybe 50.

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Dono,

From another forum,

" A tomato is a warm season vegetable and very sensitive to cold weather, which causes blossom drop. Nighttime temperatures must be above 60 degrees for them to stick on. They will continue blooming until night temperatures rise above 70 degrees."

Seems the optimum nighttime temperatures for tomatoes are 60 degrees low and 70 degrees high. Below the minimum and above the maximum result in blossom drop.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”