MillsGarden
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Location: Southeastern Kentucky, zone 6B

Blossom Drop off HELP!

Okay guys! I'm at my wits ends.

I'm from Southeastern Kentucky. It's just now finally warm like 75-90s. Only one day has it actually been 91.

So my garden is doing good. Lots of squash blooms with baby squashes, cucumbers, cabbage and even peppers! Also my peppers are right beside the tomatoes. So if they are doing good why isn't my tomatoes?

I have the beefsteak variety. So my plants are 3 foot tall and really big. I have TONs of blooms. But they come and go and no tomatoes :((!

I sucker prune. I don't over water. I deep water about 1 time a week and we're getting like at least a day of rain a week so really they are getting good deep watering 2 times a week. I also am out there daily messing with the garden to make sure they don't need water and are healthy.

What am I doing wrong? My soil is brand new in a raised garden. I purchased A grade top soil that was obtained from a river bank. I mixed it with compost and used a buttload of potting soil when I planted. I also used 10-10-10 fertilizer when I planted and gave them a few handfuls a month ago.

My plants have been in the ground since late March.

No bad bugs either.

So the blooms just simply drop off or if I go to inspect very gently! They fall off in my hand. WHOLE BLOOMS!

HELP ME! I needs tomatoes :) I'm dreaming of BLT!

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RamonaGS
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Are they all beefsteak tomatoes? The occasional heat might be doing it. I was warned to get varieties of tomatoes that are heat resistant because I live in a place that gets into the 90s in the summer time, and heat is supposed to be the leading cause for tomato blossoms to drop without producing fruit. If the tomato leaves are rolling up, but still green then your plants are likely reacting to the 90's and near 90's temperatures you maybe having. If the leaves are not rolling then I am probably wrong about the heat. If it is the heat, then just so you know, the varieties I'm growing that are doing good in the heat are Early Girl, Big Boy, Black Prince Heirloom, and Heinz Classic Heirloom. Early Girl is supposed to do really well in heat.

Maybe one of the tomato gurus here in the forum have a clearer idea of what you need to do, but I hope I helped. :)
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Wow! It is a mystery. Blossom drop is usually some kind of stress reaction, but it sounds like you are doing everything right. Ramona is right one of the stressors that can cause it is "extreme" heat. But I'd be surprised if one day of 91 aborted your whole fruit crop. That said the more important temperature is actually nighttime lows. If the lows are consistently staying above 70, that's another stressor. Very high humidity (above 70%) can also make pollen clumpy so the flowers don't get pollinated.

But still it doesn't seem like your temps have been extreme and it seems like you have covered the other bases. Other things that can cause blossom drop are under or over fertilization with Nitrogen, under or over watering. It is (barely) possible that they were over fertilized - starting with very rich topsoil and compost, then adding a whole bunch of potting soil which usually has Miracle Gro in it and then fertilizing. If that is the problem it should correct itself as the nutrients gradually get used up and flushed out.

I guess overall, I have to go with Ramona's theory of heat stress:

https://www.njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/docu ... matoes.pdf

The people who live in places like Texas know that most tomatoes aren't really a summer crop.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

MillsGarden
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Location: Southeastern Kentucky, zone 6B

Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Well. I've decided after talking to the local farmers that my seeds are duds and I need to replant because all my flowers are males!! and I just bought Big Beef, Mr Stripy and Better Boy. I'm replanting. They already have tomatoes on them.

I'm doing the two hardier tomatoes in the ground. Better boy and stripy... And then big beef in a container in my deck!

Hopefully Ill see some tomatoes now.

JayPoc
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Your local farmers don't know what they're talking about. There are no male or female flowers in tomatoes. Each flower has both male and female parts...

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

I can't imagine any actual farmer thinking that there are male and female tomato plants or tomato flowers. Perhaps they were pulling the newbie's leg? And the names have nothing to do with anything, it's just a label someone stuck on them; could just as easily have been Ms Stripey and Better Girl or Alien X or Cherokee Purple.

And obviously if your plant already had tomatoes on it, it already did the pollen and egg fertilization thing, so had everything it needed.

I hope you didn't throw out any perfectly good tomato plants on the basis of this prank/ misinformation. Whatever was causing the blossom drop was likely to have corrected itself when the conditions got better. Next time check with us first. :) I promise we won't lead you astray!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

MillsGarden
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

rainbowgardener wrote:I can't imagine any actual farmer thinking that there are male and female tomato plants or tomato flowers. Perhaps they were pulling the newbie's leg? And the names have nothing to do with anything, it's just a label someone stuck on them; could just as easily have been Ms Stripey and Better Girl or Alien X or Cherokee Purple.

And obviously if your plant already had tomatoes on it, it already did the pollen and egg fertilization thing, so had everything it needed.

I hope you didn't throw out any perfectly good tomato plants on the basis of this prank/ misinformation. Whatever was causing the blossom drop was likely to have corrected itself when the conditions got better. Next time check with us first. :) I promise we won't lead you astray!
Mine had no tomatoes on it. See above.

The new plants do.

There is something wrong with my plants. All of my neighbors have tomatoes. The sun can not just be directly shining on my garden and leaving my neighbors alone?

I am the only one without any. My next door neighbor has big boys and he has like 20 tomatoes between his 3 plants!

JayPoc
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

MillsGarden wrote:
Mine had no tomatoes on it. See above.

The new plants do.

There is something wrong with my plants. All of my neighbors have tomatoes. The sun can not just be directly shining on my garden and leaving my neighbors alone?

I am the only one without any. My next door neighbor has big boys and he has like 20 tomatoes between his 3 plants!
Just so long as you know that whatever was "wrong" with your plants had nothing to do with the seed or the flowers or the plants themselves. Also, if it was something in the environment, it will likely affect the new ones in the same way.

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RamonaGS
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Mills, just so you know, there can be environmental conditions that change from your neighbor's yards to your own. Just to make you aware that the issue may not be totally over yet. But hopefully, the new plants fare better, and you get your BLTs! And like you said, at least they have tomatoes on them already. :D
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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RamonaGS
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Question to the group here...are there viruses that can cause tomatoes to drop their blossoms? If so might that be what poor Mills plants reacted to?
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Well, I said I wasn't convinced on the heat stress thing, because I have had tomato plants keep going through lots worse.

I guess try to figure out what is different between the conditions your tomato plants are in and your neighbors - recognizing that there can be soil differences between yards - and how you treat them and your neighbor does. If the condition continues, maybe think about getting a soil test done.

Since this is a mystery, the more detail you can give about exactly what you are doing and the conditions, soil, etc. the more likely we will be able to help. There have been many occasions around here, when we have been trying to figure out some problem and then eventually something comes out like, oh yeah I didn't mention I planted them still in the little peat pots. Not saying that's what you did, just that we can't help if we don't have all the information.
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mattie g
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

MillsGarden wrote:Mine had no tomatoes on it. See above.

The new plants do.

There is something wrong with my plants. All of my neighbors have tomatoes. The sun can not just be directly shining on my garden and leaving my neighbors alone?

I am the only one without any. My next door neighbor has big boys and he has like 20 tomatoes between his 3 plants!
Just a word from my own experience:

Last year, I planted ten tomato plants - some in pots, but most in the ground. I had a Mortgage Lifter that shriveled up and died sometime in June, while the plant right next to it (a Brandywine) thrived all season long and easily produced upwards of 40 lbs of tomatoes for me. I have no immediate explanation for why that happened, as all the plants were treated the same way and all starts came from the same place.

It's not easy to accept, but sometimes bad things happen to a plant/garden!

imafan26
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Most tomatoes will drop blossoms in 90 degree weather unless they have some heat tolerance.

The best performers for me are the cherry tomatoes, Heatwave II, Celebrity, Arkansas Traveler, Super Sioux, New Big Dwarf, Creole, Heatmaster, and Cherokee purple. Surprisingly, Brandywine held up very well, it did stop producing in the hottest weather, but started up again once it cooled off. I was told that I could not grow Brandywine because the humidity would cause the pollen to clump, but it was not a problem. We get close to 90's and even 100 in August. Today it is cloudy, so it is only getting into the mid 80's. Perfect tomato weather.

The University of Florida has developed some very heat resistant tomatoes that can tolerate close to 100 degrees. I tried Solar Fire, but it does not have other disease resistance that I need. Maybe someone else can tell us how these other tomatoes taste. Sunmaster is another one I heard tolerates heat well, but I haven't tried it yet.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1189

Look up your tomato varieties and see if they are heat tolerant. If not, you will have to wait for cooler weather for the blossoms to set well.

You could also try to step up watering a bit. You can do a short misting at midday for 2-3 minutes just to cool the tomatoes off.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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RamonaGS
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

Hey Imafan, have you tried Early Girl tomatoes? How do they do in Hawaiian heat?
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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PunkRotten
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

My tomatoes are doing lousy too. My in-ground tomatoes are wimpy with no tomatoes or blossoms. The two I have in containers are kind of small but they have a few small tomatoes and some blossoms. I don't know what is going on but I need to find out. I think it may be lack of nutrients. I may need to buy a bag of compost cause my bin doesn't make that much. Last year had a horrible year with tomatoes so I really want these to be a success.

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applestar
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Re: Blossom Drop off HELP!

While this appears to be now moot, I'm still trying to find a clue from the OP :mrgreen:

-- my plants are 3 foot tall and really big. I have TONs of blooms. But they come and go and no tomatoes
-- My plants have been in the ground since late March. (posted June 2)
-- I'm from Southeastern Kentucky. It's just now finally warm like 75-90s. Only one day has it actually been 91.
-- Lots of squash blooms with baby squashes, cucumbers, cabbage and even peppers! Also my peppers are right beside the tomatoes. So if they are doing good why isn't my tomatoes?

...the part that doesn't make sense to me is tomatoes planted in late March after 2 months/8 weeks are ONLY 3 feet tall? Most of my non-dwarfs planted a month ago are 3 ft and some are 4 ft. Were they set back due to cold weather? If so, then maybe it's been too cold for blooms to set. But then squashes, cukes and peppers are growing?

If they are blooming then sufficient sun. Could it be too much nitrogen -- blooms but they drop? But then wouldn't the plants be bigger? So puzzling!

...Sevin could cause blossom drop... Any pesticide use?

...ah look. This may have meant too much N at critical time when tomato blossoms would have set fruit: :arrow: https://helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewto ... 39#p300239
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