Photo credit: Darla
This time of year we get a lot of questions as to why a vigorous tomato plant does not have any fruit on it. The blossoms drop off right at the “elbow” above the bloom. This is caused by a few different factors.
- Extreme temperature swings – Having 20 degree + temperature swings from one day to another can cause this. Obviously this is out of our control.
- Lack of calcium, lack of fertilizer or wrong fertilizer – have you fertilized? Maybe you did when you first planted but it might be time to reapply! Check the package for specifications or read our recommendation for fertilizing vegetables, here. Avoid fertilizers with high nitrogen (the first number on the label). You can also use a supplemental spray to help blossom set. Find it in store.
- Lack of pollination – technically tomatoes are self pollinating but sometimes they need a little help. Give the tomato support or cage a gentle shake often times helps.
- Too much shade – like any fruiting plant, they need lots of sun to produce. Generally a minimum of 4 hours a day but 6 hours or more is better.
- Overwatering – this is generally the problem. Tomatoes, unlike other plants, need to be stressed in order to set fruit. Otherwise you will have large, lush plants and little to no fruit!
How to water tomato plants
It is best to keep the leaves dry and only water the plants when they actually begin to wilt, typically every 7-10 days once established. A large plant with lots of fruit may need it every 4-5 days during a heat spell. When watering, do so thoroughly and deeply. Please note, this applies only to tomatoes in the ground. Potted tomato plants will need water more frequently but still only when wilting. However, make sure the plant is wilting in the evening, if it is wilting in the afternoon but looks okay in the evening it doesn’t need water!
Still not sure? Drop by and speak to one of our experts!
Here it is, the end of February and thanks to wet, cold winter we had we are ALL itching to plant the summer garden! Well, do your best to hold your horses. as we are still 4 plus weeks away from the last day of frost!! This means that if warm season veggies are planted now and we get a very cold night, the plants will be damaged if not killed. Also, early season tomatoes are at higher risk of insect and disease damage long before they set their first fruit. Now, if we have an oddly warm and dry spring then your gamble may pay off.
As for me, I am dying to get things planted as well but I am not. I NEVER plant my tomatoes in the ground before the beginning of March is this is only done with protection like a Wall of Water or in a greenhouse. Yet I still plant the majority of my tomatoes in early to mid April. I currently have tomato starts in my greenhouse with more seeds going in now, but that is it.
If you want to research and plan your summer garden, particularly tomato varieties, here are the varieties we are expecting from Fredriks Nursery, our local bedder supplier. These will all be the varieties of tomatoes that you could special order or watch for them to arrive in the nursery! Want to learn more about growing Tomatoes? We will have a Growing Tomatoes seminar at The Greenery coming in April. Watch our events page here: www.greenerynsy.com/events.
I’d love to hear from you what will you do? Gamble on early season or will you plant? Leave your feedback in the comments!
Now is the perfect time to get started with seeds! Start your tomato, eggplant and pepper seeds indoors, and your beet and carrot seeds out in your garden right now.
Here’s what you’ll need: (more…)
Diagnosing Your Inner Gardener
If you have never been involved in a Nature vs. Nurture debate, then consider yourself lucky. It is a debate founded on the scientific theory of Nature (think of this as your biological make-up) vs. Nurture (the environment and experiences that are part of your daily life) and which one is more influential in your life. Typically, this debate ends either in a beat down given by the biologically stronger individual OR psychological abuse performed by an individual trying to prove their theory is the right one. I digress. I am not going to discuss this topic in the traditional way, and I am not trying to psychoanalyze gardening. I am just merely someone who loves to look at gardening in a different way.
So, let’s “diagnose” (by this, I mean figure out) what type of gardener you might be… (more…)
Join us for 3 Tomato-y events on July 30th, 2016.
10am Preserving Tomatoes
Speaker: Adria, The Greenery’s Certified Preserving Expert
Join Adria as she demonstrates how easy it is to preserve your own tomatoes including tomato sauce and beyond! Using her knowledge she will discuss proper preserving techniques for dehydrating, canning and freezing tomatoes and practical uses for your preserved tomato products. Copies of recipes included! Prior registration is requested. Reserve your seat here. (more…)