The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes aren't flowering.

Question: I transplanted six Big Boy tomato plants on Memorial Day as I do every year. The ground was prepared as always--with bone meal, homemade compost, and composted manure. The tomatoes started off well and there is some fruit, but the plants are very straggly with few flowers. I have fertilized them twice so far and water them regularly and thoroughly even though we haven't had any rain. Can I salvage these plants and bring them back life?

Answer: I can think of several possible explanations for the problem. One is that for some reason the fertility is far lower than usual, perhaps due to differences in the preparation or handling or storage of the composts. Another is that despite your watering, the weather may just be too extreme to be compensated for. You might double check the effectiveness of your watering by digging down to see how far the soil is actually moist -- tomatoes really need plenty of water to do well. Finally, it is also possible that the plants were somehow severely stressed before you planted them and they will never really recover from that. You might give it your best shot and feed and water the plants generously and see what happens.

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