The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes

Question: I have tomato plants that are not proudcing any tomatoes. There are flowers on them, but no tomatoes yet. Any suggestions for me?

Answer: Sounds like the weather has been too hot, or there's too much nitrogen in the soil.Too much nitrogen results in a lot of lush, green vegetative growth but poor fruit productions. Tomatoes are referred to as "heavy feeders"; they require quite a large food supply over the season. It is a good idea to add some fertilizer to the soil at planting time. A mix such as 5-10-10 is preferable. You want to concentrate on the potassium and phosphorous for tomatoes. Tomatoes also require a "side dressing" of fertilizer a few times throughout the growing season. Generally, this side dressing is applied when the first tomatoes have just formed and every three weeks after that. When side dressing apply the fertilizer bymaking a circular furrow approximately 5-6" away from the main stem of the tomato. Work the fertilizer into the top 1-2" of the soil. The next rain or watering will carry the fertilizer to the root zone of the tomatoes. The amount you apply will be dependent upon the type, size, number, etc. of tomatoes youare growing. Check your fertilizer label for exact amounts.

If your weather has been very hot, or very cool, it will affect the production of your plants. Cold weather keeps insects from pollinating blossoms because they don't move around a lot in cold weather. Hot conditions, with temperatures above 90F can render pollen sterile. Hope you'll eventually be able to harvest tomatoes!

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