The Q&A Archives: tomatoes/dogwood

Question: I have two questions. First, I have a German Johnson Tomato. The blooms form then fall off. There seems to be a kind of nuckle on the stem about 1/2

Answer: I suspect the blossom drop is temperature-related. When days are over about 90 degrees or nights are warm meaning over 75 (or nights are too cold) the blossoms will naturally drop off. When the weather settles and cools down a bit they will produce again. Another possible cause is overfertilizing with nitrogen, in case you may have done that recently.

Your tree may be suffering transplant stress and heat stress as well. Your goal in watering is to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. Dogwoods need both air and water at the roots, so the soil should be organic and moist but well drained. Dogwoods are shallow rooted so may need supplemental water during hot or dry spells, especially newly planted trees. When you water, make sure to moisten the top six to eight inches of soil. To know when you need to water again, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp do not water yet. It is better to water deeply but less often than to sprinkle lightly every day. Also, using an organic mulch about three inches deep in a flat layer over the root area can help keep the soil moist and also hold down weeds and feed the soil slowly as it breaks down over time.

I am a little concerned about the cupping or curling you noticed, you might want to check with your county extension and/or a professionally trained and certified nurseryman to see if they can help you diagnose that, it may be soil/root related or possibly a pest or disease problem. Good luck with your pink dogwood!

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