The Q&A Archives: No Bloomin' Tomatoes

Question: I have used Miracle Gro Plant food as instructed for my tomato plants. They are growing fairly well, but are producing very few blooms and only two tomatoes so far on eight plants. The heat has been a problem with 16 days straight of over 100 degrees. We are watering at least twice a week and have pine bark mulch about 2 inches thick all over the garden. What do we need to do to produce our tomatoes?

Answer: It sounds like you're doing everything right ! The problem with the tomatoes is the heat, including the nighttime temps. When the days begin to cool off in fall, they will start setting again. Here in Texas we have two short tomato seasons, not one long one. Cherry tomato varieties, like 'Sweet 100' tend to set better in the heat. You might include a few of those in your planting next spring. Also, get out your tomatoes as early as you can, and select varieties that don't take too long to begin bearing. The "days to harvest" number listed in the seed catalogue is a good guide for choosing an early variety. Two to try which have worked well for me are 'Early Girl' and 'First Lady'.

Good luck with your tomatoes!

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