Tomato Flowers Not Becoming Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

New York, NY
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Question by damcatts
July 27, 1999
I have a tomato plant in a container. I have gotten some tomatoes out of it, though not many, but now I have a lot of flowers on the plant. The only problem is that the flowers are not turning into tomatoes, and they've been on the plant for a while. Some flowers are wilting and dying. I water it twice a day because we've been having a heat wave here in the East, and I fertilize every two weeks. What's going on?

Answer from NGA
July 27, 1999
You may have a number of factors at work ranging from lack of pollination to simply "hot dry weather". You need to keep the plants from being stressed which means ample water (a larger pot might help, note that for next year) and fertility. Be sure to follow the label instructions for active growth or use a fertilizer formulated specifically for tomatoes, and keep in mind that overfertilizing with nitrogen can actually contribute to blossom drop. If your area is windy, try to protect your plant from that because it increases the rate it dries out and causes additional stress. An old method to encourage fruit set is to rattle the plant around noon on a hot sunny day -- but I suspect a change in the weather is what will really do the trick.

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