Ask a Question forum: Few tomatoes produced

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Maryland - D.C. suburb (Zone 7a)
Jan 11, 2017 5:11 PM CST
Last summer I got very few tomatoes from many plants. The flowers that grew produced, but very few flowers were produced. One plant did not grow and did not make any fruit. I had to mound the roots of 1 plant which helped a bottom rot issue. With so few flowers made I can't consider a pollination problem. Any thoughts or answers? I'm a newbee.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jan 11, 2017 5:48 PM CST
Hi Bean17,

It sounds like your plants didn't do well either. The most common problem when tomatoes refuse to flower is temperature. Look at your growing conditions and choose tomatoes that do well in them. Are your summers really hot? A lot of tomatoes refuse to bloom in temps over about 85.

And don't forget to fertilize. Tomatoes love fertilizer but go easy on the Nitrogen. An excess of nitrogen will produce lush, leafy plants but they won't flower. Tomatoes also require a regular deep water regimen.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Jan 11, 2017 8:01 PM CST
Bean17, what varieties of tomatoes did you grow? A lot of heirloom types aren't as productive as one would expect to get from hybrids. You might also consider having a soil test done, to be sure you don't have a phosphorus deficiency. And, then again, some years are just "like that" Sighing! . I hope you will have better luck with them in 2017!
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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Jan 11, 2017 9:18 PM CST
I'm also suburban central MD
I grew 4 kinds this past year. 2016. Two heirloom beefsteaks (Cherokee Purple, Mortgage lifter) did not set much fruit, and the plants looked like carp too. . Two others did super. Celebrity and Early Girl set loads of nice shaped decent tasting fruit on happy looking plants.. I recommend those two, and have had better luck with Cherokee Purple in the past, and it's my favorite for flavor, too.
I did not put a lot of special effort into my garden, but did start a new garden area, ( previously sod, some chips from removing a tree,) a little fertilizer at planting and once later, full sun, and the year's near perfect rain. Of the whole garden, really those two beefsteak tomatoes (4 plants) were the only things struggling. Other tomatoes, several kinds of peppers, and the sweet potatoes all were super.

..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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