I have tomato plants that look very healthy. They put on blossoms, but they fall off and no fruit develops. Any solution?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By anderds from Center Point, TX
Everyone that is telling you to pollinate the blooms is correct. Even running your hand around across the flowers would be enough.
Bees seem to be disappearing: www.buzzle.com/articles/disappearing-bee-theories.html
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I have the nicest, strongest, biggest tomato plants this year and they are just covered with blooms. Yet, not one tomato. I always thought that tomato plants were self pollinating. How can I, or can I force my tomato plants to yield tomatoes? Are they shot? I can't believe all the blooms, but not one tomato.
Cheryl from Port O'Connor, TX
My husband grows tomatoes every year. Bees help the process along, but there seem to be fewer bees. What he does is to flick the blossoms with his thumb and first finger which shakes them enough to get the pollen to drop where it needs to go. Seems to work for him. (10/08/2008)
Did you put a healthy amount of bone meal in each hole when planting? Second but most important, get yourself to the drugstore, farm store, or grocery store and get yourself some bags of Epsom salts. They have the directions for tomato growth on them.
As soon as the flowers appear, you need to get the magnesium sulfate in the ground around them. Read the instructions and follow closely. Make sure to water evenly. Meaning if you start every 3 days, do it every 3 days, etc. This year has been the very best crop of perfect tomatoes (Romas) that I have had.
Right up to the last week before the threat of frost, we had a massive amount of rain, some tomatoes that were left, split their skins in a few places. Too much water at once when they were used to my watering cycle. I watered daily. We did not have much rain. The yard went without the watering, the food gardens got it. As I put the tomato garden to bed, it was still flowering, creating tomatoes. This is MN in Oct. They are very delicious, took the still green ones in to house ripen, then to process. They were late starters this year, cool spring, so they went longer this fall. (10/09/2008)
My sister had the same problem this year. She took a Q-Tip and took over the pollination process. Then she did get some nice tomatoes. (10/10/2008)
To help tomatoes to set all you need to do is squirt each flower with water. It works every time. (10/11/2008)
I grew up in Ohio, and we could grow tomatoes all summer long. Now I'm in Arkansas, and I've learned that tomato buds will not set when the temp is high. You have to plant early in the season to get tomatoes. They go through their "no set" period (usually in the higher 90s), then they'll set again when it cools for a later crop. Just be sure to water well so the plants don't die. It's discouraging to see the buds just dry up and fall off, but it's normal in this part of the country. (10/12/2008)
When I lived in Tucson, AZ, I grew some beautiful tomato plants, but no fruit set on. The nurseryman said that I had washed the pollen out by watering them. I did so with a hand held waterer, and gave them a "good bath" each time. I never did that again, and has much success after that learning summer. (10/15/2008)