tomatoes-blossom drop

gjmanciniJuly 15, 2011

I am getting very worried about my toms. They are nice in size but all the blossoms are dropping off, I dont have 1 tomato and have a ton of plants. I planted them out May 15th. Is anyone else having this problem. I read that it could be weather change, I wonder if it has anything to do with all the rain we have been having, cool at night and hot during the day. In Westminster. Any thoughts.

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Dan Staley

Unless they are in heavy clay, its likely the heat & water combo. We had one night recently at 59F, otherwise too warm at night down here.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 9:33PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I'm in Westminster and haven't seen any blossom drop but the green tomatoes I have are just sitting there doing nothing. Definitely not friendly weather as far as they are concerned.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:20PM
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I think we have had one overnight low in the 60's! Not all that far from here, it was 35F a couple of nights ago.

"There is considerable evidence that night temperature is the critical factor in setting tomato fruit, the optimal range being 59F to 68F." Virginia Tech

still hoping to catch up with North Dakota

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomatoes, Virginia Tech

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 4:45AM
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Do you think if i fertilize wih flowering fertilizer it will help?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:42AM
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Dan Staley

It won't help with reducing the temperature. But mine get an organic 5-10-10 every 4 weeks or so when I remember, and a granular 5-10-10 at planting. Maybe. As long as you don't overdo it can't hurt.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Humidity plays a big part also. I read some research done on peppers and tomatoes where they compared results where growing temps were similar but the humidity levels varied. The results showed that tomatoes set better in low humidity areas than in high humidity area if the temps were comparable. That the chile types do better in low humidity and high temps while sweet peppers produce better in areas with higher humidities and more moderate temps. But the higher humidity made the most difference. Here our humidity is usually very low. Often in the single digits and teens. This helps a great deal. I will see fruit set when growers I know 100-120 miles east of me who have higher humidity won't be seeing any. I usually get some fruit set as long as the nights here get down into the low 70's or uppper 60's. My fruit set really drops on everything but the cherries and small fruited varieties anytime the lows are in the upper 70's or higher. Fortunately we have been seeing lows in the lower 70's and upper 60's even with the extreme heat we're having. There are a few things I do that I feel helps. If I see that the weather forecasters are forecasting highs in the upper 80's to the low 90's 7-10 days out. I spray with a blooming/rooting foliar feed. Another thing I do is shake them late every evening and again before I leave for work of a morning. Best to shake very early. I'm leaving around 5 CDT so shake just before I leave. Try to shake before 7 on weekends. The early morning hours when it is the coolest is also when the winds are usually the calmest. I was doing some top dressing to some of the earlier plants this morning and saw some little greenies that have set recently. I spray with a blooming rooting foliar feed when I transplant and for about the first month afterwards also. This develops a good root system. I like the middle (P) number to be very high and the N number to be fairly low. I'm also using an organic liquid bloom set this year. It is from Fox Farms and so far I've liked the results of their products. Jay

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Posted by elkwc. . . Here our humidity is usually very low. Often in the single digits and teens. This helps a great deal. . .

I feel absolutely fortunate to have Jay on this forum to share growing information! Absolutely! However, did he say he is lucky having single digit humidity??! Only someone with Jay's interests would!!


Dan can you see that big green tree where the water's running free
And it's waiting there for you and me
Water, cool clear water

The shadows sway and seem to say tonight we pray for water, cool water
And way up there He'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water, cool clear water

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:47PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I spoke too early, I'm afraid. Today when I checked the garden I saw definite blossom drop on both tomatoes and peppers. So it's not just you, anyway.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:12AM
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Steve I have learned to live with the hand I'm dealt. Yes I would prefer more rainfall and still pray we will return to normal amounts soon. But till then I prefer to look at the positives rather than be negative. With the heat we've had I can assure you with high humidity conditions I wouldn't be seeing the fruit set I have lately. So if I can't have the rainfall I'm lucky I have low humidity so I can get fruit set. And also I can take the heat better if the humidity is lower. Where I'm currently working each day 100 miles east of here the humidity runs 15-30% higher than here. I work in the heat at work a portion of most days. I can tell the difference when I get home and work in my garden. Jay

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Thank you all for some great input. I tested my soil, which is in a raised bed and on the meter reader it is showing slightly alkaline @ around7.2-7.4 I bouught some gypsum which i will work into the soil to lower the ph, as i read maters like around 6.5 I also bought some sprary for blossom rot and drop, which states it is a calcium supplement. So I will be doing this tonight after work. I still have no tomatos. Peppers are growing and are nothing but fair.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:11PM
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Dan Staley

Not gypsum. Sulfur. Too much gypsum can make a Mg deficiency which is as bad as BER. Take it back and purchase some soil sulfur. And annoy the heavily-marketed gypsum industry as well, bonus!

And spray for BER is ineffective. The Ca deficiency comes from early-season variable soil moisture. I use a little Dolomite lime in the planting hole and mulch heavily and I have no problems. Ca is immobile in the leaf and sprays do little to nothing for BER. Take that product back too, as it does nothing, like the FAQ sez.

BTW, my pH is ~7.1 this year and not an issue with toms, they're all popping.



    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 3:28PM
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