Tall Tomato Plants, no fruit :( Pics!

farmermiller01June 30, 2011

Hey everyone,

I'm in New York and my plants are from 3' to 5'5" and there is practically no fruit. A few of the blossoms appear to have turned brown and shriveled up (very small and I only saw 2 of these) and the only few tiny tomatoes at the bottom of the plant have been green for a few weeks now. All of my other plants are doing fine.

Also what is the difference between tomato names like big boy , early girl etc... these are beef steaks and have been in the ground since mid April.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How have the temps been there lately? High temps can cause blossom drop. Also, what kind of ferts are you using? Too much nitrogen will increase foliage growth at the expense of flowers/fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: blossom drop FAQs

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cygnwulf(7b DFW)

Temps could definately be part of the problem. Noinwi's link covers blossom drop pretty well. For me, in zone 7, right now my tomatoes are dropping blossoms left and right and half the time not even opening them and there's really not much I can do about it till the end of august.
Worth mentioning, your tomato plants do look a little on the blue side, which can be a sign of too much nitrogen, or it could just be your camera.
The different names, Better Boy, Early Girl, etc are different varities of tomatoes, with different characteristics such as size, color, flavor of fruit, days to maturity, hot weather/cool weather tolerance, etc. There are lots of different websites around that you can check out that discuss these different varities. Tatiana's TOMATObase both have extensive databases detailing these characteristics.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It could be the temperatures however on your image I do see blossoms, they do take awhile to be pollinated and form into a small tomato to grow. I think you will be ok. Your plants look lovely by the way :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Not sure what zone you are in, but I don't have many tomatoes yet either. Also if the plants don't get much sun, they will get tall. I see quite a bit of shade in the photo.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bets(z6A S ID)

The different names, Better Boy, Early Girl, etc . . . . Tatiana's TOMATObase both have extensive databases detailing these characteristics.

You won't find Better Boy, Early Girl, etc. listed on Tatinana's TOMATObase because those are hybrids and she lists Heritage Tomatoes (heirloom and open pollinated) in her database. To find information on specific hybrids, your best bet is to Google the variety you want to know about.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
riceloft(5b / NE Ohio)

I was in this same boat until a few days ago. I had 1 plant out of 9 with tomatoes growing. All plants are quite tall as well. As of today, I'm up to 4 plants with tomatoes. I used some Tomato Tone a few days ago, but that could just be coincidence.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buford(7 NE GA)

I had a lot of tomatoes early, then nothing (but dropped blossoms) for weeks. I probably should have pinched the early tomatoes because they took forever to ripen and held back those bushes. Now that the plants have put on considerable size and seem to have doubled in the past two weeks, I am again getting little tomatoes. We had a very hot late May/early June with little rain. Now it's more average temps and rain so the plants seem much happier.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Temperatures have been between 70-80. I usually fertilize once every 2 weeks or so with a little 10-10-10. I'm conscious of nitrogen usage but some buds are very tiny and don't open into flowers.
Good call on the Blossom drop faq noinwi.I noticed that the cherry tomatoes (only ones that I have) are a very dark green, almost blueish. They have received the same amount of fertilizer as everything else around it, I figured that it was just particular to the plant. Maybe I'll hold off on any more fertilizer until August.
Thanks for the tip on the different varities of tomatoes Cygnwulf.

Thanks for the vote of confidence :) and the compliment sjs56222. I found a trick is called "trenching" tomatoes where when planting them, you lay the root ball and 5/6 of the stalk in a narrow trench. Roots shoot out of the stem (not many plants do this) and it allows them to suck up more nutrients from the soil.

And edweather, I'm pretty sure I'm in Zone 7 (New York). This photo was taken around 2pm and the tomatoes don't get as much sun as I would like since they're in between several trees and my house but we have grown tomatoes there for years and there is usually a respectable amount of fruit produced.

Bets, thanks too for the link. I always read about cross polination and hybridization. I heard it's pretty taboo since sometimes the offspring don't produce fruit. Is this true?
Riceloft, I was reading about tomato-tone. I saw it was 3-4-6 and I figured that with such low numbers, a higher concentration like 10-10-10 should be even better. Any idea if the tone works better and why? And I did notice a few more buds today, perhaps the dryer weather today had something to do with it.

Also buford, is it usually advisable to pinch off early fruit to cause the plant to give off much more? I usually just snap off a few stalks here and there, you know the third stalks that have no business being there besides taking nutrition from the plant?

Thanks everyone so far!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Is it possible the surrounding trees have grown more since last year and now your garden is getting less sun? I have noticed changes in the amount of shade my garden is getting compared to 10 yrs ago. I just moved the plants to another area.

Maybe it's time to document the hours of direct sunlight?

Gumby_CT who thinks gardening is a big science project.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 1:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eh, the trees aren't going anywhere for a while. At least with my plants in the garden they're not :-p

I'll agree though that there is a big difference of garden sunlight hours but how would that affect the number of blossoms and pollination?

All areas of my yard are "farmed out". If I dig anymore then in the winter the yard will look like a large desert haha

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Hours of sunlight affect amount and timing of blooms in many, probably most, plants.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Tomatoes may have plenty of blossoms but NOT set fruit (no matter what you spray on it) unless it has enuff direct sunlight. Sun helps plants convert nutrients to nourishment for the babies.

Let us know how you make out.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
riceloft(5b / NE Ohio)

Since my previous post, all 9 of my plants now have fruit. One of my Cherry variety plants has over 20 started with a ton more flowers appearing each day.

As far as whether tomato tone is "better", I can't say. This is the first time I've tried it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lucky. I think that I may have given them too much attention (tying them up ever 4 inches and copious amounts of fertilizer).

I agree about the sunlight to a point that my string beans and cukes over there are doing fine. I plan on giving these guys water normally and letting that be about it. There are some more flowers but I hope these plants really start to take off.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 1:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Some plants need less sun than tomatoes. So this time is not wasted it would be good to watch (and time) the shadows as they cross over your garden. Document on paper and using sticks, rocks, or whatever in the garden.

Use this info for next years garden layout.

I can tell you 1 yr. I moved my summer squash from the north side of the house where they got sun all day - to the east side where they only got morning sun. While I did get squash just fewer and smaller fruits but the plants where also noticeably smaller too, not as happy.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:10AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Brandy Boy Contest -2015
I propose a "Brandy Boy Contest" for 2015...
Which tomato would you grow?
Out of the seeds I have, which would you grow two of?...
How soon would you fertilize after grafting tomatoes?
I grafted on Saturday February 21st. The tomatoes are...
ferroplasm Zone 7b
What are you growing for 2015?
Hi all! I'm a fairly new gardener (this will be my...
Please Critique Selections for 2015
My garden each year seems to expand here in N. Indiana...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™