No Fruit

dana-in-okla(7)June 17, 2007

I have wonderful looking tomato plants - 4-5 ft tall - with blooms but they are producing no fruit. I planted them around the 1st of may. Are my tomatoes lost for the season?

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Hi, My grandmother used to always say that you could put Miracle grow on the plants or fertilizer when you first plant the tomato plants and not again until they get small fruit on them or else they would be all plant and no fruit. Have you been fertilizing them? If you follow the almanac she also said not to plant in the sign of the heart. She has since past away so I do not know what sign that you should plant them in sorry. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:46PM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

I would cut back on fertilizing for now hopefully this will force the plant to set fruit. All leaves and no fruit might indicate too much nitrogen.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 1:27AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

I suspect too much N and too little P and K.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 4:05AM
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wvtomatoman(z6 WV)

Some of the most common factors that prevent tomatoes from setting fruit include temperature (too high or too low), humidity, lack of sunlight, inconsistent watering, pest damage (e.g. thrips), and too much fertilizer (especially nitrogen).

To answer your question directly, if the problem that is causing them to not set fruit now is corrected they should go on to set fruit on one of the subsequent flowering cycles.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:24PM
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If they are flowering, your trouble is lack of a pollinator. Shake the flowers to try to get them to self pollinate.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:45PM
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wvtomatoman(z6 WV)

"If they are flowering, your trouble is lack of a pollinator..."
Tomatoes do not require pollinators. However I do agree that skaking the flowers may help.

Tomato flowers are perfect/self fertile, but they have low pollination rates when the flowers are undisturbed as was proven in greenhouse testing. Some sort of movement is needed to help get fruit set rates to an acceptable level. The movement/shaking can be via wind, mechanical, manual, or sonicating bees (and probably some other means that I can't think of right now). Again the bees are not required to carry pollen, but for sonication (vibrating).


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 1:03PM
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I did fertilize with miracle grow when the plants went in the ground - but not since then. I don't know what P and K is, as suggested by Yardenman. Can you spell that out for me?

Here in central Oklahoma, we have had an abundance of rain and moderate heat 80-90 days 60s nights. But, the bed is well drained and the leaves don't appear water stressed.

The plants are subject to wind from the south but they are staked with cages. They get full sun. I will try the shaking suggestion.

Thanks, Dana

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 5:56PM
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Fred_in_Maine(Southern Maine)

Hello Dana,

Your tomatoes are certainly not lost for the season. It is very early in your zone 7 season. You just planted less than 50 days ago and it sounds like you already have some beautiful, healthy plants starting to bloom. Some Tomato plants can take 90 days to produce ripe fruit. In my zone 4-5 (Maine) I planted at the first safe frost date (end of May) and I donÂt expect to be slicing Toms for burgers and BLTs before August.

If your plants look healthy, temps are not too hot (your day and night temps sound ideal) and the breeze is blowing your flowers will self-pollinate soon enough and you will start to see some fruit setting. Be patient. I know, I know it can be so hard to be patient.

Never a bad idea to shake the plants to help the flowers self-pollinate. Some people use an electric toothbrush at the base of the bloom. I use a vibrator that I purchased at a Brookstone store at the mall.

RE: Your question about P and K.

Commercial fertilizers list three very important numbers on the package. This is what is referred to as the N-P-K ratio. The first number always represents the percent of Nitrogen (N). The second number is percent Phosphorous (P). The third number is percent Potassium (K).

(N) Nitrogen stimulates the growth of the green stuff, i.e. leaf growth and general plant growth.

(P) Phosphorous stimulates the root growth, flowering and fruit set.

(K) Potassium stimulates fruit production.

Just a thought. I wonder if you used the correct Miracle Gro product when you planted? For example, All Purpose MG has an NPK ratio of 12-4-8. Lots of N for plant growth, but much less P and K for fruit set and fruit growth.

Since you do have blooms I think all is probably proceeding as it should. But if you want to give your plants a quick boost in fruit set and production I might suggest a very diluted foliar spray of something with a higher P and K value relative to N value. Plants have the unique ability to take in nutrients through their leaves. It is important to choose a time of day when temps are lowest to spray the leafs. The cells on the leaf (stomates) that can accept a foliar spray are only open when temps are below 72 degrees. Most stomate cells are located on the underside of the leaf.

Good luck. Fred in Maine

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 8:17PM
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I have the same problem with my brandywine that is large but not fruitset, but Im doing the same thing with my other tomato plants and they are producing fruit. I will try what one person said and quit giving fert.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 8:24PM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

I put up a wire fence in the middle of the bed as a trellis, and grow tomato plants on either side of it. Loop a piece of string around the stem of each tomato plant and tie it to the fence. Shaking the fence posts a few times pollinates all the tomato plants at the same time. Nothing fancy, just an ordinary piece of twine.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 7:22AM
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I was googling this topic yesterday, an article where a guy was told to add apple juice; and it worked ;) I've got flowers galore but no fruit. August approaching, hot, so maybe when it cools down.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 2:00PM
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Soft fruit bushes bear little or no fruit ie Radpberries,loganberries etc. Remedy please.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 12:37PM
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Don't give up yet, I noticed my first fruit on my indeterminate plants today, I was ready to give up with the terrible weather conditions here.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 11:20PM
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I am in Kansas.....and we have had 25 days where there temperature was 100+. The hottest was 112! I am having the same problem. Good looking plants with lots of blossoms with very little fruit. I am sure it is the hot weather.

I was watering once a day, but I am now watering two times a day. I am hopeful that it will help.

I am not the only one in this area having the problem. I went to the local nursery to buy some "Blossom Set"...(which is supposed to help the problem), but the nursery was sold out. I really think my only solution is to keep the plants alive.....and wait for cooler weather.

I sure miss my maters!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:58AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

"I was watering once a day, but I am now watering two times a day. I am hopeful that it will help. "


Be glad the local garden center was out of "Blossom Set," that saved you some money and frustration. The hormone spray can help when the reason for fruit not setting is low temperatures, but high temperatures denature the pollen, so no amount of hormone spray will affect pollination. You are correct in saying that you just have to wait for cooler weather.

If your tomatoes are in containers, you are using the correct watering approach. However, if they are in the ground that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Frequent watering encourages shallow root growth which causes plant stress (including the classic symptom of leaf rolling).

As a general rule, tomatoes need an inch of water every week. An inch of rain is exactly that, water that is one inch deep. One inch of rainfall equals 4.7 gallons of water per square yard. Cool weather or soil with lots of clay needs will be less, hot weather or sandy soil will need more.

Dig down with your finger about 4", is the growing medium wet, dry, or just right? If it is wet, don't water, if dry then water. If it is just right, check again the next day. Water deeply once or twice a week. Watering daily encourages shallow roots which means the plant is affected more by variations in soil moisture. In my garden during the heat of the summer, I water deeply every 4-5 days, early spring I may only water every 8-9 days and when the weather is moderatly warm (70-80 degrees), about once a week.

Mulching heavily (to a depth of 6 - 8 inches) with compost, straw, hay, rotted leaves, grass clippings, even shredded paper or sheets of paper or cardboard helps maintain a consistent moisture level.


Here is a link that might be useful: "Blossom Drop" FAQ

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 12:25PM
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We had LOTS of rain here (Indiana) at the beginning of the growing season (May & June) and since then have had record highs (90-over 100). My plants are literally wilting in the heat on a daily basis so I started watering daily. I think our early rain created shallow roots to begin with. We just added some compost and hopefully that will help. My tomato plant looks awesome but all the flowers are short-lived or dried up. Hopefully the wait and see approach works out. Farmers & gardeners are really struggling right now. All the produce is significantly late.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 7:15AM
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be patient and stop whining. they come in they own time.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:40PM
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