0
points
flowering with no fruit

Tomato    Las Vegas, Nevada

Hi I planted tomatoes in May they are growing great lots of flowering but no tomatoes. Can you give me some suggestions?

Thank you
Billy


Posted by: Billy Das (1 point) Billy Das
Posted: September 9, 2015


Dave Baltrus commented,

over 4 years ago.



Answers

1
point
Hi Billy,

If you have a couple pictures of your plants it would be helpful, both full shots and close-ups of leaves and flowers. Do you know what varieties you planted, or know anything general about them? Are you getting any fruit at all or do the flowers all simply drop? This is certainly unusual since you should have been getting fruit for at least a month now.

There are a couple likely possibilities. The first is that your plants are getting too much nitrogen. Tomatoes are sensitive to nutrient imbalances, and high nitrogen would cause a lot of foliage growth (usually a lighter green than normal, but that would be difficult for you to tell without a normal plant for comparison) while causing the flowers to drop without setting fruit. Do you add your own compost? If compost has a high nitrogen/carbon balance, your plants can get too much nitrogen. This is common when people compost their kitchen waste because fruits and vegetables typically have a lot of nitrogen.

A second possibility is that the temperature is causing flowers to drop. This can occur when nights are cool (below 55F) or when days are hot (above 95F), both of which I would guess are common in your area. Nevada also has a fairly short growing season, so if you are growing late-ripening varieties, the timing may have overlapped poorly with the cool nighttime temperatures you've been having.

Since you planted them in May and they're still growing and flowering well but have little or no fruit, I think Nitrogen is the most likely cause. Unfortunately it may be too late in the season for you to get any fruit from any flowers that haven't set yet. The best thing may be to get a basic soil test; information can be found here http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/.... If it is nitrogen, you could try to alleviate the problem this year, and definitely next spring, by mixing more carbon-rich material into your soil such as chipped leaves or mulch. There are a lot of resources online for how to make compost with a proper C/N balance.


Posted by: Matt (9 points) Matt
Posted: September 10, 2015




1
point
Assuming that you plant have enough water, my guess is that your daytime temperatures are too hot. Tomato pollen fertility drops rapidly when temps are over 30C (except in heat-hardy varieties). Because most of your fruit will come from self-fertilization, flowers won't set fruit when the pollen is infertile due to heat. (Infertility can be either because the pollen fails to develop properly, fails to germinate after being transferred to the style, or fails to effectively grow to the ovary.) To increase yield, possibly plant earlier to avoid the hottest months, move plants to a cooler local environment, or wait until it gets cooler.


Posted by: LCM (5 points) LCM
Posted: September 10, 2015




0
points
My money is on it being too hot. The fruit aborts with high temps unless you plant heat resistant varieties. If you keep watering you might get fruit when it's cooler (I'm just now starting to get Romas again here in AZ). Can also plant earlier than May and maybe get fruit before summer.


Posted by: Dave Baltrus (1 point) Dave Baltrus
Posted: September 10, 2015




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