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Flowers on tomato plants slacking off

Rahab222

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354
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9B
I know, "No flowers, no fruit." So right now, my tomato plants are loaded with tomatoes. However, with all the major wind gusts and rain showers we've had come through, many of my flowers have been blown or washed off the plants. So if there are only a few flowers, are my tomato plants going to just quit producing or die? Or, will they continue to produce more flowers as the season/summer moves on?
 

w_r_ranch

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Tomatoes will shut down & stop producing when the temps get really hot, but we are nowhere near that point yet. In fact these temps are perfect for production. Having said that, tomatoes are heavy feeders & thus require fairly frequent applications of a fertilizer that is higher in phosphorus (the second number on a fertilizer label), being careful to avoid any that contain too much nitrogen (which will encourage leaf growth at the expense of big fruit). I fertilize our garden basically 3 times a season...
  • I start fertilizing 2 weeks before planting, when I form the rows by working compost into the soil. Compost improves the soil & provides a strong array of nutrients for the new seedlings. After forming the rows, I lightly sprinkle them with 13-13-13.
  • I fertilize the 2nd time when planting. When I plant tomatoes, I add a tablespoon of tomato fertilizer or a handful of bone meal to each planting hole.
  • I fertilize the 3rd time when fruit has set by pulling away the mulch 4" to 6" away from the base of each tomato plant & sprinkling 2 to 3 tablespoons of fertilizer around the drip line of the plant. Using a garden hand tool, I gently work fertilizer into the soil, being careful to not disturb the plant’s roots, replace the mulch & then water to allow fertilizer to begin absorption into the soil.
I then continue fertilizing the garden about every 3-4 weeks with a water soluble 15-30-15 fertilizer.

NOTE: Tomatoes grown in raised beds, pots or sandy soil should be fertilized more often because nutrients leach quickly from soil due to the frequent watering.

Hope this helps you.
 

Rahab222

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354
Planting Zone
9B
Sam; Thanks for taking the time to write me a detailed explanation on tomato plants. I've printed your response out to add to my "Tomato Files". I went out in the rain this evening to check for ripe tomatoes. I'm becoming really possessive/protective of these now that I've had a taste of this year's crop. I got another vine ripened, 4th of July; one Juliet cherry tomato; and a BIG BEEF that's really big and almost completely red. I pulled it since something ate out the center of my first Big Beef for the season. I also picked a good sized batch of green beans from my garden today; some more strawberries and onions. The multiplying onions obviously went too long, as you can't break these in half with your hands. They are like cement sticks. But my purple onions are awesome, awesome, awesome! Can I go ahead and replant more purple onions in this bed I'm harvesting or I need to wait until the fall? Also, my 10/13 onion stalks have fallen over, but I don't know how that can be since I didn't plant them until this spring. The bulbs are very big, but I sure don't need any more cement onion sticks. Could the 10/13's possibly be ready?
 

w_r_ranch

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We always plant onion sets the 1st or 2nd week of November.

As I said earlier, when the onions fall over they are through. I'd pull them ASAP or they will start to rot in the ground. I personally pull them the next day & toss them in a shaded area leaving the tops/roots intact while they cure,
 

Rahab222

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Messages
354
Planting Zone
9B
And the humidity doesn't cause them to mold in the shade? Or varmints don't eat them? I did send several purple onions home with my cousin yesterday, as they were having guests over to barbeque sliders. She called this evening and said they sliced all the purple onions I sent and they were the perfect size for the sliders. She said everybody at the cookout kept commenting on the taste of these. I may just plant purple onions in the future.
 

w_r_ranch

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I've never had a problem with humidity, mold or varmints... Mine are all hung within a couple of days.

WRR_0291.jpg
 

w_r_ranch

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Another thing to consider regarding your tomatoes... I forgot to ask whether you know what varieties that you planted. The variety will then tell us if they are 'determinate' or 'indeterminate'.

Determinate varieties of tomatoes, also called "bush" tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet). They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period) & then die.
They require a limited amount of caging and/or staking for support, should NOT be pruned or "suckered" as it severely reduces the crop. Examples are: Rutgers, Roma, Celebrity & Marglobe.

Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost & can reach heights of up to 12 feet (although 6 feet is considered the norm). They will bloom & set new fruit sporadically throughout the growing season. They also require substantial caging/staking for support & pruning (removal of suckers). Examples are: Big Boy, Beef Master, most "cherry" types, Early Girl & most heirloom varieties.
 
Last edited:

45 ACP

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Texas
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Good info on the tomatoes. I was wondering why my cherry plants were so big, and my celebrities not nearly as big. Didnt know the celebrities were determinate.
 

ErnieCopp

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Location
Vista, CA San Diego County
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Sam, good info for me, too. I knew the difference but i bought a Celebrity first time this year, and did not think about determinate or not. I noticed it is shorter, but would not have known why it died early on.

Ernie
 

Rahab222

Well-Known Member
Messages
354
Planting Zone
9B
I didn't know this about bush tomatoes. I have five of these planted in a 4' x 4' box. They are loaded with tomatoes. I'm glad to know they will die shortly after harvest of all these tomatoes; otherwise, I would have assumed there was a problem in Houston. These are also the plants I've been killing all the stink bugs on. I wonder if they are drawn particularly to bush tomatoes? Thankfully, I haven't seen any in my other garden areas, yet. I think all of these are indeterminate.
 
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