Mid June, tomato flowers don't set fruit

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TexasJerseyMilker

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Its the middle of June and no little green tomatos. The plants are big and healthy in their tomato towers They were planted in soil with compost and a little lime mixed in, watered and fertilized properly, they have no blights or diseases They are covered with yellow flowers that don't drop, they remain big and bright for ornamental purposes only.

In Texas for years I got lots of tomatoes by now (Early Girl, Better Boy). For the last 3 years in Oregon I had some tomatos by now (Better Boy, Early Girl, Sweet 100s). Lack of pollinators? They are self pollinating. I even went out and touched each flower with an electric toothbrush to shake down the pollen with no results.

I have Tomato strains bred for Oregon. Oregon Spring, Siltz, Legend, Soldaki (from Poland). Some early 'hairlooms' Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, Great White even good ole Early Girl. Coverd with flowers, no tomatos. Nothing. It must be something I can't do anything about-

"The first sign that it is the proper planting time for tomatoes is when the night time temperature stays consistently above 50 F./10 C. Tomato plants will not set fruit until the night time temperature reaches 55 F., so planting tomato plants when the night time temperature is at 50 F. will give them enough time to mature a bit before fruiting."

Well, it is the low 50s and even in the 40s at night here.

Dadgumed global warming.
 
Its the middle of June and no little green tomatos. The plants are big and healthy in their tomato towers They were planted in soil with compost and a little lime mixed in, watered and fertilized properly, they have no blights or diseases They are covered with yellow flowers that don't drop, they remain big and bright for ornamental purposes only.

In Texas for years I got lots of tomatoes by now (Early Girl, Better Boy). For the last 3 years in Oregon I had some tomatos by now (Better Boy, Early Girl, Sweet 100s). Lack of pollinators? They are self pollinating. I even went out and touched each flower with an electric toothbrush to shake down the pollen with no results.

I have Tomato strains bred for Oregon. Oregon Spring, Siltz, Legend, Soldaki (from Poland). Some early 'hairlooms' Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, Great White even good ole Early Girl. Coverd with flowers, no tomatos. Nothing. It must be something I can't do anything about-

"The first sign that it is the proper planting time for tomatoes is when the night time temperature stays consistently above 50 F./10 C. Tomato plants will not set fruit until the night time temperature reaches 55 F., so planting tomato plants when the night time temperature is at 50 F. will give them enough time to mature a bit before fruiting."

Well, it is the low 50s and even in the 40s at night here.

Dadgumed global warming.
It's a matter of semantics and what you call it has no impact or influence what the effects are. The effects are still undesirable, and the same. I think that a more appropriate term for what is happening (seems a bit better descriptor to me) would be 'Climate Destabilization'. Not 'Global Warming' or 'Climate Change'. But, what's in a name? Regardless of what you call it, what is happening and the effects won't be any different, and the effects typically aren't very favorable.
 
Oh noooooo! The Climate! We must all stop eating meat and start peddaling bicycles! (or just riding horses would be OK)

Seriously. Maybe I can so something about it. What if I put clear plastic around the tomato towers? It might raise the temp at night out of the low 50s and start makin mateers. I'm going to test this. Do any of you northern gardeners raise tomatos in hoop houses?
 
Based on what you described, it does sound like a temperature issue. Wrapping plastic around the plants may help. My thought, if it is indeed a temperature issue, that covering the entire plant with some kind of a solid container overnight to trap all heat may be in order. A cut off milk jug comes to mind, but that is probably WAY too small. You probably need something on the order of a 55 gallon drum to actually do that, and I don't even know if that would solve your problem. If it is temperature, another week or so should help the situation. I did find the following:

Several reasons why your tomato plant may be flowering but not setting fruits include12:
  • Pollination problem: Flowers may drop off before they are pollinated due to plant stress caused by temperature fluctuations, a lack of water, a nutrient imbalance, or insect damage.
  • Improper nutrition: A lack of nutrients, especially phosphorus, can cause flowers to drop off before they are pollinated.
  • Improper watering: Overwatering or underwatering can cause flowers to drop off before they are pollinated.
  • Lack of adequate sunlight: Tomato plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to produce fruit.
  • Pest infestation or disease: These can prevent fruit from forming on your tomato plant.
I have a garden but I'm by no means a garden expert. This year and last year I've had a tomato plant end up wilting and die. Its not lack of water.
 
Thanks for trying to help
  • Pollination problem: Flowers may drop off before they are pollinated due to plant stress caused by temperature fluctuations, a lack of water, a nutrient imbalance, or insect damage. Not
  • Improper nutrition: A lack of nutrients, especially phosphorus, can cause flowers to drop off before they are pollinated. Been feeding 15-30-15 flower food q 3 weeks without results
  • Improper watering: Overwatering or underwatering can cause flowers to drop off before they are pollinated. They are not dropping, they stay for weeks mocking me. Great big healthy yellow flowers
  • Lack of adequate sunlight: Tomato plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to produce fruit. Planted in full sun and daylight length now approaching the summer solstice. Daylight temps are within the range of fruitfulness. Its the night temps.
  • Pest infestation or disease: These can prevent fruit from forming on your tomato plant. No disease of any kind seen.
They are too big for 55 gallon drums. A more feasable method might be to put a plastic sandwich bag on each flower cluster. I will try that today. Not sure if a sandwich bag would raise the night time heat enough, but I have Factor D- Determination....
 
There are many around here that are not even getting flowers or very few. Too chilly at night... we had 46 some places and we got down in the low 50's most nights last week. My tomatoes just look at me like "you want me to grow when I am too cold at night???" No flowers on any and most are not much bigger than when I planted them 3 weeks ago.
Yes, many here will raise tomatoes in hoop houses to extend their seasons... start 'em in them, open them up days, close at night until weather gets good and warm... then close up some in the fall with a new set of young plants for extended season,,, or some will just keep the older plants going for a bit. We often get a frost, then several weeks of Indian summer so a hoop house can save alot of crops into late fall/early winter.
 
Well, this morning when I got up it was 60F outside so maybe they can make a few mateers. I'll go out and give the flowers a buzz with the battery powered toothbrush.

Hoop housing is not possible with my layout. I have hoop netting over the strawberry patch because the jays stole every last one.
100_2026.JPG
 
Its the middle of June and no little green tomatos. The plants are big and healthy in their tomato towers They were planted in soil with compost and a little lime mixed in, watered and fertilized properly, they have no blights or diseases They are covered with yellow flowers that don't drop, they remain big and bright for ornamental purposes only.

In Texas for years I got lots of tomatoes by now (Early Girl, Better Boy). For the last 3 years in Oregon I had some tomatos by now (Better Boy, Early Girl, Sweet 100s). Lack of pollinators? They are self pollinating. I even went out and touched each flower with an electric toothbrush to shake down the pollen with no results.

I have Tomato strains bred for Oregon. Oregon Spring, Siltz, Legend, Soldaki (from Poland). Some early 'hairlooms' Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, Great White even good ole Early Girl. Coverd with flowers, no tomatos. Nothing. It must be something I can't do anything about-

"The first sign that it is the proper planting time for tomatoes is when the night time temperature stays consistently above 50 F./10 C. Tomato plants will not set fruit until the night time temperature reaches 55 F., so planting tomato plants when the night time temperature is at 50 F. will give them enough time to mature a bit before fruiting."

Well, it is the low 50s and even in the 40s at night here.

Dadgumed global warming.
We haven't had many bees. I mean not many at all. Normally we have thousands in the apple trees and this spring I only saw two at any time when I looked. There are more bumble bees than honey bees. Wasps are scarce too.

We have fruit that's set, so those few bees must have done their job.
 
There is a honeybee parasite that has spread all over the world from Asian honeybees, the Varroa mite. If you were a peson sized bee it would be like a flat tick stuck on you the size of a dinner plate. They multiply on bee larvae and eventually kill the hive, usually in the winter. Its spread to wild bees too. That is what has reduced the population of honeybees. To keep bees alive and be successful keepers have to monitor mite counts and treat each hive with a sort of No Pest Strip (remember those?) twice a year.

Yesterday I did find two tiny tomatoes while giving toothbrush vibrations to the flowers of 14 plants.
 
I fear I may have to abandon my tomato plants.....more on that later. But I have a half dozen tomatoes that are dime sized to the size of a half dollar. I attribute that to dumb luck as I don't consider myself to be anywhere near a master gardener as our local extension service would put it.
 
I think the plastic around the branch would destroy the plant. We were taught to put plastic garbage bags over tree branches with leaves to draw clean water out of dry climates when we were over seas.
 
I carefully grew all those 6 kinds of tomatos from seed started in the house last February. Crop failure is part of farming I guess.
 
Ack. I found this information on fruitlessness so maybe my 'good vibrations' won't do any good.

"Nighttime temperatures lower than 55°F translate to non-viable pollen. Since the pollen is non-viable, the flowers are not pollinated and the plant sheds the unfertilized blooms. This is one of many reasons to hold off on planting your tomatoes until the danger of frost has long passed and nighttime temperatures are safely above 55°F."
 
Don't know if it was the good vibes from the electic toothbrush or it finally got warm enough for fertile pollen. Inch wide weird looking tomatos are apprearing on the 'hairloom' Cherokee Purple tribe. Why are hairloom tomatos deformed?
 
Heirloom varieties are not "deformed"... they have not been bred to be uniform shaped. Open pollinated ....heirloom.... varieties have all the possible combinations of genes so they will have more variety in each individual fruit. It is the refined breeding that takes out the variations and makes varieties look like cracker box houses all in a row. It is done to satisfy a need... such as uniform size, shape, for use as slicers, all fruits setting and ripening at the same time for harvesting reasons... Think that the Campbell's soup company wants tomatoes that need to be picked 3 times a week for 10 weeks? They want the tomatoes to all set fruit, be the same size and the same density, and to ripen all at the same time for mechanical harvesting.

Just starting to see some flowers on the tomatoes here. By far, the best plants I have are the Belgium Giants... twice the size and more robust... but they are putting up suckers faster than any other variety too. I plant about 6-10 varieties to try to insure that if one doesn't do good, another will... I think that is going to be the best thing I did this year. Some are down right pitiful... and I plant heirloom varieties for the most part.
 
Deformed' is in the eye of the beholder. You must be refering to determinant commercial varietys. Earlygirls and betterboys have great flavor, come in all sizes and produce from spring to frost. These hairloom varietys I selected this year are all considered early. Lot of mid seanon and long season hairlooms don't even have time to ripen a tomato in Oregon. Are belgian giants long season or early? I look forward to a taste test of great white, soldaki and cherokee, purple and lemon boy against earlygirl. Last year I grew earlygirl and betterboy and earlygirl had the perfect balance of sweet, acidity and tomatoyness. Betterboy seemed kind of bland in comparison. I will do a taste test on these hairloom tomatos against early girl. Maybe will make me overlook freaky looking.
61pS9sBZx5L._AC_SX466_.jpgFB70600D-A683-4B6E-94DE-D13D5CEEE80F.jpghelp-my-tomatoes-have-acne.jpg
 
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Weather has moderated here, nights a little warmer... and finally seeing some flowers on the tomatoes and there are a few tiny tomatoes forming on the Belgium Giant plants.
Flowers on the first 2 rows of potatoes just starting...
Green beans (including the purple and wax beans) are finally starting to actually grow.... keep the da@#%d ground hogs out and might get some... caught and killed a ground hog and 2 possums in the trap... they get into the chicken's feed and stuff so they are gone too...
Butternut squash sprouted and sat for a week or more.. just now putting up more leaves.... took nearly 10 days for cukes and summer squash to sprout... cantaloupe came through the last 2 days.....It has been a slow garden. I wish I had put in cool temp crops but thought we were going to get hot fast so didn't... Still might put in a small patch of lettuce for summer use...
 
I can't seem to grow Early Girl tomatoes. They are my favorite as far as taste.
It seems growing tomatoes has gotten difficult.
I used to just put them out and wait for the tomatoes to form. Easy peasy. Not
any more. This year we mixed sheep sh*t in the ground so hopefully that will help.
I did fertilize them and after I did, I was concerned I may have burnt the plants.
So far, so good. I have some cherry tomatoes forming and blossoms on the other
tomato plants. We'll see how it all pans out.
 
The past few years it seems like the plants I'm buying set fewer tomatoes. I used to get heavy yields from every plant, even breaking the plant at times due to the weight of the fruit... but now the plants are huge and healthy but don't produce enough fruit to bother with them.

I wonder if starting my own plants would be better? Maybe next year I'll try that. Sometimes I wonder if the varieties sold for gardening are intentionally being messed with so Walmart can sell more...
 

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