Tuesday, July 21, 2015

“My tomato flowers keep falling off. What can I do?”



A number of factors can cause your tomato plant to not set fruit, including water, temperature, poor pollination, fertilizer, not enough sunlight, stress from insects or diseases.  Recently, we’ve gone from warm and dry conditions to cool temperatures and rain, then back to warm and dry again. Fluctuations in the amount of water your tomato plant receives can cause a lot of problems, including blossom drop.
You may notice the new blossoms wither right on the vine. When you do water, irrigate your plants, don’t sprinkle them. You want to water at the base of the plant, not the top. If you can, water in the early morning so the plant doesn’t sit wet overnight. Take into account any rain fall we might have had as part of your plant's weekly water needs. It’s better to water less frequently and really soak the soil.
If you don’t have a lot of bees in your garden, you may have to be your own pollinator. Hand pollination will help your blossoms set and produce more tomatoes.
Simply take the flowering branch and give it a gentle shake. This will move the pollen and help the flower develop. Make sure your plants are receiving plenty of sun. If they get less than 6 hours of sun a day, they may not bloom.  
Go easy on the fertilizer. Too much Nitrogen (the first number on the package) can cause blossom drop. Steamed Bone meal is a great product to use now that your plants are flowering.
You can also use Fertilome Tomato and Pepper Set to help your tomato plants set fruit.
This is a natural plant hormone product that you spray directly on your tomato plant to help promote flowering, increase blossom set and increase fruit yield. Insect and disease problems will stress your tomato plant and reduce flowering and blossom set. Catching a problem early gives you the best chance of controlling bugs and disease and keeping your plant healthy.  If you’re not sure what the problem is, bring us a sample. We’ll figure what’s going on and help you decide the best solution.

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