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Beginner Vegetables: Tomato Plant - all leaves, no flowers

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Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 16, Views: 124
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BunnySun
Concord, CA

June 19, 2014
6:54 AM

Post #9871729

Ok, so I have an indeterminate tomato plant, it is tall and I think happy.

Like a good gardener I pinched off all the suckers that would come along (except one that got away and is now too big) because suckers are "all leaf, no fruit" right??

Well, now the very top and that one rouge sucker have flowers, every other branch is just leaves. What's up with that?

I have so many gardening questions I made a blog about it: http://WWW.TheNewGardenReview.Blogspot.com

I'm not a natural green thumb to say the least:(

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

June 19, 2014
7:17 PM

Post #9872374

Tell me what your fertilizer is, the dilution (if water soluble), and the frequency of application.

Ken
KathyWid
Clover, SC

June 26, 2014
2:18 PM

Post #9878325

Sounds like you've done a lot of things right ... but like Ken asked, what fertilizer did you use? The first number (of 3) in your fertilizer indicates the amount of nitrogen, which encourages foliage growth. The other two numbers represent the ration of phosphorus and potassium, which encourage blossoming and fruit. Use a tomato-specific fertilizer for best results, like Tomato Tone. More info here: http://www.tomatodirt.com/tomato-fertilizer-kinds.html
BunnySun
Concord, CA

June 26, 2014
8:41 PM

Post #9878692

Hi! Thanks y'all.

About fertilizer, I have used a slow-release tomato-specific organic fertilizer throughout the life of this tomato, every few weeks or so. At the beginning of it's life I also gave it a high-nitrogen fertilizer and I also supplement with a 5-10-10 (I think?) liquid fertilizer.

The branches that are not flowering all look like the kind that don't flower. So I don't know if it's that they decided they don't want to flower or the plant just produced branches that won't flower. Does that make sense? So I have this huge plant and like 5 flowers now.

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2014
7:36 AM

Post #9878964

I think you have overwhelmed your plant with "Nitrogen-kindness". It appears that the plant has had so much nitrogen that only leafy, green growth has been encouraged. Generally, slow-release fertilizer will last an entire season. You'll just apply it once. I don't know at this point whether there is really anything you can do to reverse the growth and encourage flowering. Just give it plenty of water and perhaps that will dilute the fertilizer some.

Ken
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

June 27, 2014
2:48 PM

Post #9879348

I looked at your blog photos of the tomatoes and other plants. They are both showing leaf roll. How often are you watering or is it in a windy dry area?

I water our containers at least twice daily as the temperatures get above 70 degF or if the soil is drying out too fast.

I'm not concerned about the high nitrogen fertilizer as plants esp tomatoes that are grown in containers need to be fertilized every week or so. The life span of slow release fertilizer pellets is only mid summer. However next summer you might want to start with a fertilizer for tomatoes. If you want organic then either soy meal or a organic fertilizer for tomatoes should work.

Here are a couple of articles on growing tomatoes in containers.
http://www.finegardening.com/how-grow-tomatoes-containers
http://containergardening.about.com/od/vegetablesandherbs/tp/5-Tips-For-Growing-Tomatoes-In-Containers.htm
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2014
3:19 PM

Post #9879367

Too much nitrogen.

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2014
4:31 PM

Post #9879415

Yep, tomatoes really don't need any nitrogen fertilizer after the first good dose. You are looking for fruit production, not green vegetative production. They need nutrients, just not nitrogen. Just my opinion.
Ken
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

June 28, 2014
3:48 AM

Post #9879653

Yes. I agree that too much nitrogen can be one cause of no blossoms but that is not the only thing that will cause no blossoms. She did say it was just at the beginning of the plant life and since then she has been using a tomato fertilizer.

Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 28, 2014
7:22 AM

Post #9879760

Weather in Concord CA has been up and down so much that the tomatoes are likely having problems setting fruit. They need some pretty specific nighttime temps to properly set fruit.

I do not remove suckers, they fruit as well as the original stem.

I agree that a plant growing lots of strong healthy leaves probably has too much N.
BunnySun
Concord, CA

July 9, 2014
12:44 PM

Post #9889597

Thanks everyone! I added the nitrogen at my husband's persistence, can't wait to tell him he's wrong!! haha, mostly kidding :)
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 11, 2014
4:22 PM

Post #9891188

All suckers are not all leaves. They will produce tomatoes at the very top. The reason you snip the suckers is to keep the production of few flowers, giving you a few big tomatoes, intead of lots of smaller tomatoes.
ShelleyF
Custer, WI

July 28, 2014
11:59 AM

Post #9905021

My tomatoes are doing the same thing. I have continuously tied them to a 7ft. tall stakes and they are already over the top. The leaves are beautiful this year, but I want tomatoes. There are a few green tomatoes but not many. I haven't give them much for fertilizer except a dose of fish emulsion twice so far. Could it possibly be that the weather here has been on the cooler side this summer so they won't set fruit? The picture I posted was a couple of weeks ago. They are much taller than that already.

Thumbnail by ShelleyF
Click the image for an enlarged view.

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 28, 2014
7:46 PM

Post #9905333

What are the temps. They would have to be pretty low to prevent fruit set and the plants don't grow well in cool weather. I bet it's too much Nitrogen, also. What kind of soil are you using?
ShelleyF
Custer, WI

July 29, 2014
12:13 PM

Post #9905795

We've had mostly low to mid 70s during the day with a few days of 50s and 60s in between. At night it has been mostly in the 50s with some high 40s. We brought a truck load of soil in last year from a local place. I believe they dug it from a swamp area. I mulched it with grass clippings to keep weeds down. Would any of those things be the culprit? Is there anything I can still do to promote tomato growth?
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 29, 2014
8:47 PM

Post #9906127

Your temps are pretty cool...care to send any of that down here. Lol Temps that cold could effect fruit set but your plants look happy. My first guess is too much Nitrogen. Since you had the soil brought in there is no way to tell what's in it, unless you run a soil test. If it were me I'd fertilize with a product that has a high middle # (phosphorous). Phosphorous is needed for root development, blooms and fruit set.

When you say that the plants are much taller then 2 weeks ago and your temps have been so cool I'm even more inclined to think the Nitrogen level is way too high for tomatoes.

When is your first frost?
ShelleyF
Custer, WI

July 30, 2014
7:58 AM

Post #9906344

We usually have our first frost mid to late September, but this year I wouldn't doubt that we'd have it in August. I like hot weather so I'd love to come live in Texas! After this last long winter I was looking at Costa Rica! Lol I could try the high phosphorus fertilizer. Thanks for your help.

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