blooms falling off my tomatoes

Center, TX

i have at least 50 big boy tomatoes,the plants look fine but the blooms keep falling off[i may have 10 tomatoes]any help or suggestions would be appreciated.thank you much.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Not sure I can help much, being a newbie, but I've learned a lot in 2 years. This is my first mater growing attempt. I have mine in EBs. Please tell me a bit about your growing operation, and I'll see if my knowledge can help you out, ok?

How're you growing? Ground? Containers?
What are you growing in? Soil? Potting Mix?
Did you fertilize? If so, with what?
Did you put any dolomite lime in your soil?
How's your sunlight pattern? Full sun 6-8 hours daily?

Respond and I'll see what we come up with. Add any other pertinent details you think might be helpful.

P.S. I've added my pic so you'll have a wee bit of encouragement....we newbies CAN do this!


Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

One more.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Center, TX

am growing in the ground with chicken house fertilizer[poop] gets good sun, have grown here before ,don`t know about lime.there are no bugs are worms some blooms just won`t stick.thank you for responding .shannon

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

try going out in the early morning before the humidity gets to high and giving the plants a nice shake, this will help them some. It is natural for some of the first blooms to fall off though. Edited to add that if your temps are already over 92 or so not much your going to be able to do as I don't know of any tomato that will pollinate at higher than 92.

This message was edited May 16, 2007 3:35 PM

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Shannon -- It would help if we knew your growing zone but if you have bud drop it could very well be to high of day and night temps. There isn't much that can be said or done if the weather is hot?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Shannon - I have a Better Boy that is now dropping blossoms after being very productive at lower temps. It's now high 80's/low 90's during the day, and tplant is right - I think it's too hot right now. I've lots of past experience killing tomatoes in south Texas, and this is the first year I started them early enough to set their blossoms. I see garden centers all over Houston selling tomato plants now - and they are doomed before planting. I grew up in Oklahoma and my internal tomato clock was way off for south Texas!

Center, TX

thank yall` much it has`nt hit 92 here yet i started the plants real early this year[it snowed on them at easter lol]some blooms set others don`t.i don`t know my zone i`m about a hundred miles from orange texas [can i find my zone on this site?] again thank yall`.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

In other words, whatever hasn't bloomed by now on my mater plants, will NOT bloom because it's gotten too hot? So I can remove the crosses and holy water?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I think it depends on the variety since different plants will tolerate different conditions. My cherokee purple and the cherries are still setting fruit. Early girl has slowed down a lot. The Better Bush blossoms are falling off and haven't set any since it got into the high 80's. It's a determinate plant, though - and that might also have something to do with it, too. Keep up the shrine Gymgirl - we'll do anything to get our maters, won't we? LOL..

Here's a zone map, Shannon. It should help.

This message was edited May 17, 2007 5:20 PM

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

dont' give up the ghost yet GG...not in the 90's everyday yet.

Johns Island, SC

I think bookworm's right; variety can make a big difference! I've always wanted to grow Brandywine, but that sucker needs cooler weather than I can provide. Couldn't get it to produce in Mansfield, Tx, or here in Charleston, SC.. The varieties that seem to take the heat better in both Tx and SC based on my experience are Celebrity, Carnival, Arkansas Traveler, Dona, Park's Whopper, Viva Italia, Sweet 100, and Sungold. A lot of these varieties aren't available at major retail outlets like Home Depot or Lowe's, but you can get seed (and some plants) from Totally Tomatoes. Worth a try if you love real tomatoes! Hang in there---it CAN be done! I give away a few bushels every year, and that's after "donating" 50% of the crop to squirrels, and 25% to birds!

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Glad to hear what varieties have worked well for you in TX and SC - I'm making a list for the fall and next spring. Talk about donating to the wildlife... I even feed the derned birds AND give them the water. .. not fair. I tried some seeds this spring - followed the directions found here religiously and had great results. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that my cat loves tomato seedlings - but never touched the greens I bought her before that.
Is Sungold as huge a plant as I've read?

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

lol most cherry tomatoes get HUGE my Black Cherry right now is about to take over...I've heard whispers of hostages.

Johns Island, SC

"Sungold" is an indeterminate variety, so it tends to sprawl all over the place. Never been a problem in my experience ( all my best tomatoes are indeterminate). I use "cages" of 4"x4" concrete mesh reinforcement as tomato cages, and when the thing climbs over the top, I just let it do it's thing and flop over the top and start down again. It keeps producing little yellow tomato guys all the way to August, long after my other tomatoes have folded their tents. I prefer the sweet 100, but everyone else seems to prefer the Sungold (they're yuppie sugar freaks). Truly worth a try...even if just as an experiment... They've never scared me with their growth habit.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

StonoRiver - Sounds like sungold is worth a try next year - allowing for some extra space! Your tellising method is the one I want to try next season. I'm growing sweet million, but it hasn't made friends with the location I chose for it yet. The ones I've picked taste really good, though.

lol.. araness - my black cherry is in hiding from sharing its EB space with a huge early girl. The hostage situation is starting to happen with Ghost Cherry growing all over my Cherokee Purple! I picked my first Cherokee Purple three days ago - still not quite ripe,yet - but ghost cherry is overwhelming it. I sure hope those little ghosties are good!

Center, TX

thank you bookworm i am either 8b or 9a the map is to small for me to see places [i feel like a dummy ,a blind one]but i will use this info and find one for old people that can`t see lol anyway thank yall` much i am learning new things every day here,love this site

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'm growing Sun Golds in 5-gallon buckets, and they're just starting to put out blooms! Be happy to share some with you when I get some, so you'll know if you want them next season. BTW, you planning a FALL crop? I think I'm gonna go for it, and try to time my plant out date for The 1st weekend in October.

Araness, is that a good target date for the cool weather?

P.S. My Ark Travelers are just now starting to give me some marbles. I expect good things from them, as they are supposed to be one of the most heat tolerant for our area, and will produce throughout the hot season. HOpefully, I can keep them alive right back into the FALL season, and make them bloom again!

My Chinese Yellows aren't doing much right now...

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

fall plant out should be in Aug for us...

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

You doing a Fall crop? So, if it's August, then I need to start my seedlings YESTERDAY!??

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

lol no only need to start them six weeks or so before plant out, eight weeks max.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks GG! Glad to hear your plants seem to be kicking in. This cool spell we're having should help the blossom set! This weather is awesome.

I had also read in my Houston gardening book the same dates, araness. I'm trying to decide which seeds to order, as I want to try it again. (this time with kitty -netting to protect them). Any suggestions?

Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

Just wanted to pipe in and cast a vote for the Sungolds. I grow them in 10 gallon nursery pots and stake them up w/ bamboo and jute twine. They DO require a watchful eye to keep the branches from falling over but definitely 'doable'..and my, what a sweet taste. They always give plenty for eating right off the plant and lots going back into the house for later:-) I have had them give tomatoes well into the fall (zone 8b). When Katrina came through, all of them were washed away but in mid Dec. that same year found a volunteer growing where they were originally had grown about 2 ft tall and had BLOOMS!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I've got some sungolds in 5-gallon buckets. They're taller than the 6ft. stake that's inside the cage that's in the bucket, by about 1-1/2 ft. And they haven't even started producing much fruit yet. The vine is growing upward into the tree branches above. It's setting blooms finally. Just hope to get some more before the heat really sets in. I thought they were leggy due to lack of sun, but they get sun. Go figure?

Have you planted seeds for the August crop yet?

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

nope will do that in a few weeks..

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

I was asked what the difference was in "determinate" and "non-determinate" tomatoes and I didn't know. Can someone help, pls?


Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Determinate tomato varieties tend to reach a fixed height and ripen all their fruit in a short period of time. Indeterminate continue growing until they are killed by frost and keep setting fruit throughout the growing season.

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

Shannon, I believe you're in Zone 9. While it does get in the 90s pretty much from here on out, it won't stop our tomatoes from coming. Granted I believe there are varieties that won't do as well for us. My goodness we have about a dozen or so varieties going great guns for us here. Can't seem to stop them.

We only about about 6 plants (an heirloom, sweet 100s, better boy, beefsteak, a yellow pear, ??). The rest volunteered in our compost pile (our lazy side proved to be "fruitful" LOL). I have NO idea what varieties are all out there now, but we're lovin' it and will be sharing, canning, etc. for months to come.

Wish I had the answer to your original question though. I've had other plants bloom but then lost the bloom. Then came back and are bearing fruit.

Best of luck!

~ Cajun2, Cleveland, Texas

Johns Island, SC

I've read in many books that tomato plants will not set fruit when the nighttime temps exceed 75 degrees. I don't routinely monitor nighttime temps, but I've noticed a general correlation between night temps and fruit production on my tomatoes: they shut down fruit production in mid july/early August---our hottest average nightime temps. And they DON'T pick up fruit production in the fall, when night temps drop down to more humane levels. Even tried starting some Tomato plants late, putting them out as 6" transplants in late June. Total flop. Pretty convinced now that I've just got to be satisfied with being awash in tomatoes late June/early july. and dreaming about it the rest of the year. But the joy of a perfectly grown, vine ripened garden tomato can't be accurately described. I'm overloaded with them right now, and in 7th heaven. But the end is in sight...I just accept it now.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

StonRiver wrote;" But the end is in sight...I just accept it now."

Not me! I'm going to set more plants out the end of August (as suggested by some of the experts) and hope for fall 'Maters. Since I'm just planning to root suckers, it should be simple enough, and if it doesn't work, nothing ventured, nothing gained :)

Dallas, TX

Don't worry. Limiting the number of blooms will increase tomato size. As long as it is producing a decent harvest, you're fine. 50 tomatoes / 10 plants = 5 tomatoes per vine at any given time. If it is an indeterminate variety and teh tomatoes are very large, it is fine.

P.S. Please answer my post (thanks): "Best Tomato (s) for North Texas"

This message was edited Jul 12, 2007 3:16 PM

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