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Tomato not setting fruit?

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Post  Madcapper on 6/21/2013, 9:14 am

So my tomato plant has been going great, I have many clusters of fruit toward the bottom already and more flowers at the higher elevations of the plant. For some reason though, my plant has stopped producing fruit, from the middle bloom clusters, some of them set fruit, but the higher up my plant you go, the fewer fruits I am getting, the top few clusters have set 0 fruit at all. Any idea what might be causing this? Here is a picture from last weekend.

Tomato not setting fruit? 20130616_142554

I pruned all of the foliage below the first group of flowers on Wednesday, I dont think would have an effect as I have been having problems setting fruit for at least a week, I just didnt realize it at the time. We have had some significant rainfall over the last couple weeks as well. Not sure what other factors may have had a hand in this. Looking for advice and input. Thank you!

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Post  camprn on 6/21/2013, 9:46 am

I just took a peek at you weather and temperature for the past week and it appears that your temps have been quite hot. I think that may be the problem or at least part of it.Tomato plants don't set fruit when temperatures are too hot. Some varieties are more prone to this, some have been bred for a degree of heat resistance.


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Post  brainchasm on 6/21/2013, 2:41 pm

I noticed something similar (and we've been rather hot here too).

My Black Krim plants set a grand total of one fruit...and that fruit got to a certain size, and now it isn't growing. But the plant is, and it's throwing flowers every-damned-where.

Now, my Cherokee Purple plants have set at least two fruit a piece. Some of those fruit set AFTER the Black Krim, and yet have outran it in growth.

But, and I think I said this before, having an heirloom from the southern US handle heat better than an heirloom from Russia is maybe not so very surprising.


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Post  landarch on 6/21/2013, 3:00 pm

I learned about tomatoes and temperatures during last years midwest drought (no rain and 100 degree temps).  From what I read, tomatoes don't like to blossom and/or set fruit when both the daytime and night time temps are too warm...no matter how much one waters.  The daytime and night time heat last summer punched a giant hole in the window of production for my tomatoes...finally had some fruit when night time temps finally cooled off a bit in late August.

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Post  TxGramma on 6/22/2013, 12:14 am

Temps above 90 will cause tomatoes not to set fruit but I have also read of some having success getting the fruit to set in hotter temps. Put a thick layer of mulch and keep them well watered to keep the roots cool and they may go back to setting fruit. I've also heard that misting the flowers with apple juice will help set the fruit but I haven't tried it yet so not sure if it helps or not but I'm going to do some more research on it and may be trying that on my toms soon since my temps are high and I'm not having much success with fruit set on mine right now. Good luck!

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Post  walshevak on 6/22/2013, 1:09 pm

Last year plants grown in the shade of a tree during the afternoon produced fruit later into the summer and earlier in the fall than the ones kept in the sun all day.  The plants survived better as well to provide lots more tomatos after the nights cooled off.  The afternoon sun can be brutal in the South. 

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Post  plantoid on 6/22/2013, 7:24 pm

I'm envious , " You've got tomatoes outside ", it's 23 June and not one of the nine plants in the glasshouse have a flower in fact they have struggled to attain 15 inches in height despite being successfully sown in mini pots over ten weeks ago.
I get the feeling our summer has been and gone weeks ago .

I've had a flash of inspiration re the plants not pollenating .. is this worth a try to see if it works ?

Erect a cotton shade cloth about 20 inches away from the plants and spray the cloth using a hose spray on a timer every hour or so with clean tap water.
This will result in the evaporation of the water causing a localised drop in the air temp and give some humidity .
The resulting drop in temp & humidity might fool the plants into releasing /accepting pollen , try & hand pollenate if you find there are no pollinators if it is so hot .

If it works and you notice new tomatoes being formed  perhaps stop the spraying  and remove the leaves below the second from the top trusses to let the plants energies go into the toms instead of most of the leaves.

Experimentation is the name of the game if you want crops in hot weather.

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Post  quiltbea on 6/22/2013, 7:41 pm

Tomato not setting fruit? 06-01-13
I'll be shading with cheesecloth tomorrow in prep for the 90s temps we're expecting here in Maine on Mon and Tues.
I did this before (see above) and it seemed to help.  I clip the cheesecloth to bamboo poles on the east side of my plants in the early hours and then move the cloth around to the west side for the late afternoon heat. My plants kept blossoming and making fruit set and I'm willing to do a bit extra since my backyard SFG isn't too big to make it a chore.

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Post  littlejo on 6/22/2013, 9:15 pm

I think misting with apple juice is prob. to encourage bees to come. Misting with sugar water was mentioned somewhere.

Here is a link on pollinating toms. a good read.


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Post  Frenchbean on 6/23/2013, 1:40 pm

Im with you Plantoid its been so windy in the UK everything seems to have stopped growing. Its blooming cold today. Ive got my cardi on.  I like your ideas though. sounds that it will work to me. How do you come up with these things👏clapclap You have a very clever mind. Can I borrow it please darn funnyyou rock No actually I am serious can I borrow your mind:thumb2:good ideaway to goway to go

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Post  Madcapper on 6/24/2013, 9:44 am

Thanks for all the replies folks! I was thinking that I might try to shade them with some type of partial sun block fabric. I will have to look into it.

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Post  grownsunshine on 7/13/2013, 12:12 pm

Hope you don't mind that I'm hijacking this thread for a quick, slightly related question. I have a tomatoe plant(s). There are 3 shoots (see pic of base below). I'm not sure if one is a sucker because I think I should have more fruit than it's bearing or its it two plants? Sucker? Twins? or What? I'm happy to just cut the nonbearing shoot if it will help the bearing shoot bear more fruit. Any ideas/advise?

My Tomato Plant
 Tomato not setting fruit? Tomato10

Couple of Tomatoes on one shoot
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