Gardening

8 Reasons your tomato flowers not setting fruit

Extreme cold or hot weather, lack of spacing, insufficient pollination, poor fertilization, and high humidity are the possible reasons for no tomato fruit set.

Tomato fruit setting problems mainly depends on Mother Nature. Even if you don’t notice any caring mistakes or serious plant health issue on tomatoes, yet this problem can occur only for temperature fluctuation.

So, you can’t control Mother Nature but can do some quick steps to reduce or fix the problem. Continue reading to learn more about tomato fruit setting problems and the possible solutions.

Tomato plants blooming but not producing fruit

1. Blossom drop or temperature fluctuation

Tomato blossom drop can happen for extreme hot and cold weather conditions. Both day and nighttime temperatures during the growing season can influence blossom drop problem.

Blossom drop happens when the night time temperature gets down below 55° F or rise above 75° F. On the other hand, it may also occur when the day time temperature gets down below 70° F or rise above 90° F.

Temperature fluctuation is the main reason for blossom drop. Besides, lack of pollination, imbalance nitrogen supply, lack of water, humidity fluctuation, plant stress from damage or diseases is other possible reasons for blossom drop.

Solution:

For hot weather condition, use a temporary shade cloth to reduce the extreme heat of midday and afternoon sun. It can protect tomato plants from the extra heat of the continue heat days.

For cold weather condition, use a black or red plastic mulch to hold the heat from the sun to keep the soil warm at night.

Besides, regular watering and proper nutrient supply also help to reduce blossom drop problem.

2. High humidity

Humidity slows down the process of pollination. Tomato flowers are self-pollinated and typically the process can happen by wind, human movement or other natural pollinators like bees, birds and other insects.

But the high humidity makes the pollen of the flowers too wet to reach them up to the stigma to make successful pollination.

Solution:

If you live in an area with high humidity, you can simply tap on the flowers or flower stem to make manual pollination.  Besides, you can also use a soft paintbrush to transfer the pollen from one flower to another.

3. Improper tomato spacing and poor air circulation

Proper spacing between plants is very important to make good pollination. It ensures good air circulation among plants and helps pollination. 

Short spaces between plants produce less fruit set and also susceptible to some fungal diseases.

Solution:

Make sure at least 2-3 feet distance between plants based on the tomato varieties.

4. Too many blossoms

Excessive blooming on tomatoes creates combat for nutrition. As a result tomato plant will abort some flowers automatically following the preservation method. 

Solution:

Tomato plants will solve this problem automatically when they start producing fruits. Make sure your soil get balanced nutrients during setting fruits.

5. Overfertilization or wrong way of fertilization

Overfertilization or lack of nutrients supply both may cause poor fruit set or poor flowering of tomatoes. Typically, tomatoes need major three fertilizer N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) supply in different stages of plant growth.

Potassium and phosphorus help to set flowers and produce healthy fruit set. So, phosphorus and potassium deficiency may cause poor flowering and fruit set during the growing season.

Solution:

Do the soil test first and apply fertilizer as the test result suggest. Typically, the 10-10-10 ratio of fertilizer is common for tomato plants.

But, at the beginning stage, you should apply enough nitrogen to develop tomato foliage and plant stems.

When the first flower appears at the second stages of plant growth, reduce the amount of nitrogen and increase the amount of phosphorus and potassium to produce healthy fruit set.

Usually, after transplanting tomato plants need 40-100 to bloom and set fruits based on different varieties. If you notice that your tomato plants are over foliage but no bloom, do a gentle pruning to let the tomatoes begin flowering.

6. Water stress

Too little water or too much water both cause poor fruit development. To get better fruit set you need to moist the soil evenly.

Solution:

Check the soil moisture first every time before applying water to the tomatoes. 

Tomato plants need 1-3 gallon of water per week depends on the weather condition. For dry weather condition, you need to supply more water than average.

Besides, applying compost fertilizer and organic mulching around the base of the plants help to hold the soil moisture for a longer period.

7. Lack of sunlight

Insufficient sunlight may cause poor fruit set of tomatoes and leggy growth. Usually, tomato plants need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to produce healthy fruit. Tomato plants convert the sunlight into energy to produce fruits.

Solutions:

Make sure your planting area gets enough sunlight before transplant tomato plants. If you plant tomatoes in a container, move them to a suitable place where sunlight is available.

8. Poor pollination

Poor pollination may occur for extremely hot, dry, cold or humid weather conditions. Besides little space between plants, windy weather and absence of natural pollinators can cause poor pollinations.

Solutions:

You can’t control the Mother Nature, so be patient to let the weather getting a fix by itself. You can also pollinate the tomatoes manually by hands.

|| Learn more about tomato plant problems.

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