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What to do when your tomatoes aren't producing fruit

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Hurry up and wait.....

That's pretty much all you can do when your tomato plants aren't producing any fruit, hurry up and wait until the weather 'cools'.....

I live in an apartment, so I have a container garden on my patio.  I've got some gorgeous looking tomato plants, they're flowering abundantly, but the flowers shrivel up, which means no fruit.  Why?  Because it's just too darn hot out.

20170727_105316Tomato plants are self-pollinating.  The flowers contain both the male and female parts, with the pollen falling from the male parts and sticking to the female parts to create the tomato.  But when daytime temperatures rise above 85 - 90 degrees - never mind the heat index factor of container plants on a hard surface in my case - and there's extreme humidity in play, the pollen becomes so sticky that it does not fall.   What happens next is the unpollinated flower shrivels up and falls off the plant.  A picture of one of my tomato plants, with the flowers starting to shrivel up is pictured right.

In my neck of the woods there's been three digit temps during the day for a long stretch and just enough rain to keep things brutally sticky humid.   

About the only thing you can do in the pursuit of harvesting ripe red tomatoes from you garden is to wait for cooler weather.  Keep your plants healthy, water and keep them fertilized as needed.  Do that and you'll get some fruit, just later in the season than you had hoped.  For now, it's, "hello grocery store!"


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