are tomatoes worth growing?

CelbriseSeptember 15, 2012

i have a single tomato plant i grew from seed and well it's been growing great but due to the weather recently it has succumb to many things such as aphids, powdery mildew, flowers dropping.

powdery mildew i can handle as it was raining and it didn't really affect the plant.

the aphids i can tried getting rid of and recently i think i found a solution that got rid of them. they seem to have lowered in number and i can apply more if needed in the future.

my main problem i am having trouble with is the flowers/fruits. they just seem to open up and them fall off. i really don't know whats causing this. they are out in the open in sunlight so if it is due to pollination i mean bugs can pollinate it. etc.. not even a single fruit and theirs about 3 clusters of flowers already.

idk if i should give up on this plant or just keep growing it i mean i have no problems growing it but i mean if it's not producing fruit at least whats the point of growing it i could be growing something else that will produce fruit.

any help on how i can get it to fruit as well? i doubt i have soil problems if the plant is thriving and i doubt it's the aphids as the leaves seem healthy.

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

What has the temperature been like where you are? If it gets too hot tomatoes don't set fruit.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 12:10AM
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Celbrise, after pollination it is usual for the petals to fall off. (The plant has no interest in attracting pollinators once the ovary has been fertilized). You might have to look closely to determine whether a fruit is developing.
The plant will drop whole flowers in response to a growing stimulus - nitrogen application and / or watering.
Inability to hold on to its fruits has been linked to potassium deficiency in plants.
I cannot tell if any or all of these apply in your case.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:34AM
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If tomatoes weren't worth growing, there probably wouldn't be a Growing Tomatoes Forum dedicated to them...there are whole sites dedicated to them, lol.
Read through the tomato forum threads(search for 'blossom drop')and peruse the FAQs at the top of the forum page.
Don't give up after just one plant...fresh tomatoes are definitely worth the trouble.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Tomatoes Forum

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:45AM
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the temps been around high 80's here./humid due to a lot of rain lately for the past 2 weeks.

i doubt it's due to watering as i water every 3 days and the plants are mulched with compost.

also the whole flowers are falling off not just the petals. but this only has been happening since it started raining. i would think it is the weather. i am going to try fix up this plant i guess and hope for the best. when winter comes i can just chuck it out i mean that gives it a lot of time to set fruit

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Were the flowers on the plant when you applied that solution of half dish soap and half water?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Yes about 1 or 2 cluster and both of these ones are the ones losing their flowers.

I also think i added too much nitrogen as well and over fertilized as well although I have mulched this plant I also doubled mulched it with unfinished compost and fertilized it before that as well so I think those twoare my problems.

I still use the solution but I made sure I diluted it good enough. And I'm not fertilizing the plant no more

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:20PM
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Maybe you mentioned somwhere & I didn't notice, but what zone are you in? (You mentioned temps in 80's & humid; how about nightime?)
Is tomato plant in container or in ground?
How 'strong' was the seedling when you planted it out?


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Once you taste a tomato fresh off the plant your question will be answered!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

.... only two things that money can't buy,
That's true love & home grown tomatoes. ~ Guy Clark

Home Grown Tomatoes


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 7:51AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Al, thanks for the video and most of all for your great recipe for tomatoes! the 5-1-1.

Some of my tomatoes

And a past harvest



    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:29AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)


Great pics ..... and soo glad the soil is working for you!!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Celbrise,

You can't find anything better...

Don't give up on growing these beauties!! Keep trying and hopefully you may have some set this year. If not, then you will have more experience under your belt.

IMO.. i would think that the Half soap and half water hurt those buds. Im sure you are trying your best to do everything to keep this single plant growing to its best potential. I hope it will produce for you!!!

Maybe next spring, plant a few more plants and then you can get a feel as to the different varieties too! I sometimes start from seed, but i find it is easier to by the little plants already started in the spring and repot them into the 5-1-1 mix.

Good Luck.. They will grow.. Give them another chance!! : )

Silvia.. Great pics!! Love the "harvest" pic and the Caprese salad looks so delicious. Love that dish!!

Ok.. I'm ready for a BLT with fresh Bread and of course.. "Home Grown Tomatoes" : )

Im hungry!!! : )

Take care,


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:48AM
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i am zone 10a i believe according to google when i checked. I live in Hawaii.

but since then i stopped the spraying and it looks as if some of the flowers are starting to produce fruit. the flowers are getting extremely bright yellow unlike before they would get a pale yellow then just drop. although the damn aphids are back again -.-" i will probably not spray them anytime soon. i guess it has to do with the wet weather as they seem to love the wet weather. only problem i do have no is the leaves are turning yellow and dying but i think it's just early blight it's only a few leaves mainly the ones on the bottoms

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:13PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Thank you Al.

Thank you Laura and I do love tomatoes!


When night temperatures cool down, you will see more fruit setting. Try to grow at least a few plants different varieties and see what do best for you...I always do heirloom and hybrids, small, medium, large, different colors.

Cherry tomatoes should do well in the heat, there is one cherry tomato native to Hawaii, you should try that one. Shake the plants gently to distribute the pollen.

And probably the best advice is to find out a home tomato grower and ask about varieties and most important the right timing to set tomatoes in your area.

I grow mine in containers due to nematodes in the soil, and also is easier for me to move them around.

And my tomatoes are happy with Al's 5-1-1 recipe!

Another tomato salad:)


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:24PM
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