Plants tall but not producing. Why?

morrisovaMay 15, 2011

I planted broccoli, tomatoes, squash, and bell peppers. I live in south Louisiana.

The broccoli got about 2 ft tall but never produced anything but leaves. Tomatoes are 5 ft tall with pretty small fruits. They are mostly creole tomatoes which I know have large fruit. Squash is gigantic, with a lot of flowers but no fruit. Bell pepper, on the other hand is pretty small, producing some fruit, on the smaller size.

A friend living 2 blocks down the street has good sized bell peppers and squash so I know it is not the weather. She, in fact, planted them about a month after I did.

The sun is on that veggie bed till about 1 pm. Unfortunately, there is no spot around my house that would get sun all day.

Any advice why all my plants get giant but don't produce anything?

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lnewport

Sounds like they have had a lot of nitrogen but not enough phosphorus. I add bonemeal for the phosphorus.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:19AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Very tall plants (called 'leggy') with minimal or no production is always a sign of too little sun. They 'reach' for the sun they need and in the process the stems are stretched and growth nodes are widely spaced making fruit production difficult or limited.

On the other hand, big bushy plants with lots of foliage but little or no production is a symptom of excessive nitrogen in the soil.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:04AM
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gardendawgie(5)

You planted your seeds too late in the year. Tomorrow is the start of winter.

Ask Obama. He will assign one of his Czars to help.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:08AM
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thisisme(az9b)

morrisova I have to agree with the above posts. It sounds like to much nitrogen. My garden is green, healthy and productive. To give you an idea of the time frame. I started planting mid February. Thus far I have only fertilized three times. Once in the planting hole and twice though the drip system.

Nitrogen helps grow nice big green plants. Used to often or at the wrong time it causes plants to enter a state of vegetative growth. Not a bad thing for a flower garden. However with vegetables and fruiting plants you want them to enter a state of flowering/fruiting rather than vegetative.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Dan Staley

As above (save the unnecessary and impoverished political plaint), sounds like not enuf sun and too much N. And we don't know when the broccoli was planted, but could have bolted in heat.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:32PM
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lnewport

Wouldn't bolting mean there was a flower produced originally on the Broccoli ?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:39PM
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lnewport

Rather than say "Flower" I should have said a broccoli head which then if bolted produced flowers. (I think that's what I should have said) so if OP says the broccoli only produced leaves then how would it have bolted? Just curious.

Plus if the plants receive sun until 1pm...That's at least 6 hours of sun a day isn't it?

Just learning myself so I'll like to know. Hopefully OP will come back and answer.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:43PM
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thisisme(az9b)

lnewport here in the south thats more like 7-8hrs of sun. Sunup and Sunset times vary by location. In LA that plenty of hours of sunlight.

Here's a link that may be helpful. Just scroll down and look at the current Sunrise Sunset times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunrise Sunset

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:51PM
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lnewport

thisisme I had said that it's at least 6 hours sunlight, meaning that at the minimum it's 6 hours not that it couldn't be more than 6 hours.

From what I understand 6 hours is usually enough sunlight. I was also told the shade during the hottest parts of the day can actually be helpful to some plants.

I have a section of garden which is shaded by 2pm and it's doing great.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:08PM
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lnewport

My main point is I am wondering why Dan is insisting that the plants are not producing due to not enough light. From what the OP described it sounds like there is too much nitrogen in the soil IMO so I'm curious about his view point and how he came to this conclusion.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:12PM
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glib(5.5)

Broccoli at least should produce something in partial sun. But either way, the OP should consider organizing the Fall garden. Partial sun and lots of N sounds like collards heaven. Kale will do very well also, as well as a number of lesser greens. Amongst root crops, turnips and rutabaga should produce as well. Not your first choice of veggies? well, sites have limits, you got to adapt your crops to the site.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Dan Staley

lnewport, my text above said a combination of not enough sun and too much N, and since we weren't told when the broccoli was planted, there was a chance that it had bolted. I'm not insisting anything, merely agreeing with the speculation ("sounds like"), based on the scant info provided.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:28PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Leggy plants tells me too little light. Just foliage tells me too much nitrogen.
How much direct sun people get from sunup to 1 pm depends totally on the terrain. That's only 4 hours for me because I have a hill full of trees to the east.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:30PM
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lnewport

Dan,

True you did say a combo. I'm still curious about the bolting part when the OP said the broccoli only produced leaves. If there wasn't a broccoli head produced then how did it bolt?

Doesn't "Bolt" mean flowers are produced? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:34PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Sorry lnewport; I was trying to point out how right you were since Dan (Who's opinion I respect.) had taken a different point of view. The OP said "The sun is on that veggie bed till about 1 pm." Given the time of Sunrise there, there should be plenty of sun for fruit production.

No, I'm not offended. Keep in mind though that when someone mentions your user name. They may just be agreeing with you or trying to help you make your point.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:22PM
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lnewport

thisisme, I wouldn't think that you should be offended but thanks. I didn't take you trying help me make my point when you are directing your comment me but that's just how I see it. Either way I'm not offended. Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:07PM
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Dan Staley

True you did say a combo. I'm still curious about the bolting part when the OP said the broccoli only produced leaves. If there wasn't a broccoli head produced then how did it bolt?

ln, we have no fotos. We have a paucity of information. All we can do is guess, including guessing that no fls were produced. Some guesses better than others.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 10:22AM
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lnewport

ln, we have no fotos. We have a paucity of information. All we can do is guess, including guessing that no fls were produced. Some guesses better than others.

Dan

Ok . I get that , just wondering in general if there is something more to "bolting" than I originally thought. Sorry to be so persistent about it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Dan Staley

De nada, ln.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:56PM
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