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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This forum is a bonus for me, as i thought I would join for recipes and support (became veg*n about 7 months ago after 42 years eating meat). I went a different direction with my garden this year, because of my choice. Previously, my gardens had been more for "side dishes", but I decided to go crazy with the tomatoes so i could can a lot of spaghetti sauce.<br><br>
Fast forward to now. I have 30 tomato plants (3/4 heirloom) and 3 varieties. I live in MD, and we have been having a drought and insanely hot temps. I had bad leaf roll, which I was told wasn't a big deal, since the plants were otherwise healthy, and they appeared to be doing great. Then I lost all my blossoms. ALL of them. I thought it was pests at first, but have now diagnosed blossom drop. It just began happening to one of my squash plants as well.<br><br>
Here's my problem- the plants are spread out over a large area, so unfortunately some sort of sun shade isn't a financial option. Also, I have read that overwatering (not only excessive heat) can cause blossom drop, so I'm stuck. It's hot, so I've been watering every other day heavily (soil remains damp 4 inches down). I don't know if the heat or my watering habits is the cause. The plants do not appear stressed at all (no droop, browning, stems are solid).<br><br>
My jalapenos and potatoes are doing great, but my grand plan is going out the window with each new clump of blossoms that fail. I have 30 waist high, very nice looking tomato plants, and not ONE blossom on them. What are your suggestions? Nobody around here has anything solid to offer. I really want to put up a bunch of spaghetti sauce, and not have a garden populated with basically decorative shrubbery.<br><br>
Help.
 

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Awww, I love tomatoes and grow them every summer here in souther California. we had horrible blossom drop 2 years ago on pretty much all of our tomatoes (not just my gardens but everyones in CA!!!) bc of the way the high temps.<br><br>
Unfortunately there really isn't much else you can do, know its probably not your watering habits, the heat is to blame. You can cut back inderterminates and try for some more blossoms. If the temps still stay high there is something you can do to try to keep them from burning off: at night put ice around the plants in the soil. it helps keep the temps down and can maybe save the blossoms.
 

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Glad to hear it's not just me, although everyone else in the area seems to be doing OK. All of my plants are indeterminants, and i don't know exactly how to cut them back. Could you recommend a link, or give me a quick explanation? I have had a garden for many years, but we have excellent soil and growing conditions, so problems like this are a bit out of my scope. Never had to trim back or worry about anything besides some aphids and potato beetles later in the season. It has been a crazy season- I got my plants in late (week before Memorial day- the first 30 were eaten by rabbits and cutworms literally overnight, so i had to start over). Then the temp climbed to upper 90's for a week straight exactly when the blossoms first appeared, and have remained above 80 (and above 70 even at night) for the last two weeks. I tried to compensate with water, and so thought I might be causing it, but maybe not? The plants are EXTREMELY healthy, other than the fact that I can't keep a viable blossom- waist high, no spots, bugs, no chews on any leaves, straight, etc. Best looking plants I'ev had for years, but I'd trade that for tomatoes!
 

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i'm planning to try to extend my tomato season into those scorching summer months by building a frame over my garden (it's above ground) and using shade cloth. then i'm going to go around the perimeter and use misting nozzles, which should help me cheat the heat with evaporative cooling. at least that will be my experiment.<br><br>
of course, this can turn into a pricey enterprise, but to me having an organic source of veggies is well worth the couple of thousand dollars this will untimately cost me. it's a break even proposition over a couple of seasons. after that, it's free organic veggies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">.
 

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Convert, my gardening got off to a rought start this year too because of the weather.<br><br>
Since you have so many tomato plants, here's an idea: how about using a different watering regimen for different groups of tomatoes? Carefully record what you do and see if there's a growth difference in the groups.
 
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