Author Topic: Blossom Drop  (Read 2650 times)

tankertoad

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Blossom Drop
« on: May 11, 2018, 12:16:30 pm »
I'm new to the Earthbox, although I have grown tomatoes off and on for the past 55 years or so in gardens and raised beds.  I'm curious, however, about one thing I'm encountering with this first use of Earthboxes.  I live in the eastern edge of the central Texas hill country, and planted my 2 boxes in mid-March, which is right at the average last spring freeze date in this part of Texas.  We did have a few nights (not all in a row) of temperatures in the high 30s - low 40s in late March/very early April, during which time I protected my plants.  I planted my boxes strictly according to the Earthbox guidelines, including using the provided potting mix and fertilizer, making every effort to give me the best chance of success with my first try at this type of gardening.  Once a week, I put one teaspoon of Greenway ammonium calcium nitrate (15.5-0-0, at 19% calcium) into the watering tube to prevent blossom end rot. The only pest problem so far was a brief encounter with thrips, which was easily controlled with spirosad (Capt Jack's Deadbug Brew).  Other environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, cloud cover, etc.) have been what I consider just about ideal, to include 8 hours of direct sun from around 8AM to 4PM.  The plants are healthy, and I only do light pruning to allow good air circulation beneath the plants.

My plants and each one's status are:

Cherokee Purple - almost 3 feet tall, with at least 25 fruits

Celebrity - 2-1/2 feet tall, with at least 25 fruits

Heatmaster - 1-1/2 feet tall, with at least 21 fruits

Early Girl - 3 feet tall, with at least 25 fruits

Now my problem.  I'm encountering a lot of blossom drop, and lack of wind and high humidity don't seem to be issues this year that would hinder pollenization.  I have read that a heavy fruit load during first production can cause blossom drop, but I don't know what constitutes "heavy" fruit production.  I am getting fruit numbers with the 2 Earthboxes (4 plants) that I seldom (probably never) reached when I planted 10 to 14 plants conventionally.  Is "heavy" fruit production likely the cause of my blossom drop issue?

Thanks

gardendoc

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Re: Blossom Drop
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 12:38:26 pm »
Large production of flowers often results in flower drop. Think about a Cherokee Purple tomato that produces >25 flowers at one time. There is no way the plant can produce enough energy via photosynthesis or fertilization to support this many fruits. The plant aborts flowers in respect to available resources.
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tankertoad

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Re: Blossom Drop
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 01:12:33 pm »
Thanks for the response.

Yes, the actual number of blossoms on each plant far exceeded the number of fruits I mentioned.  I was just unfamiliar with what might constitute "heavy" production.  I guess I now have a standard by which to make that determination.  A good problem to have, apparently.

Thanks again.

gardendoc

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Re: Blossom Drop
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 02:24:50 pm »
You're welcome, this is what the Forum is for.
Why Google, when you have me?

PatrickHubbard

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Re: Blossom Drop
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 01:26:06 pm »
Iím having the same problem.  Would you then recommend I cut some of the blossoms off?

gardendoc

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Re: Blossom Drop
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 08:57:12 am »
No, the plant will abort flowers as needed
Why Google, when you have me?