London (change)
Today 15°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 13°C
9 messages
04/07/2012 at 11:10

I have three varieties of tom in the GH this year: Marmande which are doing fine if a bit slowly, Yellow Brandywine and a black type called Carbon are healthy but worrying. The latter two (growing for the first time) have been in heavy flower now for at least a couple of weeks but hardly any fruit is set. I keep the GH doors open for insects and also go around a couple of times a day tapping the plants to generate the pollen. Because the Marmande seems to be behaving, I suspect these other varieties may be problem germinators... or is it just the awful weather?

04/07/2012 at 11:44

My feeling is that this will be a common problem this year-you seem to be doing all you can-it is a matter of sun and increasing the humidity-a lot of the flowers on mine have just dropped of or just sat there- it is so soul-destroying-just live in hope-not a lot of comfort I know.

It probably does differ from variety to variety.

04/07/2012 at 14:41

Let's blame the lack of sunshine! Only 121kWh registered in June from my solar pv, compared to 195kWh last year, which wasn't that great. I believe that tomatoes need sunshine and heat. It's pretty warm these days, so maybe that will help. If it can be of any comfort, here are my moneymakers a couple of days ago (with the bright courgettes below) still no fruit, but plenty of flowers which have suffered from the recent strong winds:

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/9540.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

 

04/07/2012 at 19:36

Thanks for the empathy. Unrelenting gloom ain't it?

04/07/2012 at 21:17

Try spraying the flowers with water either in the morning or evening. This helps the fruit to set.

04/07/2012 at 21:49

My dad is a great tomato man he told me to tap the flowers in the heat of the day to encourage pollination. He also had a rabbits tail for this job too, but not having a rabbit about I use a cotton bud just very lightly go from flower to flower cross pollinating. I do this for peppers as well it always works

05/07/2012 at 07:18

You don't need to cross pollinate. They're self-pollinating. Just give the flowers a tap or a brush with your hand. One of the great frustrations for tom growers is flowers not setting fruit. Over-watering and over-fertilising can be a factor. High temps and humidity can also work against fruit setting. We've had a week in the high 30sC here and flowers are shrivelling and dying.

05/07/2012 at 08:50
I read tomatoes don't like it too hot (GW have a two pager on Tom problems in their July issue).
05/07/2012 at 08:54

Well, they love the heat until it comes to setting fruit. That's the only real issue with heat. Humidity, too, for that matter.

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