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Tomato plants not producing...HELP!!!

I planted 12  tomato plants this year. They are almost 5 ft tall, but I dont see any sign of tomatoes in most of them. Overall, I saw a total of 5-6 tomatoes(still small & green) till now. There are a lot of flowers on the plants but they have been that way for a while now..I also applied plant food (Miracle-Gro) a couple of times. The plants have started falling over due to its weight in spite of having stake support. 


Will I get some good produce from my plants before the end of the season? What should I do? Is it true that too much foliage on the plants can stop it producing more fruit? I have 6 determinate & 6 indeterminate (Roma & Big Boy) varieties. They are all planted together so now I dnt know which is which!!! 


Pls help!!!

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Posted 2012-09-12T19:29:38+0000  by smi80 smi80

Hi there smi80,


You can certainly reduce the size of the foliage to perhaps add nutrition to the actual fruit, by removing some of the larger stems.  It is getting late in the season and I do feel however that the size of you tomatoes is probably more from drying out from time to time.  Keep the watering consistent if the weather is still hot.


Good Luck!


Best Answer

Posted 2012-10-09T14:55:49+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Hello smi80,


 Since you see flowers, you may not have bees or other pollinators around, try shaking the cage around noon to see if that will help with the pollination. Another reason could be that it has just been too hot for the flowers to set fruit, the days should be cooling down soon and you may get some fruit set. Depending on where you live, you may still have time to get fruit. Here in California we can get fruit as late as November if the weather stays warm. I would not worry about too much foliage as long as your plant is still blooming.


Hope this helps,



Posted 2012-09-12T20:02:53+0000  by Gail_HD_OC

Tomatoes do not set fruit when the night time temperatures are above about 78 degrees.  If you've been experiencing a lot of very hot temperatures like much of the country, then that may be the culprit.  Also, watering matters.  Tomato fruit are mostly water.  Watering 3x a week, deeply, rather than 1x a day but  a lesser amount, is better for most plants.

Posted 2012-09-13T12:01:41+0000  by msrose

Thank you very much...I guess the heat must be the culprit...We 've had 100 degree temps till the 1st week of this month...It has started to cool down a bit now...Hopefully will see some fruit soon..Also will try shaking the plants a little to help with the pollination...Thanks again!!!

Posted 2012-09-13T14:54:42+0000  by smi80

Hi smi80,


You may also try using a small paint brush to help with the cross pollination process.  Lightly take the brush and dab from flower to flower, similar to what a bee would do. 


This has helped some of my customers in the past and they have successfully grown tomatoes...even inside!


Good luck!

Posted 2012-09-13T15:21:35+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Thank You Grow2girl...I'll definitely try it...Hope tht works...thanks again :-)

Posted 2012-09-13T20:25:13+0000  by smi80

I started seeing a few tomatoes on my plants now...but they are not getting big...they ripen when they are really small...What could be causing this to happen? 

It is really much smaller than what appears in the pic :-(




Posted 2012-09-25T19:15:46+0000  by smi80

Pls tell me why my tomatoes ripen when they are really small....

Posted 2012-10-03T20:53:40+0000  by smi80

Hi again smi80,


Reasons that tomato plants produce small fruit:


  1. Inadequate water- Tomatoes are mostly water, so if they are hard and small then increase the amount of water you are giving them.
  2. Lack of nutrients - You mentioned that you are using Miracle Gro.  If you are using, the one that you mix with water, then is intended to work immediately and only last for 7-14 days.  You may need to re-apply more often.
  3. Shorter days- It is getting a bit late in the season, depending on where you live the days might be shorter and the amount of sun might be less.

See if there is anything you can change for this year, if it's too late then maybe you can plan for next year.


Good Luck!

Posted 2012-10-04T12:32:39+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Thank You Grow2girl,


I guess water must be one of the reasons. I have noticed that the soil below the plants start to dry out otu by the middle of the day.


Nutrients - I am using the MiracleGro plant food granules & apply them based on the instructions on the conatiner.


We are in zone 8a & the plants are in a sunny spot. so, they get plenty of sunlight.



The plants have grown really big & heavy & have a lot of foliage on them. I have read in a few articles earlier that people get rid of some foliage towards the end of the season to get the best out their plants & maximum produce before the plants die or before the weather turns cold.

Could too much foliage be one of the reasons for slow growth and small size of tomatoes?


Posted 2012-10-04T21:55:06+0000  by smi80
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