Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tomato Blossom drop - How to Sustain Production Through the Summer

Tomato Blossom drop - How to Sustain
Production Through the Summer

This is mys first year using the Mittleider method. Living in west
Georgia our summer heat can be rather stout and is often over 90
sustained for most of the summer. In past veg gardens I have
experienced blossom drop on tomatoes and production has fallen off
during hot summer months. Thus we get a nice slug of tomatoes early
and nothing in late summer as the tomatoes disappear.

My research on this has pointed to heat and high nitrogen application
as significant contributing factors to the loss of blossom and
declining production. One general rule of thumb in these
parts is that if you want tomatoes throughout the late summer here,
only use patio or cherry tomatoes. (I am not a fan of those varieties
as they won't hold still and shoot across the room when I try to cut
them in a salad)

Does the Mittlieder method offer any variations to managing the
tomato crop to offset these issue? The weekly application with the
method includes a good bit of N worries me a bit in sustaining

I'd like to sustain production of my better boy and big boy tomatoes
if possible into the late summer and fall.


The Mittleider Method offers you hope of better success. The application of
Weekly Feed every 7 days does not give your plants too much nitrogen. Of
greater concern is applying too much of ANY one compound. The nitrogen in
our pre-packaged mix is only 13%, and it is properly balanced with all of
the other nutrients.

In hot weather it becomes VERY important to maintain moisture in your soil,
and in your plants. The plant needs much moisture because up to 95% of the
water it receives is lost through transpiration in order to try stay cool
(think human sweating). Therefore, consider watering twice a day during hot
dry weather.

Nutrients deficiencies can cause blossom drop also, but extremely high
temperatures, and failure of temps to cool down at night can do it, as
you've experienced.

If you see any evidence of lack of calcium, such as blossom-end rot, I would
give your plants a second shot of Pre-Plant mix.

Also, consider putting shade cloth of 25-35% over your plants - just wide
enough to cover them during the hottest hours from 11 A.M. to 2 or 3 P.M.

Jim Kennard

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