If you’ve grown tomatoes or peppers for any length of time, chances are you’ve had this situation: your plants look great, flowers form, and then they . . . drop. No tomatoes. What?!?!?!
Blossom drop, as it’s commonly called, is usually caused by a sudden change in temperature, or when you see daytime temperatures above 95° Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures above 75° Fahrenheit, nighttime temperatures below 55° Fahrenheit. Most commonly you will see this issue from heat. The tomato or pepper won’t be able to sustain the fruit, so they don’t produce it. They will, however, produce fruit once there is a cool-down. This can also be made worse by a lack of moisture and/or high winds.
Looking in the picture above, on the left are two healthy tomato branches. You can see the swollen area with an arrow pointing to it. This stem will produce fruit. See the broken area on the right with the arrow pointing to it? This will not produce fruit, and is breaking because of Blossom Drop. A healthy tomato branch will be swollen and full, like the non-broken one above. If the plant can’t sustain any additional fruit, it will drop the rest of the flowers as seen above.
So what can you do? Well, mulch is a great way to keep your plants warm if you are expecting a temperature drop. In the case of lack of moisture, obviously you want to water consistently. Hoop tunnels with shade cloth are a great way to regulate daytime temperatures.
Hoop tunnel with shade cloth
The one thing you can do to aid your plants to be able to produce fruit when the temperature allows is to make sure they are fully fed. You want to make sure you give them plenty of Nitrogen, so they are healthy and happy when the time comes to produce fruit.
Amino Acids are an excellent organic source of Nitrogen to aid your plants – we sell it for only $12.00 per pound! You can use [glossary]Amino Acids[/glossary] as a Foliar spray, soil additive, or hydroponically. Also, our Extreme Blend has a wonderful Nitrogen content (from Amino Acids), as well as our soluble Humic Acid, Fulvic Acid, and Kelp.
All these products will help, and your plants will thank you for it. Once they are able to produce fruit, you can increase their yield by making sure they are prepared. You can also use Compost tea for this, and we have an awesome starter kit to get you going.