tomato blossoms but no fruit set

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by allison, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. allison

    allison Member

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    Location:
    Victoria BC
    Hi,

    I live in Victoria, BC. I planted 20 or so tomato plants on the May 21st weekend. They are leafy and green, and many have large clusters of flowers. It seems to be taking a long time for the flowers to open, and those that have opened don't appear to be developing fruit.

    Is it too early to expect fruit to be setting, especially since our June has been so wet and cold? Or should I be trying to pollinate the blossoms by shaking the branches?

    We had mason bees until about two years ago, when they all disappeared. I'm concerned that the flowers are not being pollinated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Keke

    Keke Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    I believe tomatoes will not set fruit if the nights are below 10C, and we've had several of these. I put all of my tomato plants into my little greenhouse to start them in May and they've never left! Because I close it up (leaving vents open) each night they are setting fruit.

    I would also shake the plants to make sure they're getting pollinated. I do that as a matter of course and it seems to work. Don't know whether that's the power of placebo or not, as during the day I take some of the side panels of the greenhouse out to let the air (and any local bees) go through.

    keke
     
  3. allison

    allison Member

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    Thanks very much for your reply. Yes, I probably should have covered them, but they were too tall by the time I became concerned about it. It was a late start to summer this year.

    I have now shaken all the flowered stems, and used a small paintbrush for good measure. Since they are all indeterminate plants, I have also removed many of the additional branches. So far it is looking much better. I see tomatoes forming!
     
  4. Grant Gussie

    Grant Gussie Active Member

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    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Indeterminate tomatoes planted outside are usually still setting fruit well into August on the west coast, largely due to our extended cool springs that inhibit maturation until July. But if you are not seeing any fruit set at all yet, you almost certainly have a pollination problem, and the first culprit to be considered is always insecticides. Has there been much spraying around your area lately? BTW, you mentioned a lack of mason bees. Mason bees are strictly early spring flyers (finishing up completely by June), and so all the adults from last year have died. The only mason bees now are in the nests, to emerge and breed next year. So the lack of mason bees isnt your problem, but their demise may indicate an insecticide prevalence that also wiped out the native bees (like bumble bees) that do fly this time of year.
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Tomatoes are not pollinated by bees. All they need is a little shaking from the wind or any other disturbance to set fruit.
     
  6. elgordo

    elgordo Active Member

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    Location:
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    Bumblebees will pollinate tomatoes.
     
  7. splicer

    splicer Member

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    Location:
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    Im on a third floor Balcony I have a few growing Tomato fruit growing now. I dont see a lot of Bees up this high. Some wind though.
    I also have sweet yellow peppers and hot yellow peppers. The wind thing makes sense to me. I however pollinate by hand using one of my $40.00 sable paint brushes I have cut down to a few hairs also.
     
  8. Vili Petek

    Vili Petek Member

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    Location:
    Richmond BC
  9. splicer

    splicer Member

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    Thank You that will save some time thats for sure, Although I must admit I do enjoy my time with our balcony plants.
    They give me so much back in pure almost zen like peace. Just pop in the Ear pods, listen to Bach and enjoy the morning.
     

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