Tomatoes & Nitrogen


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I have started a garden in Florida where I retired. I have no experience with growing things in central Florida. I planted tomatoes on March 8. I fertilize with Miracle Grow for Tomatoes. I have huge, bushy, dark green beautiful plants. I do not have lots of buds & only a few tiny tomatoes. My neighbors have less healthy looking plants with lots of tomatoes. Could I be giving them too much nitrogen? If so what fertilizer would you recommend?
 
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I have started a garden in Florida where I retired. I have no experience with growing things in central Florida. I planted tomatoes on March 8. I fertilize with Miracle Grow for Tomatoes. I have huge, bushy, dark green beautiful plants. I do not have lots of buds & only a few tiny tomatoes. My neighbors have less healthy looking plants with lots of tomatoes. Could I be giving them too much nitrogen? If so what fertilizer would you recommend?
A lot depends on the variety of the tomatoes as to when they bloom and the number of blooms. The nighttime temperature is also important to the plants setting fruit. The optium is between 68 F - 72 F Whether they are determinate or indeterminate is also important. As for fertilizer I do not use chemicals which is what MG is. Chemical fertilizers burn up the organic nutrients in the soil over time and leave salts. After years of using organic fertilizers in my garden I now use very little fertilizer and mostly just add compost. Are you giving them too much nitrogen? No If you were they would not be big beautiful plants. they would be burned
 
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A lot depends on the variety of the tomatoes as to when they bloom and the number of blooms. The nighttime temperature is also important to the plants setting fruit. The optium is between 68 F - 72 F Whether they are determinate or indeterminate is also important. As for fertilizer I do not use chemicals which is what MG is. Chemical fertilizers burn up the organic nutrients in the soil over time and leave salts. After years of using organic fertilizers in my garden I now use very little fertilizer and mostly just add compost. Are you giving them too much nitrogen? No If you were they would not be big beautiful plants. they would be burned
Remember, she is not trying to grow big beautiful plants, she is trying to grow tomatoes.
 
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Remember, she is not trying to grow big beautiful plants, she is trying to grow tomatoes.
Well, the bigger, the more bushy, the fuller, the greener, the more healthy the plants are the more tomatoes you are going get and that is a fact. What we don't know here is when the neighbors planted and what the neighbors planted or when the poster planted or what the poster planted.
 
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I planted small starts one month ago. I have a Better Boy and several Celebrities and a variety identified by several numbers that is supposed to have been developed specifically for this area. I think it is related to the Goliath. I also have one cherry tomato plant. I know soil improvement is the best way to manage a garden. My landlord just provided a garden space for us the first of March. I have some slightly raised beds 4'x10'. I know nothing about the soil he placed in the boxes. I did not have time to do much to enrich the soil because I am not able to manage large bags of steer manure or compost matter. I will have to develop the soil slowly on a bucket by bucket basis. I knew I had to start the tomatoes immediately because it will soon be too hot for them. Thus I made the decision to get them started & use fertilizer this season. We also have some rules in the garden area. One specifically forbids homemade compost. I think they are concerned about odors and attracting rodents.

I vaguely remember my husband's grandmother saying something about tomatoes being too green and bushy and all the plant focused of leaf production rather than tomatoes. That was, however, many years ago. She lived in Florida. I moved here from the northwest. My plants today are twice the size of anything I ever grew in my previous home. The growing season was so short that we picked 1/2 of our tomato crop green to harvest before a killing frost. So the size of my plants is a concern.
 
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If you already have a few fruit and blooms are starting you are doing fine. My Celebrity plants I grew from seed and I put them in the ground about 2 weeks ago and no blooms yet. You have a much longer growing season in Florida than I do here in Texas. Also your nighttime temps remain good for a longer period of time than here. What you can to to speed up the blooming process is to sprinkle a handful of Epsom Salts around the base of each plant and water it in. This will also stop blossom end rot. Also something else you can do to speed things up is to stress the plant. Tomatoes should only be watered when the leaves are a little bit wilted in the morning. When you see this wilting wait 1 more day before giving them a big soaking. Remember, you cannot over water a tomato but you will really mess them up by watering too often.
 
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Tomatoes aren't picky but they do demand certain things. They need a lot of sun, at least eight hours. They are water hogs and at minimum need at least one inch of H2O per week. Any succors that are growing in the leaf notches should be pinched off because they just deplete energy from the plant. What is your average temperature at night and during the day? That makes a big difference. I'd stop with the Miracle Gro for tomatoes and just give them a jolt of the regular Miracle grow once a week, hopefully that will encourage the plant to bloom and throw some fruit.
 
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Our average temperatures right now are a high temperature of around 80 degrees with a night low in the mid-60's. I have never let my tomatoes wilt before watering. I am using a soaker hose and water them for 40 minutes every other day depending on rain fall. I will have to do some botany research before I try pinching back parts of the tomato plant because info not know to what you are referring in terms of succors and leaf notch.

My neighbor's tomato plants have only one stem with no leaves for the first 6" or so. Her plants look orderly. Mine look rather crazy and out-of-control. Because she somehow managed to get just one main stem she has each plant neatly tied to just one tall wooden stake. My tomatoes are not even well contained in the tomato cages we made for them.

I will try to let them wilt and will also try the Epsom Salt. I used a bit of that when I planted them, but can add more now.
 
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Our average temperatures right now are a high temperature of around 80 degrees with a night low in the mid-60's. I have never let my tomatoes wilt before watering. I am using a soaker hose and water them for 40 minutes every other day depending on rain fall. I will have to do some botany research before I try pinching back parts of the tomato plant because info not know to what you are referring in terms of succors and leaf notch.

My neighbor's tomato plants have only one stem with no leaves for the first 6" or so. Her plants look orderly. Mine look rather crazy and out-of-control. Because she somehow managed to get just one main stem she has each plant neatly tied to just one tall wooden stake. My tomatoes are not even well contained in the tomato cages we made for them.

I will try to let them wilt and will also try the Epsom Salt. I used a bit of that when I planted them, but can add more now.
If you have already applied Epsom Salt more probably won't help.. Mid 60's is a tad cool for proper setting of fruit which is good in your case because you don't have many blooms yet and by the time it is the proper temp you will have a lot of blooms. I always let mine wilt just a little before I give them a deep soaking and I mulch heavily.
 
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Well, the bigger, the more bushy, the fuller, the greener, the more healthy the plants are the more tomatoes you are going get and that is a fact. What we don't know here is when the neighbors planted and what the neighbors planted or when the poster planted or what the poster planted.
Sorry, but that's not a fact.
There is a very good reason why we remove side-shoots from indeterminate plants, and it is that we require an UNNATURAL amount of energy to go into fruit production, and not into leaf-making.
 
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Sorry, but that's not a fact.
There is a very good reason why we remove side-shoots from indeterminate plants, and it is that we require an UNNATURAL amount of energy to go into fruit production, and not into leaf-making.
Removing suckers has been studied for years down here in Texas for years. A & M has studied it and every master gardner has studied it. And what was found was that production was not affected and in fact the extra foliage helped against sunscald. And celebritys are determinate, not sure about Better Boy. Goliath is a hybrid of Beefsteak IIRC and determinate
 
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Our average temperatures right now are a high temperature of around 80 degrees with a night low in the mid-60's. I have never let my tomatoes wilt before watering. I am using a soaker hose and water them for 40 minutes every other day depending on rain fall. I will have to do some botany research before I try pinching back parts of the tomato plant because info not know to what you are referring in terms of succors and leaf notch.

My neighbor's tomato plants have only one stem with no leaves for the first 6" or so. Her plants look orderly. Mine look rather crazy and out-of-control. Because she somehow managed to get just one main stem she has each plant neatly tied to just one tall wooden stake. My tomatoes are not even well contained in the tomato cages we made for them.

I will try to let them wilt and will also try the Epsom Salt. I used a bit of that when I planted them, but can add more now.
If you are trying to restrict nitrogen, Epsom salts is not a great idea; it is used when plants cannot take up nitrogen due to too much potassium. The magnesium in ES is a potassium antagonist.
 

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