Large plants few tomatoes

Asked July 6, 2018, 11:12 AM EDT

My broccoli and tomatoes have large plants but small fruits. What causes this? Also my cucumbers have lots of blossems with cukes of one inch in size and they are not growing. Zucchini looks healthy but the blossems (I have a lot of them) but are having a hard time producing product.The first picture is of the cukes, the second pic is of one of the broccoli, and the third is of the zucchini. It is a raised bed 5' x 12'. The tomatoes are in the center of the garden, once again a lot of plant but not many tomatoes. the tops seem a little curley.


1 Response

Dear gardener,

Thank you for contacting us. It is very possible that you are dealing with more than one problem. Is this the first year you are growing in this soil? Have you added any fertilizers or amendments to the soil this year? If so, what were they and what is the NPK content?

We always recommend starting with a qualified soil test. Your county extension agent can assist you in finding local labs to do this. Soil amendments should be added only after first identifying the need (and the amount needed) with a soil test. If a deficiency is indicated, you can then add the appropriate fertilizer (organic or synthetic) in the right amount.

Too much nitrogen can produce lush foliage at the expense of the fruit. However, if your cucumbers are getting lots of blossoms and small fruit, it may be a matter of providing a bit more irrigation. We advise watering deeply but less often. Water until the soil is moist to a depth of 2 inches, then wait until the soil dries slightly on the surface before watering again (assuming there is no rain.)

With respect to your tomatoes, it is possible that they are not being adequately pollinated. Normally tomatoes are self-pollinating; however, pollination can be inhibited by the lack of wind and insects, as well as high temperatures, humidity, and too much moisture. On a dry day, give your plant branches a little shake to ensure distribution of the pollen within the flowers. And, of course, try to attract pollinating insects to your garden with plants that attract them.

Broccoli and squash may just require more time. On squash, the male flowers usually begin opening before the female flowers. You can tell the females by looking for a swollen green bulge just below the flowers. From there, you can help nature do its work by "tickling" the inside of the male flowers with a tiny brush or Qtip, and then doing the same to the female flowers.