Tomatoes - lots of green with few blossoms

Asked June 6, 2019, 11:08 AM EDT

For the second year in a row I have great green vegetative growth with a few blossoms and last year the same deal with very few tomatoes. I've been putting my kitchen waste in a barrel for compost and add that to my raised bed garden in the spring. Three years ago I got great tomatoes. What's the deal? Has the soil become too rich? Too much nitrogen? I added some bone meal at the base of the plants yesterday but I think it's too late for that.

Somerset County Maryland vegetables abiotic issues

1 Response

Hi- sorry to hear that production is down. It's unlikely that the soil has too much organic matter. Tomatoes grow well in soils that are 50% compost by volume. Excess nitrogen can promote vegetative growth at the expense of flowers and fruits. But the kitchen scrap compost you are adding is relatively low in nitrogen (maybe 1% by weight) and that nitrogen is released slowly.

Test your soil this year to get some baseline information on nutrient levels and soil pH and follow lab recommendations:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

Other possibilities- low sunlight (too much shade), crowding, and botrytis (blossom and fruit stem disease) can all reduce fruiting and yields. Environmental stressors can also reduce fruiting, especially high day (over 90 degrees F.) and night (over 70 degrees F.) temperatures.
Jon