Why Aren’t There Any Tomatoes on My Tomato Plants?

Why aren’t my tomato plants producing tomatoes anymore?

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If you are asking yourself this question it is possible that you are growing determinate tomato plants.

“Tomato – Tomahto”…. You say.

Oh, there are different kinds of tomatoes.  All tomatoes were not created equal.  Some tomato plants make tons of tomatoes all at once and it’s over.  Some give you tomatoes until the frost does them in.  Which ones are your raising?

Determinate tomato plants could be the reason your tomato production has come to a screeching halt.

What’s determinate?

There are 2 categories of tomato plants:

  1. Determinate – tomato plants grow to a set size.  They are often referred to as “bush” tomato plants.  They produce a large amount of ripe fruit at one time (usually over a 2-3 week period).  Determinate tomato plants will typically fruit earlier than indeterminate only requiring a 45-60 day growing season to maturity.
  2. Indeterminate – can grow to be 10-20 feet tall.  They will continue to produce fruit for months (even years in a green house environment).  Indeterminate plants will produce more fruit for a much longer period; however, they do not begin producing fruit until mid to late in the season (most indeterminate plants typically take 70-80 days to get to maturity).

If you happened to put in determinate plants, your tomato crop could be about over.

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Common Determinate Tomato Varieties

(plant stays smaller, produces all at once)

  • Applause
  • Glacier
  • Legend
  • Patio
  • Better Bush
  • Rutgers Select
  • Marglobe
  • Cherry tomato
  • Celebrity
  • Roma
  • Mountain Gold
  • Tiny Tim

Common Indeterminate Tomato Varieties

(plants continue growing throughout season, produces fruit until first frost) most heirloom varieties are going to be indeterminate

  • Beefsteak
  • Beef Master
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Lemon Boy
  • Brandywine
  • Jubilee
  • Stupice
  • Early Girl
  • Big Boy
  • Sungold

If you have indeterminate varieties & are still scratching your head wondering where all your tomatoes went – it could be the wet summer.  Here in Kentucky I have many farm-girl friends who haven’t put up the first jar of tomatoes this year.  It has just been so wet that the plants aren’t thriving.

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If you are one of the lucky few with a garden filled with tomatoes – rejoice!  I have not had my best year for tomatoes, but I have canned my heart out and have had enough to share.  No complaints here.

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