Asked on Aug 03, 2014

What to do if tomatoes are no longer producing well

Pamela Scruggs
by Pamela Scruggs
I don't see the remaining tomatoes enlarging nor are they reddening on the vine anymore. Is it time to pull them up and plant a fall crop? Or do you cut them down to the ground so they can come back next year?
I watered my tomatoes with the planted "holes in a coffee can" worked great!
q what to do if tomatoes are no longer producing well, gardening
  8 answers
  • Debs Debs on Aug 03, 2014
    Are you getting enough rain in your area? Watering them will help if it is dry. It is not time yet to pull them up and no they will not come back next year, we plant new ones every year. Some miracle grow for tomatoes would help it is a type of fertilizer you use in the water when you water them. Mine are taking a long time this year to ripen, Give them a little fertilizer and water them each morning when there is no rain . A little more time and you should have ripe tomatoes again..

  • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Aug 03, 2014
    ok I'll try that, I was about to give up on them and just eat fried green tomatoes for the next two weeks....:)..I water consistently and using my handy dandy system I feel certain water is reaching the roots..but it just looks like they have stalled out.

  • Dorothy Dorothy on Aug 03, 2014
    It may also be possible that they are not setting fruit if it is too warm, especially if nighttime lows are fairly high. There's often another flush of fruit setting when night temperatures drop into the 50's. They aren't a plant that you cut back and have come up again the next year. Plant new ones each year and rotate the area in which you plant them (as well as potatoes and other members of the same family).

  • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Aug 03, 2014
    So you mean if I leave them out there until night time temperatures drop into the 50's that they'll start another round of production? You kiddin' me??

    • See 1 previous
    • Dorothy Dorothy on Aug 04, 2014
      It also depends on whether you have determinant types (which set a lot of fruit at one short time period) or indeterminant types (which continue to grow and set fruit throughout the growing season...with the exception of when it is too hot). Determinant types are great for those that are doing a lot of canning since the entire crop will be present and ripe at one short period. Indeterminants are nicer if you want fresh tomatoes all summer long (again, with the exception of those times when it is too warm).

  • Debs Debs on Aug 03, 2014
    As long as the plant is green , usually up until frost, it will keep producing tomatoes..

  • FrazzledMommy FrazzledMommy on Aug 03, 2014
    @Pamela Scruggs I have to rotate my tomatoes yearly, they are a very nutrient soil sucking pant.. they might have suck all the nutrients from that particular soil. Especially if you went from having very happy tomatoes to sad plants.... this will also help prevent nematodes PS by rotate I mean I swap rows of veggies. What house tomatoes now houses eggplants etc...

    • See 1 previous
    • Cheryl Davis Cheryl Davis on May 09, 2017
      Tomatoes, eggplants, okra, and potatoes are all in the nightshade family. It is best to rotate your crops. Plant beans or peas; then, the next year plant your tomatoes in that row. "Google" how to rotate vegetable crops.
      In hot weather, mulch with grass clippings mixed with leaves or purchase straw in bales or hay to keep the ground moist longer. Hope this helps.

  • Sue C Sue C on Aug 04, 2014
    Pam, our tomato plants normally quick producing fruit when it gets this hot. We're trying to use cheese cloth to help shade them somewhat from the direct sun and hopefully that will help keep them cooler.

  • Cheryl Davis Cheryl Davis on May 09, 2017
    Also, try to get your tomato plants into the ground one week after your last frost-free date. In south Texas, along the coast, we wait until April. You can start them in pots and bring them inside if a light freeze is on the way. When setting out in the garden, plant them very deep - they will make roots along the main stem. Protect them from "cutworms" by slitting a toilet paper roll and placing it in the soil around the bottom of the stem - use a clothespin to keep the roll closed. I also sprinkle a bit of "snail bait" around each plant for insurance.