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Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

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Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  brynn.mahnke on 7/22/2012, 3:41 pm

Last year I purchased a Yellow Pear tomato plant from our farmer's market. I really loved the variety! This year I was excited to see that in the place where I had planted last year a "volunteer" plant sprouted, and I assumed it was yellow pear as well. The plant is now about 5 feet tall with lots of blossoms. However, the blossoms are dropping off after they close. I have not gotten a single fruit. It has been producing blossoms for probably about a month now, maybe longer.

Anybody know why this could be happening? It has been HOT here, up to 100 almost every day for the past month or so. I water regularly. Other tomato plants near the area are doing just fine, and have fruit setting on with apparently no issues. None of those are yellow pears though, I was hanging my hat on this volunteer. I'm not sure if it the weather and it will correct, or if it was maybe some kind of hybrid and so it will never be fixed and I'm just wasting garden space! I'm debating if I should pull up the yellow pear and plant something else or give it some more time. What do you guys think?

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  camprn on 7/22/2012, 3:55 pm

Hi Brynn, glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum! So it is probably the heat giving you troubles. Tomatoes don't like to set fruit in temperatures above 90F. Hang in there! The plant will continue to try to make fruit if you can keep it alive in that terrible heat. Once the bloom sets it should grow some fruit.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  AvaDGardner on 7/23/2012, 2:15 am

What do you to help the tomato survive in the heat?

Shade cloth?

I have a volunteer yellow pear (I think, at least there were pears all over my garden when I got it), and a 'orange bomb' (cherry). Both are tall, and have flowers, but neither seem to set fruit or keep in on long enough to ripen. I've had some bombs, but they haven't been ripe. I think they may get disturbed when I pick my beans which are next to them.

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Help!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/28/2015, 2:46 pm

OK, just back in from looking at my boxes....all 4 of my Brandywine tomatoes are like done flowering. They have some large green fruit that has been set for some time, but no blossoms. They looked like they were actually "clipped" but I think they just kinda closed up and dropped off. The cherry (mislabeled) is still goin' strong.

Blossom drop? It went from cool and rainy to now no rain in 10 days and today it is 90 here. I had to water day before yesterday because things looked stressy.


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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  sanderson on 7/28/2015, 4:09 pm

Plants take siestas in the hot weather. sawing logs

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/28/2015, 6:45 pm

I typically get almost no tomatoes until August due to the brutal June and July heat around here. It's disappointing, but not a problem like disease or bugs and such ... just means I have to wait. And it means that even though I have a nice long summer here, my effective growing season for tomatoes is actually quite short.

At least the plants have all that time to keep building up their root systems and greenery, so when it comes time to fruit, I get loads and loads of it.

I think the only thing close to a solution is planting more spring crops and leaving them in longer if they're still producing, as June and July are pretty much dead months for tomatoes anyway.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/29/2015, 7:26 am

OK, so I will just chill. Thanks!

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Windmere on 7/29/2015, 5:23 pm

I just wanted to echo some of the thoughts about extreme heat and tomato flowers.  I have also had super hot temps here.  Most, if not all, my tomato flowers fall off when there are long stretches of heat.  Like Marc, I seem to get most tomatoes late in the season.  Getting there is tricky, though, when fungus becomes an issue mid-season.

I planted yellow pear tomatoes last year and I'm sorry I didn't this year.  I miss the extra umph it gives when presented in salads, pizza, etc.  They are so pretty!  Also, I found that they are pretty disease resistant.  Hope things turn out well for yours.   Smile


Last edited by Windmere on 7/29/2015, 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added yellow tomato comment)

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/29/2015, 5:32 pm

Windmere, I just jumped onto this existing thread, I have Brandywine in this year. But I too love the little pears! So pretty and makes everything look so very! Maybe that will be my go to cherry next year!

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Windmere on 7/29/2015, 5:41 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Windmere, I just jumped onto this existing thread, I have Brandywine in this year.  But I too love the little pears!  So pretty and makes everything look so very!  Maybe that will be my go to cherry next year!
Oops, I see that now.  Sometimes it's hard for me keep up, ha ha.  Ah well, I see where you came in.  Like you said, be patient, your tomatoes will get going when it cools down.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/29/2015, 6:16 pm

Interestingly my lone cherry doesn't seem as affected as the big ones. It is blooming away.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Windmere on 7/29/2015, 7:09 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Interestingly my lone cherry doesn't seem as affected as the big ones.  It is blooming away.
Hmm... you know what?  My Sungold never really stopped putting out flowers and setting fruit.  I'm wondering if that's just because it's so prolific in the first place.  So many flowers that it doesn't make a difference if it's hot simply because of the sheer numbers at all times.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Pollinator on 7/29/2015, 9:05 pm

@camprn wrote:Hi Brynn,  glad you\'re here  to the SFG Forum! So it is probably the heat giving you troubles. Tomatoes don't like to set fruit in temperatures above 90F. Hang in there! The plant will continue to try to make fruit if you can keep it alive in that terrible heat. Once the bloom sets it should grow some fruit.

I disagree, because I've seen it happen. Tomatoes WILL set blossoms, even in 100 degree heat, especially the cherry varieties, including yellow pear. The difference with the hot weather is that it narrows the window where pollinatino can occur to just a short time in the morning. If the blossom does not get a visit by a bumble bee in that short time before the pollen is killed by heat, then you will get blossom drop.

However, you can make like a bee yourself. Invest $5 in a Middle C tuning fork - one of the best investments you can make. Rap the fork to get it vibrating, and touch the flower stem, in the morning as soon as the dew is dry. If the flower is ripe for pollination, you will have pollen shoot out of the flower. Then your blossom drop will end.

Some people claim tomatoes are self pollinated - that is not true. They need help.

Some say they are wind pollinated - that is only partly true. Wind can shake loose some pollen and provide enough to fertilize some of the seeds. That can make a tomato, but usually an inferior tomato in size and quality. Remember that good pollination involves getting ALL the incipiend seeds pollinated. This takes a lot of pollen.

The best pollinators are the ones that "buzz" the flowers, setting up a resonant vibration that releases hundreds of pollen grains. That way you know you have enough pollen for a superior tomato. The bumble bee does this by attaching to the flower, and vibrating her wings in the key of middle C. You can be the pollinator with a tuning fork, to mimic the bee.

I hope this helps clear up a lot of misunderstandings about tomato pollination.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/30/2015, 3:40 am

Unless I miss my guess, it sounds like you're saying they set fruit in the morning before it gets to 100 degrees anyway, which I think is or is effectively about the same as others have said.

The problem over here is how short that window of acceptable temperatures can be. It was over 107 today, and as summer goes by it starts to hit the high 90's quite early in the morning, so for effectively most of the day, it's too hot. That's sometimes followed by nights that are too cold. So I have to wait till August for more than a smattering of tomatoes, if that, and those mostly cherries. Meantime, I see virtually nothing but dried out flowers on the plants, when the flowers are still stuck to the plants at all and not on the ground. Shake and pluck and tap as I might, let the wind blow as it might.

I think I'll try that tuning fork thing at some point, though. Couldn't hurt. Tried my electric toothbrushes -- they just bruised the stems and made them ooze liquid.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  sanderson on 7/30/2015, 4:20 am

Marc, You realize that August is only 2 days away. Shocked I think the different shades I erected did help the tomatoes, though.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/30/2015, 9:15 am

@Windmere wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Interestingly my lone cherry doesn't seem as affected as the big ones.  It is blooming away.
Hmm... you know what?  My Sungold never really stopped putting out flowers and setting fruit.  I'm wondering if that's just because it's so prolific in the first place.  So many flowers that it doesn't make a difference if it's hot simply because of the sheer numbers at all times.

Either that or maybe they are just inherently more heat tolerant, not sure. And I am sure that mislabeled cherry is a hybrid, but Brandywine is heirloom.

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Re: Blossom drop - Yellow Pear Tomato

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/30/2015, 12:27 pm

@sanderson wrote:Marc, You realize that August is only 2 days away. Shocked I think the different shades I erected did help the tomatoes, though.

I sure hope it hurries up. It's going to be 105 today, and still 98 at 7 p.m.

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