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Hi,

I've had tomato plants in the grow bed for almost 3 months now.  The plants are very tall and look good but they are not flowering or producing any fruit.  Any ideas from anyone would be greatly welcomed.

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Yep, I believe we have arrived at that stage already this year.  I'll keep some tomatoes alive to root for fall planting but I don't expect much fruit for two months or more.  It's darn hot.

TCLynx said:

Then again being where I live, most varieties of tomatoes just don't bloom through the heat of summer since our humidity means that the night time temps don't drop low enough to give the temperature differential they need.

Key word phrase there IMO is the part where it's YOU doing the planting and setting up of the system Rupert...

This forum is rife with photographs of brand new systems planted with a bunch of say, cucumbers and almost all of those pics clearly show intervenal chlorosis of older, and all but the youngest leaves, ...tons of yellowing around the edges etc...struggling plants doing very far from well... And dozens of folks with "hey my tomato plants are huge but no tomatoes" again, almost always in brand new or in some cases still cycling systems...etc...leads me to say statements like the AP system is "lacking" in magnesium, and/or potassium blablabla...I'm not knocking AP because if managed properly I believe most of these things become non-issues. (Alternating buffers, dolomitic lime, potassium bicarb, lime... keeping pH in proper ranges, keeping a handle on stocking densities, QUALITY fish food, the whole lot...which includes timing plantings with your weather/seasons...there are people wondering why their young snow peas are doing crappy in July for instance...I'm not knocking those folks, just saying...we are all learning constantly... And besides it is rude to say that "AP operators are notoriously lacking...")...Brian lives in Canada and stated that the toms are 3 months old...so I'm just guessing that temps probably weren't the issue

I don't see these things in photos of systems by people who have been at it for a year or two or more in some cases.

Now, I'm not going to argue with you Rupe, but still IMO the way a lot folks set up their system, barely get cycled and pop in a bunch of squash, tomatoes and cucumbers...I'd say that their AP system is "lacking" in terms of what someone was expecting to achieve. The other side of looking at this I guess would be that peoples expectations or desires may be completely out of line with what their system, managed in the way that it is, can realistically support. I still feel that in a brand new system with some eggshells thrown in for buffering, or whatever...there is probably not enough neither magnesium, nor potassium to support decent growth of zucchini/summer squash, cucumbers, or even tomatoes right off the bat (the way most folks seem to be doing it at least...which isn't to say that it can't be done).

Yeah, phosphorous probably often over played for the reasons TC mentions, and judging from the red tilapia poo studies (of what they retain from the particular feed used in the studies and what they crap out, it doesn't seem like it (P) should ever be a problem...not sure how that plays out for the people feeding them gold-fish flakes, or all duckweed though...

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RupertofOZ said:

One of the first crops I usually plant in a new system... and usually requested by clients.... are tomatoes....

And I've never had, or seen a problem.... and have posted pictures of both my own ... and other systems on this site... showing abundant tomato growth and yield.... in systems from day one...

Buffer your pH.... foliar feed with some Maxicrop periodically.... and you shouldn't have a problem with anything....

 

I hear you Vlad... but most of the systems I've seen "suffering".... have primarily been due to pH issues... and trace element lockout....not deficiencies as such...

But there's no denying that systems certainly mature after about six months... probably due to mineralisation by the worms...

Yes we did put a hnd full of read wiggly worms in about a month ago.  We put some kelp in yesterday & today & the chemical readings are looking better i.e. the Ph has come up to 6.8 .

                     Blessings Brian www.quantumleaps.ca

RupertofOZ said:

I hear you Vlad... but most of the systems I've seen "suffering".... have primarily been due to pH issues... and trace element lockout....not deficiencies as such...

But there's no denying that systems certainly mature after about six months... probably due to mineralisation by the worms...

Yeah pH I'm sure is definitely at the top of the list of culprits Rupe...but honestly, (maybe there's just been a "rash" of it recently, so it's at the forefront of my mind) there have been a number of folks with those types of problems (intervenal chlorosis on old (Mg) as well as new (Fe) leaves, yellowing around the edges (K) I'm presuming...with pH's in the range of mid 6's...dosing MaxiCrop...mostly cucurbits...who knows...and a low pH even in the low 5's as I understand, isn't ever a problem as it pertains to nutrient "lock out" issues. I doubt you'd want to ever go any lower in an AP setting hehe...

I was just coupling that with the "unique" (meaning quite high Mg and K) nutritional requirements for such cultivars, and the type of 'nutrient environment' a new AP might in reality provide even at a decent pH (generally managed in the manner that they are)...

I've been reading a lot of Papadoupolis (1994) from the Harrow Research Station in Ontario's take on cucurbits reqirements for essential elements, this spring/early summer...soil as well as hydro...and I tell ya after applying some of that knowledge gleened from that book, my cucumbers and zucchini have never ever been bigger, healthier, more productive, less problematic etc...exceeding any expectations I may have had...Mg and K I believe were key in my particular situation (might not be applicable to everyone elses though, then again it might be to some...)...another reason I've got Mg and K on my mind'...

I did not know that a cukes need for Mg is equal to its requirement for Ca. Or that its K requirement exceeds its required N...which compared to even tomatoes seems quite high (in my mind, relative to other plants)...

In a nut shell, I guess that's where I was coming from and why...

I bet you're right about the mineralisation...and subsequent 'build-up' of nutrients in a mature system...

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