As a farmer, the last thing you want to see is your plant dropping its fruit before harvest.
Whether you farm tomatoes, oranges, mangoes, apples, or even hot peppers, this is a painful experience.
Tomato growers are passionate about their fruits. They put in a lot of funds, energy, and time to ensure that their tomatoes blossom and ripen. Regrettably, not all tomatoes are harvested as some fall off the vine before they even ripen.
Are your tomatoes falling off the vine before ripening and harvesting? No need to worry – you’re not alone.
We’ve faced a similar situation before.
For this reason, we embarked on helping other tomato farmers not to face the same situation again. We did thorough research and even talked to a Pomologist, to bring you the ins and outs of why your tomatoes are not reaching their full potential.
Without wasting more time, here are some of the main causes of tomatoes falling off the vine and what you should do to prevent it.
If you grow your tomatoes in extreme temperatures, you may see the tomatoes falling before their rightful time. Excessively high or low temperatures hamper the smooth growth of your plant.
High temperatures of more than 90°F during the day put a lot of pressure on your plant. Continuously high temperatures over several days may result in the fruit falling off the vine.
On the other hand, extremely low temperatures can also make the fruit drop before it fully ripens. Cold nights with temperatures below 55°F will cause the tomato to drop if it persists for several days.
The bottom line: Extremely high temperatures during the day and extremely cold temperatures at night put a lot of stress on your plant.
Find the best time to plant tomatoes in the area where you live, and be sure to plant the right type of tomatoes in your area. Tomatoes that blossom in hot temperatures may fail to flourish in cold temperatures and vice-versa.
What’s more, you can grow your tomatoes in a greenhouse or grow room so that they are not affected by adverse temperatures.
A common problem that makes tomatoes drop their fruits is a lack of certain nutrients. The primary nutrients that tomatoes need for healthy growth are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Nitrogen is needed for growth and the production of food, while phosphorus helps them to grow and handle stressful conditions.
So, if your tomato lacks any of these nutrients, it may result in slow or stunted growth. In some cases, leaves may dry and fruits may fall.
If your fruits drop and you notice yellow leaves, this signifies a deficiency in chlorophyll.
Additionally, if the bottom of the leaves changes to yellow first, it is an indication that your plant needs magnesium.
Knowing which nutrients your plants need is vital if you’re to salvage other fruits on the vine. For example, if it’s magnesium, you can add Epsom salt to the plant.
Make sure you do not overfeed them, as you will cause more problems.
Another common reason that can make your plant drop its fruit is feeding it with excess nitrogen. Even though tomatoes need nitrogen for growth, feeding them with excess fertilizer brings more harm than good.
The tomato plant may be lush and green with a lot of leaves, but the vines will still drop the fruit. This is because the stems will be thin and elongated and will not be able to support the fruits.
Always feed your plant with the recommended amounts of every fertilizer, regardless of whether it’s nitrogen, magnesium, iron, potassium, or phosphorous.
This may be obvious, but your tomatoes need water to grow! But did you know that overwatering your tomatoes may be causing the roots to rot? Well, now you know.
On the contrary, you should not underwater your plant, as it will suffocate and eventually die.
Provide your plant with the right amount of water weekly. The soil should not be waterlogged or too dry. Water the tomatoes in the morning so that the water finds its way to the roots before evaporating.
Also, avoid watering the top of the plant – instead water low and closer to the soil.
Many tomato farmers would be happy seeing one plant produce a lot of fruits. But did you know that this puts a lot of pressure on the plant?
As a result, some plants may not handle all of the blossoms, and that’s what causes them to drop from the vine as they grow. The tomato plant is only able to keep the fruit it can support until the time of harvest.
There is nothing you can do to prevent the overproduction of fruit, as the plant is trying to protect itself. Ideally, try to ensure that all conditions are right for the plant to flourish.
For your tomato plant to grow steadily and produce better yields, it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. Sunlight is essential to tomatoes as they convert it to energy to make their fruit.
This is quite challenging for some areas which may only receive sunlight for a few hours and is even more problematic in winter.
So, if they don’t get sunlight, the fruit won’t develop properly, which might cause them to end up falling.
Plant your tomatoes in an area where they will receive a healthy dose of direct sunlight. If you live in areas that are prone to less sunlight, consider purchasing a grow tent or greenhouse to create the most ideal conditions for your tomatoes to flourish.
If you want to prevent your tomatoes from falling off the vine, then you need to take extra care. No farmer is perfect – a small mistake, such as adding excess nitrogen, can cause your tomato fruit to drop.
Now that you know some of the possible causes of your tomatoes falling, you should be able to detect what is affecting them and take action. Note that conditions vary from one region to another – always plan accordingly.
When fixing the problems in your garden, don’t expect instant results – it is a process that will take time!
That being said, if you follow our guide above, you should start seeing a change after a few short days.