need tomato advice

Hi All,
In my little organic garden, I have three cherry tomato plants: a sun gold, a sweet 100, and a black. I have one Cherokee Purple tomato plant.
The sun gold and sweet 100 I have been getting about five tomatoes a week.
I have only got one from the black (although I now have about 10 green one).
The Cherokee Purple has only given me flowers. They turn black on fall off.
This past two weeks, nothing has ripened.
Daytime temperatures are about 90F; night time about 52F.
Oh, and the plants themselves are growing very nicely. They range from about 4 to 5 feet tall. They are fertilized only with organic compost: http://www.fullcirclecompost.com/SoilEssenceEliteN.php
What am I doing wrong? (I have to keep things organic.)
Many thanks, -T
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Todd said:

Way too much nitrogen for tomatos. You would be better off using a fertilizer formulated for tomatoes, such as Espoma's Tomato-tone.
Best would be to have your soil tested and find out what your limiting nutrient(s) might be.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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In article

I didn't see any NPK numbers. I wouldn't think that most compost would have that much nitrogen in it, unless it was composted manure.
As you rightly observed, plentiful nitrogen, and enough water would be sufficient to slow ripening, and encourage growth as Todd reported. I'd think something like N-Lite fertilizer would be better at this stag of the plans development. Minimum Guaranteed Analysis: Total Nitrogen (N)................................................... 2% Available Phosphate (P 2 O 5 )................................. 5% Soluble Potash (K 2 O) ............................................. 6%
As opposed to Espoma Tomato-tone 3-4-6.
I'd like to see more phosphorus in the fertilizer. Maybe try "bloom fertilizer" (6-30-30), and cut the amount applied in half.
I was going to recommend bone meal, (As a fertilizer, the N-P-K ratio of bone meal is generally 4-12-0, though some steamed bone meals have N-P-Ks of 1-13-0. Bone meal is also an excellent organic source of calcium.)
but then I ran across ??? <http://www.smilinggardener.com/organic-gardening-advice/bone-meal-for-pl ants> Since the mid-1980s and especially the late-90s, there has been concern as to whether using bone meal for plants might be harmful, as inhaling bone meal dust can cause a form of Mad Cow Disease in humans. (!!!)
OMG <http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/1997/040797.html There were apparently four deaths of gardeners in Great Britain attributed to use of bone meal from cattle which may have had this disease. It is believed that they inhaled bone meal dust as they were applying bone meal to their garden. The first point made by the doctor who wrote the article was that the rendering process which generates bone meal used in Great Britain in the 1970's and 1980's was a part of the problem. The process used in the United States is different and appears to produce a safe bone meal. The second, and a very important consideration, is that BSE has not been detected in cattle in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an active program of testing for BSE and veterinarians across the country are involved. Any cattle suspected of exhibiting BSE symptoms are tested. None have been shown to be infected in the U.S. No cattle or meat from British cattle have been imported into the U.S. since 1989, so the chance of coming into contact with contaminated bone meal is extremely remote. Nevertheless, if you wish to be absolutely certain to avoid infection, you can wear a dust mask when handling bone meal or you can switch to another source of phosphorus in your garden.
OMG II <http://www.readinghospital.org/wtn/Page.asp?PageID=WTN001591 NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Three US scientists are concern about the potential of people contracting Creutzfeldt Jakob disease -- the human form of "mad cow disease" -- from eating farmed fish who are fed byproducts rendered from cows.
Uh-huh <http://www.gardenguides.com/93873-organic-bone-meal-fertilizer.html There has been speculation about whether inhaling bone meal dust could cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known commonly as Mad Cow Disease. Numerous independent studies have shown that there is LITTLE risk. As Lori Bushway of Cornell Cooperative Extension explains, bone meal fertilizer sold in the U.S. SHOULD be free of the agent that causes BSE because domestic manufacturers use a method in the rendering process that destroys the BSE agent. In addition, bone meal can no longer be imported from England, where BSE had infected cows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an active program of testing for BSE. The likelihood of being infected with BSE from using bone meal fertilizer is extremely REMOTE.
I capitalized 3 of the words above. This site should have been reassuring, but I still find it troubling.
CAUTION: Bone Meal
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Billy said:

It was recommended for "lawns" and "house plants" and the name is "Elite N+" -- fish meal and feather meal among the indgredients *in addition* to compost. The implication is pretty strong.
I understand that organic fertilizers can provide more than simple N-P-K but I do think that best practices would be to provide an analysis for them and include in that analysis some of the major micronutrients as well. That would be so much more useful than claiming special powers for the "subtle energies" provided by "paramagnetic rock dust." And when you throw in sentences like this:
"The more Calcium a plant absorbs, the greater its ability to attract nutrients from the atmosphere, especially Nitrogen, Potassium, Magnesium, and Carbon Dioxide."
...well, my inclination would be to back away slowly with my hand on my wallet.
Note, I recommended best practice would be a soil test.
Some soils have a good bank of P already. Sometimes K or one of the major micronutrients is in short supply.
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Pat, it's hard to tell, if you're being grumpy, or what. The post that you refer to went like this: ------------

I didn't see any NPK numbers. I wouldn't think that most compost would have that much nitrogen in it, unless it was composted manure.
As you rightly observed, plentiful nitrogen, and enough water would be sufficient to slow ripening, and encourage growth as Todd reported. I'd think something like N-Lite fertilizer would be better at this stag of the plans development. Minimum Guaranteed Analysis: Total Nitrogen (N)................................................... 2% Available Phosphate (P 2 O 5 )................................. 5% Soluble Potash (K 2 O) ............................................. 6%
As opposed to Espoma Tomato-tone 3-4-6.
I'd like to see more phosphorus in the fertilizer. Maybe try "bloom fertilizer" (6-30-30), and cut the amount applied in half. ---------
Then I went off on a tangent about the possibility of bone meal being able to cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
That said, your first response to Todd was to recommend a fertilizer with a lower nitrogen content, and then you said it would be best to have the soil analyzed. I agree fully, that it would be best to have the soil analyzed, but I am aware also that many of us don't. I don't even know if Todd had his soil analyzed, but he was fertilizing it. You seemed to think that "SoilEssenceEliteN" had too much nitrogen in it (I never found an NPK for it), so I recommended "something" like N-Lite fertilizer (2-5-6), or a flower bloom (6-30-30) fertilizer, with it's lower nitrogen, and higher phosphorus might work better.
Where you got

post, so I hope you're not attributing such "hocus pocus" superstitions to me.
In the mean time, Todds tomatoes seem to exhibit signs of too much nitrogen, and watering (not setting flowers, and fruit not ripening). Having his soil analyzed is, of course, a good idea. A person can't have too much information, when making a decision.
I hope you agree, that we agree.
Good luck with your swooping.
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Billy said:

I read the description and ingredient list for the fertilizer here: http://www.fullcirclecompost.com/SoilEssenceEliteN.php
And even though they did *not* list the NPK (which I hope you consider a Very Bad Practice, even for "organic" manufacturers) the ingredient list (which include fish and feather meal -- oh, and "inorganic nitrogen"), the usages mentioned (lawns, houseplants) and the name (Elite N+) pretty much imply it can be relied on as a nitrogen source and when you add in the OP's results with tomatoes, a reasonable assumption that would it test out high in N.

I was quoting from the Soil Essence Elite N+ (tm) boilerplate. Check out the website. Check out the "benefits" tab. WTF? You want to promote organic gardening to sensible people, give them usable information and can the excursions into magic pixie dust territory.
For one thing, it leads to people growing big, fat happy tomato plants with no fruit.
(Yeah, yeah, I'm a bit cranky. Have a toothache, my dentist saw no cause on my x-ray, have to go to a specialist today.)

Oh, you can too have too much information: Information Overload and Analysis Paralysis.
Also, classic BS technique: dump mounds of information to obscure rather than reveal.
But for gardening, a good soil test (including micronutrients) is step one. (Too bad that the Extension Service in so many states has suffered from severe budget cuts.)
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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'Todd[_2_ Wrote: > ;967397']

Tomato flowers fall off prematurely when there is a sudden change in the weather because it is too cool, or too hot, or the soil is too dry. Improve the growing conditions and mulch to keep the soil moisture. Use *'bloom enhancer' (http://tinyurl.com/944j2u5 )* product it helps blossoms set fruit in spite of poor weather conditions and produces larger tomatoes.
--
allen73


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On 08/28/2012 01:52 AM, allen73 wrote:

Hi Allen,
Uh oh. I may have been under watering. I water them about once every three days to the tune of about two gallons. (All four plants are in the same pot.) I just gave them a great soaking (about 10 gallons).
And, we have had some hot days (90's) and cold nights (40's).
Thank you for the help!
-T
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