Tomato concern

I decided to start a small garden in the front yard (suffering odd looks from the neighbors). It's a great sunny location, the back is so shady as to be unacceptable.
Anyway, I have five tomato plants, all Big Boys. Four are the typical small four-packs, the other was in a six-inch pot. I got a bit of late start, the plants went in the Memorial Day weekend. The plants are growing very well, they're large and healthy-looking. We've had unusually warm weather here in St. Louis during June. I've been keeping everything well watered.
The tomatoes are putting out lots of blossoms, and there are bees buzzing around. However, only one plant has any fruit set, and that's the older one, which has two moderate sized one (2-3 inch) that I think were set before I even got the plant. Nothing else on it or the others.
Chile plants (poblano) I put in at the same time have lots of developing fruit.
Am I overly concerned at this point, or is something wrong? If so, what should I look for? Plan of action?
Brian
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There could be two things wrong:
1. They may not be getting pollinated. Tomatoes are self-pollinating and like a bit of wind to loosen the pollen inside the flowers. Gently shake the tomato cages every day.
2. It might be too hot. Tomatoes don't like to set fruit if it is over 95 degrees F. Try misting them every day with the hose. I do this in my over-100 climate, and have had wonderful fruit set.
Hope one or both of these helps! --S.
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Suzanne D. wrote:

We've had some decent winds here and there, but I can do that.

The hot spell's over, and we're in the 80s for highs of late, so perhaps if that's the trouble they'll get going. I'll keep that in mind for the next batch of heat.
Thanks.
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Default User wrote:

Or you may have over-fertilized with a nitrogen fertilizer which gives you lots of healthy leaves, but little fruit.
gloria p
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Gloria P wrote:

I haven't been fertilizing them much, a few shots of Miracle-Gro when they were first planted. I'm guessing that hot spell was a factor.
Brian
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What is the best fertilizer for tomatoes?
I've got 4 tomato plants started from seedlings growing in 5 gallon pails I've been using Miracle-Gro every two weeks. Should I be using something different? How often?
Thanks, Jon
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You've gotten past the growth stage of the tomato, so now you should cut back on the nitrogen. Chemical fertilizers like Miracle Grow (18-21-21) are water soluble, are quickly washed away with watering, and are so strong as to make burning your roots easy. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, adhere to the soil and breakdown slowly to give continuous feeding to plants. I would recommend any organic 0-10-10 fertilizer, in conjunction with fish emulsion (5-1-1) feedings.
If you continue to use Miracle Grow, even if it is out of balance with your plant's present needs, use it at 1/2 to 1/4 strength, and feed weekly.
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- Billy

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wrote:

Billy, I'll discontinue the Miracle Grow and pick up some organic fertilizer and fish emulsion. Would you recommend applying these weekly as well?
My first shot at growing veggies. Seem to be going pretty well so far.
Thanks, Jon
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Here is a site that may help.
<http://modernmitzvot.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/self-sufficiency-sundays-k eep-your-soil-healthy/>
Healthy soil still working on it sometimes just watching. Fun!
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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No, the organics won't be washed away by the water, and you'll get a constant feeding of your plants and the organic material decomposes.
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- Billy

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Suzanne D. wrote:

At the risk of encouraging fungus
I do

David
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Your lookin' good Brian. Most people get antsy, watching their plants, and wantin' to get out an push.
Typically, it takes 75 to 90 days for Big Boys to produce ready to eat fruit from transplants, so you have some waiting to do. Doing it on my fingers, it looks like mid-August. The other wrinkle is that it won't set fruit when the temps are lower than 55F or above 85F.
Follow Suzanne's suggestions and all should be well ;O)
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Billy wrote:

Yeah, just a bit concerned.

It sounds like the unseasonable hot spell was to blame. We had a stretch of 90+ highs, including 99 last Saturday. Things have moderated and we're getting more typical temps.
I'll keep an eyeball on them and make sure they're watered.
Thanks.
Brian
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Default User wrote:

I know you've all been extremely worried about what's been happening with my tomatoes. Just to ease your minds and make for restful sleep, it looks as though the cooler spell we had has done the trick. There are number tiny fruits going now. It'll be while, but looks good.
Seriously, thanks for the tips and suggestions.
Brian
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Day 158 of the "no grouchy usenet posts" project

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