Several reasons tomatoes plants won’t set fruit

Q: I have some Early Girl tomatoes that I planted in March from plantlets that I bought. I talked to the Early Girls about a month later and told them that if they did not flower in the following week, I would feed them to the worms in my compost pile. Well they seemed to have listened, because they made lots of flowers but the flowers didn’t set fruit. What did I do wrong?

A: Tomatoes are pollinated by insects, primarily bees. However, if temperatures are in the 90 s and above they have trouble setting fruit. They just don’t like those high temperatures for pollination. They set better when temperatures are in the high 60 s and 70 s up to about 85 degrees.

Other reasons for flower drop and no fruit set might be uneven watering, so it is a good idea to mulch the plants. Straw is a good choice. I think a bale of straw goes for about $8 locally.

Low night temperatures below 55 degrees can cause flower drop as well. Also over fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizer may cause no flower development until the nitrogen is depleted a bit from the soil.

If temperatures are good, the bee does not actually have to visit the flower. Vibrations from bee activity are enough to set the fruit. If tomatoes are grown in greenhouses, for instance, and there are no insects in the house, the movement of the plants from vibrations caused by an electric toothbrush is often times enough to get them to set.

So make sure you have pollinator activity when temperatures are appropriate for fruit set. Otherwise, gently shake them while you are talking to them. Maybe a slight physical threat might work.

Another thing you can do is buy some tomato fruit setting chemicals. These are synthetic copies of natural plant growth regulators called gibberellins. It is usually applied when temperatures are cool, not hot like now. They are sold in nurseries or garden centers with names such as tomato fruit set . Follow the label directions.

Q: I’ve just spotted Colorado potato beetle bugs and larvae on my tomatillo plants. I didn’t even know what they were until I did some research. I’ve never seen them out here before. I can’t find an organic pesticide that will kill them without hurting the bees and other beneficial insects. Do you have any advice for me?

A: Make sure it is actually the Colorado potato beetle and not a look-alike insect called the Ten Lined June Beetle. I have not seen the Colorado potato beetle in the Las Vegas area yet but it is possible. Until recently, Nevada was one of four states that didn’t have this pest.

But I have seen the Ten Lined June beetle here and they look very similar to the Colorado potato beetle. I posted a picture of this critter on my blog. The safest way is to pick them off as you see them. In small garden plots this works well. You can also use a cordless vacuum cleaner and suck them up that way.

As far as sprays go an organic/biological pesticide called Spinosad, which is available in many nurseries now, will give some control.

Another organic/biological control chemical is Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) var. San Diego (also called variety tenebrionis) gives some control if they are not resistant. This particular type of Bt controls beetles. But this organic spray is hard to find locally. You will probably find it only online.

There are Bt sprays in the nurseries but this is the wrong Bt spray for Colorado potato beetle. The one in the nu rseries is Bt var. kurstaki (Btk). This Bt is used to control larvae or caterpillars that form moths and butterflies like the tomato fruit worm, tomato hornworm and grape leaf skeletonizer.

Q: I hope you can view the pictures that are attached. As you can see, one of my shoestring acacia is growing out on an angle and my fear is it will get to heavy and topple. Is there any way to save this tree by putting a support under the trunk or topping it by cutting it back? It was planted seven years ago with two others and this is the only one that is doing this. It is about 20 feet high .

A: Thanks for the pictures. Actually your tree looks nice in your setting.

There are two things I am noticing from your pictures. First to answer your question, make sure the tree is getting water at distances equal to at least half the canopy area under the tree. You can do this by adding emitters or a water source in scattered areas under the canopy.

If the only water sources are close to the trunk, the roots may stay too close to the trunk and begin falling over when it gets top heavy. By putting water f arther from the trunk it encourages a larger area of support for the tree and its growing canopy. These emitters under the canopy can be used to support other plants as well so that it is not just watering the soil for weeds to grow.

Lawns around trees also help to support tree root growth that keeps trees from toppling over. Roots do not grow “in search of water” but will grow only where there is water in the desert. Rainfall does not count in a true desert.

If the tree or shrub was purchased in a container and the roots began circling in the container (the plant was overgrown in the container), it may continue to circle once planted and never create a strong foothold in our desert soil. The roots circle and circle and never spread out like they should.

When the top gets big, these trees with circling roots tend to lean or blow over in a strong wind. They can become a liability as they get older. Unfortunately, these plants can never be rescued and must be removed to prevent loss of property or cause safety concerns.

Never buy plants in containers where the roots have grown in circles inside. They can never be established as healthy trees that are safe for public or private use.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Acting Coach Daryl Morris on His Craft
Acting coach Daryl Morris, whose father Bobby was Elvis Presley's conductor in Las Vegas, discusses his craft and how he leads his own classes. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like