Growing Vegetables/Dropping tomatoes


My tomatoes are dropping off when at a small yellow stage and these are Beefsteak

Peter, the most likely cause is an imbalance of nutrients in the soil. Tomatoes require nitrogen for foliage, phosphorus for production and large fruit, and potassium for strong roots. They also require a balanced pH level of seven.

The best way to provide a good foundation for fertile soil and a balanced pH level is to amend the soil with organic matter such as compost, peat, and aged manure. These amendments will loosen the soil and provide a constant source of nutrients throughout the growing season. They will also improve drainage and balance the pH.

If the plants are growing well and have lush foliage, the problem is a poor ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus. To increase the phosphorus levels, I always recommend applying a water-soluble fertilizer with a NPD ratio of 10-30-20. These are the numbers listed on the front of the container. The first number represents nitrogen; the second phosphorus; and the third potassium. Also, be sure to mulch the soil around the plants with straw or dried grass clippings to retain moisture and cool the soil.

Good luck, and please write again if I can ever be of assistance.



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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.

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