It’s wonderful to grow your own food at home since it offers you a sense of accomplishment. It can, however, be exhausting and stressful, particularly if you are not receiving good results.
This happens to both professional farmers and home gardeners occasionally. Without a doubt, any crop can be subjected to hazardous conditions due to pests or poor treatment, but the point isn’t to be concerned; rather, it’s to figure out a long-term solution.
If you’re looking for answers to the question, ‘why are my tomatoes so small?’, then this is the article for you.
Following are some of the reasons and solutions to your question ‘why are my tomatoes so small?’
Why Are My Tomatoes So Small?
Lack of pollination causes severe issues for the plant. The major reason for poor pollination is high humidity levels. Since the tomato plants are self-pollinating, the male part releases pollen on the female part, but due to the high humidity levels, the pollen doesn’t reach the female part.
Pollen can also be affected by bees. Bees can transfer pollen from the male part to the female part. However, if the humidity level is high, bees fail to do their job, resulting in complete failure of pollination.
Try to surround your tomato plants under a cool shade with flowering plants to attract bees and ensure that no pesticides are sprayed as they might hurt bees. Bees will help speed up the pollination process.
Lack of water causes hindrances in the process of photosynthesis. This is the main element that allows fruit formation and growth.
During the fruiting phase, a tomato plant needs extra water. If not provided with plenty of water supply, the fruit loses its growth stamina. Adhering to the daily watering schedule of plants and keeping their soil moisturized helps the fruiting process.
Try to water up to two inches deep in the soil in the mornings. Watering plants at night increases the possibility of pest attacks, a thing you won’t want to face especially if your plant is bearing fruits!
Many pests can easily affect the growth of tomatoes on your tomato plant, and leave you wondering ‘why are my tomatoes so small?’. Some of them are:
- Cutworms: Brown and black-colored caterpillars with hairs on the head that attack the most vulnerable areas, including the stem.
- Budworm: Reddish-brown or green caterpillars causing holes in fruits.
- Two-spotted Mite or Red Spider Mite: Red or green mites that breed super fast in summers and feed on plant sap. They cause a loss of stamina in plants for fruits.
- Aphids and Thrips: Green, grey, or black insects with legs that suck sap and can be carriers of severe viruses.
- Root-Knot Nematode: Tiny insects in the soil that can’t be seen with naked eyes and make roots swell in summers.
- Whitefly: A white moth-like insect that sucks sap from the plant.
- Looper caterpillars: Soft bright yellowish-green-colored caterpillars that feed on foliage.
- Tomato Russet Mite: Tomato mites with symptoms that include a bronze-like layer on the stem, drooping of the lower leaves, and a thick leathery layer on the fruits.
The fruiting plants like tomatoes can only survive heat and cold if it’s within the range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature rising above or falling below the said temperature range can cause your tomato plant to suffer water loss. This eventually leads to reduced photosynthesis, causing smaller-sized fruits or no fruits at all.
There are chances that plants won’t even survive much excessive heat or cold. You might lose your whole plant in a day or two if an adequate greenhouse or hydro-farm environment is not provided.
If it’s hot outside try to provide 70% shade to your plant during the daytime and 30% indirect sunlight. Keep checking the soil before watering in order to avoid over or under watering and pests. However, if it’s cold outside, then ensure to place your beloved fruiting plant inside the greenhouse to provide an adequate environment for survival.
Adjusting Soil’s Feed
Fertilization of the soil is the main thing that needs to be considered. Use good organic fertilizer and ensure that the soil’s pH level is highly beneficial for growth.
Watering is an essential element that keeps the plant healthy allowing it to bear more fruits. Ensure that the watering schedule is fixed and effective. Watering in the mornings is the best strategy you can hold onto.
During hot temperatures, watering fruiting tomato plants should be increased to twice a day.
When the tomato plant is in the fruiting stage, it starts leaning towards the heavier side. This causes severe injuries to the stem that sometimes end up breaking the stem.
The usual practice is to use a long strong stick that can be easily tied to the tomato plant and a portion of which should be able to get fixed in the soil. Once tied, the stick reliably supports the whole fruit-bearing plant stem. This will increase the chance of enlarging fruits.
During the fruit-bearing phase, the plant is also working on the growth of stems and leaves. This puts a burden on the roots, causing stress to the plant. This stress can significantly reduce the yield or leads to smaller-sized fruits.
To lower this stress in a plant, pruning the lower leaves, branches and unnecessary stems is necessary. This will help the plant to focus on yield alone and will ensure a better large-sized yield.
After considering all of the aforementioned, the environment, watering schedules, pests, soil, and optimum sunshine exposure will be the most important considerations during the fruiting phase.
Also, ensure to use less concentrated liquids to avoid affecting the size of the fruits. We hope this article helped you get an answer to your query ‘why are my tomatoes so small?’.