I have noticed that the tomato plants have a lot of buds but either the buds dry out or the they flower and then dry out. Could it be too much sun? So far just a few flowers survived and the plants has about 3-4 tomatoes on them.
The plants are grown in containers with a potting mix of vermiculite, perlite, cocopeat and compost in equal proportions. I have been adding NPK solution every week.
The same problem is with the karela, brinjal and capsicum plants - lots of flowers but they dry and drop off.
Your answer seems to be spot right! This happened to me last year with some vines of bottle-gourd! I did not get a single fruit from these vines in the ground while the same seeds grown in 'sacks' at the same time yielded a bountiful harvest! As you say, one has to be a little miserly with NPK for plants grown in the ground. But should one not continue with P & K?
It is said that one should not feed almost any nitrogen to plants the moment buds start appearing. At this stage it is advisable to use MPK (Mono-potassium-phosphate) or just K to plants. This improves flowering, fruit setting and even the quality of the fruits. In Patricia's case it could also be a defficiency of Calcium. Tomato if very fold of this. Regards.
I learnt something new from Organic farming experts recently to supply calcium in more sustainable and organic way. Thought I would share this info with you all. Here is a homemade calcium supply for your veggies. It is called "Egg Lime Formulation".
Whole Eggs 10 nos
Lime juice from 20 nos
Jaggery 50 gm
Mix Lime juice and jaggery and immerse the eggs in it. Close the container with air tight lid and keep it in shade for 10 days.
On 10th day, eggs will be rubbery ball. Using your hand mix the egg along with shells in the egg-lime solution and add equal quantity of jaggery(about 500 ml). Close the container for another 10 days and leave some gap for air flow so the natural gases escape. 10th day it is ready as foliar spray. It can be mixed with Panchagavya and Vermiwash to give even more better results as the experts in Organic farming say.
Excessive nitrogen could be a reason why flowers are dropping. Since you mentioned that there are few tomatoes in the plant already, I don't suspect pollination to be a reason. Still, I suggest you give those plants or the stem that holds the flowers a flick with your hand every morning. As others suggested, you can stop feeding 19-19-19 and if available you can move to a high potassium fertilizer. Anyways give it 10 days time and use just water. How healthy is the plant? Is there too much leafy growth? If so nitrogen is high and if the plant is not too healthy then after a few fruits, it will abort all the flowers because it cannot handle more than some number.
Hope this helps.
Please take this amateur's advice with a pinch of salt---or even two. You should be able to get Calcium Nitrate. If you dont find MKP just stick to Potash. Regards.
Collect used egg shells, dry, powder and store. Put a couple of spoonfuls in the soil as a calcium supplement. Chop banana peels and add to soil as a pottasium supplement.
Hope this helps. Regards.
Using powdered egg shells to provide calcium to plants or the banana peels for adding potassium are surely great ideas but these are solutions for the long term. Patricias plants/flowers need urgent and effective help. Using Mono-potassium phosphate after flowering starts is a tried and recommended option. Calcium is in any case very important for a good yield from tomato plants and in any case can not do any harm. Once I had some problem with Tomato plants and was advised to feed them a little Magnesium sulphate which I did along with MKP & Calcium nitrate. It did wonders to the plants. What I am trying to say is that there is no harm in trying out these additives along with the long term solution egg shell, gypsum, banana peels etc. But the situation in each garden is vastly different so each gardener has to take the final call! Regards.
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