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 Post subject: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Venomous Head of Veganism
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Post pics of your tomato plants, your tomatoes, what you do with your tomatoes, and your tomatoey hopes and dreams!

My plants:
Image

And my first tiny green fruit!
Image

I'm a little concerned that I see hardly any flowering yet, but I was so relieved to see that little guy.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato photos thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:17 pm 
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ol' garly cooch
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Hey Isa, if you prune your plants, and give them plenty p and k, you'll get more blooms. I'll take some photos of mine tonight. All of them are full of flowers!

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:29 pm 
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How do you know which parts to prune?

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato photos thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:41 pm 
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Do you have two plants in each of those cages? If so, you may end up with a problem later in the season. Tomato plants, especially indeterminate types, get huge! I used those cages the 1st time I grew tomatoes, and by August they were falling over constantly. I use them just for peppers now and made some industrial strength cages with galvanized wire mesh.

In fact, here's an old picture of those 1st two tomato plants. You can't even see the metal cages in the tangle. I thought I'd cram 2 tomatoes, a jalapeno, cayenne and 4 basil plants in that little 2.5 x 4 foot bed that year. hahahah! (now it is just a strawberry patch)

Image

I guess if you prune them like Jewbacca said it might not be a problem, but I've never had the patience to do that.

And, now that I think about it - I ended up tying them to the fence so they'd stay up. It looks like my fence is similar to your so you may be able to do that too.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:52 pm 
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I've already picked about 15 or so small red tomatoes off of my plant:) I can't remember what type of tomatoes they are, but they're golf ball sized or bigger and super yummy and quick ripening! I need to prune the dead leaves soon, though :-/


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 Post subject: Re: The tomato photos thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Aubade wrote:
Do you have two plants in each of those cages?

No?

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato photos thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:03 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
Aubade wrote:
Do you have two plants in each of those cages?

No?


Oh ok. I thought it looked like there were two big stems. Just to be clear, I only had 1 plant in each cage too - so it was just a general heads up that those cages might be a bit wobbly later, especially if you get any strong winds in your yard.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Okay I'm glad to see this thread with the same questions I have.

I did something not too bright yesterday. I knew to pinch off the blooms off of my basil when I noticed any.

Yesterday, I brought home a big bushy cherry tomato plant with lots of blooms- so guess what I did?

I pinched off every single one of the blooms!

Um are they ever coming back?

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:06 pm 
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I pruned my tomato a few weeks after I first planted it because it had a lot of low branches and the unseasonably cool weather made my tomato a little sad for a while, but now that the heat is starting, it seems much happier. It has about a dozen flowers, but it's still pretty spindly and less than 20" tall.

Would it be beneficial to prune off the flowers and let it get a bit stronger and fuller before stressing it out with fruit? I'd rather have a strong plant than early tomatoes. Google only shows me people arguing over whether pruning flowers will give you bigger/better fruit, but I'm more concerned with the plant thriving first.


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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:40 pm 
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My tomato plants are hurting, as it's been really quite cold here. I hope that changes soon! When I grew tomatoes two years ago on this island, it was a different and much more successful story. I'm wondering if it is our elevation (in addition to the cool weather, of course)--we did move halfway up a mountain.


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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:47 pm 
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This thread just reminded me that I have a tomato plant!

uh oh just went out to water it and it is so dry and starting to uproot out of the soil? Is it dead? I poured a bunch of water into it.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:08 pm 
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RatsRGods wrote:
This thread just reminded me that I have a tomato plant!

uh oh just went out to water it and it is so dry and starting to uproot out of the soil? Is it dead? I poured a bunch of water into it.


It might come back from that?

ZOMBIE TOMATOES.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:09 pm 
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I've got some green cherry tomatoes that I'm waiting for. Not sure what I'm going to do with 'em. Various salads, I suppose. I should look over Appetite for Reduction's salad section for ideas.

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He has a new beehive now, but this one has hurtful anti-bear epithets scrawled all over it.
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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:39 pm 
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Your plants look so big and lush!

My patio cherry tomato is going nuts. Lots of blooms but no fruit yet.
Image

My regular old patio tomatoes are blooming too.
Image

I think these yellow pear tomatoes will be the ones to watch. I hope they are the dark horse of this year's harvest. I just stuck them in today (they are from that big donation), and they are in the front box, which doesn't really get enough sun, but I had space because some jerk pulled out all of my kale so I wanted to just see how they'd do. I am hoping the fact that they are yellow will confuse people into not stealing them before I get to them!
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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:40 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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Isa, I have a tutorial on pruning tomatoes in the gardening skool thread. I prune the suckers-(those are the babies that peek through the joint of stalk and branch), and the lower branches. When I get my pictures up, you'll see what I'm talking about. I've been crazy busy with the move, so I didn't take pictures last night like I had planned.

Pruning blooms and other parts of the plant won't kill a tomato plant. Tomatoes are very resilient plants! It is not unheard of for someone to pinch of one or all blooms so the plant can redirect its energy to doing something else. For example, pinching off the top of an out of control plant will help it grow laterally. Another example is leaving one bloom in a cluster of blooms to grow alone so you'll get one big tomato instead of a cluster of five smaller tomatoes. Experiment! If you have a leggy seedling, feel free to bury that baby in more dirt so the top barely pokes out of the soil--tomatoes will root in water alone, true dat. Ever noticed wart like bumps at the bottom of your tomato plants? Those are roots ready to rock n' roll! Seriously, tomatoes are awesome plants. Just awesome. You can take the stem you prune, stick it in some water, and you'll get a clone! Cool, huh?

If you are pruning sickly leaves, make sure to put them in a separate pile from your regular compost. Sickly stems are likely infected with something you don't want to transfer to other plants.

If you are growing tomatoes indoors-(I know it's summer, but some of y'all have short growing seasons depending on location) remember you have to pollinate your blooms. For this, you can use a q-tip or small paint brush to tickle each bloom so it sets fruit.

Keep the questions coming. I am happy to help.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:47 am 
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Thank you!

Good to know about pruning.

I read that you can self polinate with a q-tip or paintbrush, but I didn't understand where to tickle it. Now I know!

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:12 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
You can take the stem you prune, stick it in some water, and you'll get a clone! Cool, huh?


I wish I had known that! I feel like I wasted the stems I dumped in the compost bin.


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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:52 am 
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Well, now you know mel. And in this case, knowing is growing!

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:20 pm 
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This is the time of year that I should be getting no more tomatoes or blooms, but the 104º heat isn't stopping these mustards. I'm really in trouble, though, because I had an injury in Feb, and am basically one-handed for a while, I didn't get a chance to build these awesome homemade Texas Tomato Cages http://tomatocage.com/ and well, I had to kind of rig some old rabbit fencing. Worked for the bush tomatoes, but the some of the vine tomatoes blew over in the crazy wind we've been having. I'm screwed.

Image
Roma tomatoes doing fine in the ghetto fencing. That rogue marigold is like 4' tall!

Image
More Romas doing ok in the fencing. The problem is that they're so damn dense because I have a hard time pruning.

Image
Some vine cherry tomatoes that are blown all over the place. They're at least as tall as my 8' fence.

Image
These vine tomatoes are blown down, fruit ripening on the ground like a hurricane hit them.

Image
These guys never flowered or set fruit. They're a weird heirloom variety with the potato type leaves. We'll see what they do when it cools down a little.

Next year, I'm just buying the Texas tomato cages and then I won't have to deal with this heartache. Also, next year I'm growing only small fruit tomatoes, like cherry, grape, or roma. The big ones get hit with insects and besides take up so much room when I can just buy cool tomatoes at the farmer's market and use that space for something else.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:02 pm 
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Slaving over my tomatoes never does me any good, so I'm ignoring them. I checked today and they're pretty big! Pics tomorrow maybe - next time going outside doesn't crush me in humidity.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:32 pm 
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I've got two early girls and a cherry tomato on my balcony. I just picked my first early girl tomato. The cherry tomato plant is HUGE....it grew over the fence of my balcony and now it's growing up again in a U-shape! It's at least 10 feet tall. There are tons of baby tomatoes on it....I just don't know how I'm going to pick them! Maybe I'll have to hang off my balcony. Endanger my life for the sake of fresh tomatoes, ha!

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:10 am 
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The tomatoes I grew from seed inside just got their first flowers! It is late for sure, I usually get my 1st ripe grape tomato in a week or two, but I'm just tickled that they are growing at all. These are the seedlings that didn't grow until I gave them fertilizer really late. They're almost 2 feet tall now, wuhoo! No yellow leaves yet either. Boy oh boy I hope I get a nice harvest this year!!

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Some of my tomatoes already have greeeeen guys on them. Whoot. Excited! Just did a major 'Sucker' extermination yesterday. It felt mean at first but then I was into it.

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:21 pm 
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I'm too scared to prune!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The tomato progress thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Okay. This is all from seed.

Tomatoes all the way to the left in this pic (they were super crowded and I just took a bunch out).

Image

And the big ones:

Image

Of course grass doesn't grow anywhere in my yard, but suddenly this grass or weed like substance has decided my garden is a great place to hang out.

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