View Full Version : Weird tomato situation
08-04-2005, 12:44 PM
So, I started tomato seeds way back in February or March. Maybe I started too early, but they're at least 10ft tall right now. It's gotten so that they have grown taller that the longest stakes I could find and I actually duct taped another stake on the top of each stake- and now they're growing taller than that! Does anyone else have this problem? A few have actually fallen over because they are out of stake to cling to.
Also, they were supposed to be beefsteak tomatoes, but they are very tiny. Like even smaller than a cherry tomato. They taste fine, but why are they so small?? Is there some inverse relationship between the size of the plant and the size of the tomato? Could we have gotten mislabeled seeds? Are they not getting enough sunlight and/or water?
We know nothing about gardening at all- we did this on a whim last winter. Any help or advise is welcomed:)
08-04-2005, 12:54 PM
My first guess is they haven't gotten enough sunlight and are trying to grow up towards the sun. I think the tomatoes themself are tiny becasue the plant is using all of it's energy growing taller.
I'm totally guessing, this is the first year I've planted tomatoes so I don't have a lot of experience.
08-04-2005, 12:56 PM
Have you been removing the suckers? If not, that could cause a lot of small tomatoes versus less, larger ones. That would also make them grow very tall.
08-04-2005, 01:18 PM
YUp, I'll agree with greenbunny. Right now, the plant is putting all its energy into the leaves, not the fruit. Trim off any branches that aren't producing fruit (i.e., the "suckers"). Also make sure you fertilize so it has the energy to produce the tomatoes.
08-04-2005, 02:56 PM
Oops, we haven't trimmed anything off what-so-ever. I had no idea! I'm off to remove the "suckers" right now:) Thanks!
08-05-2005, 08:41 AM
Instead of starting another tomato thread, I thought I would just add my tomato issue here...
My tomatoes are all green and dont seem to ever ripen...they are in full sun so I dont know what the problem is? Any thoughts?
I do need to remove the "suckers" on my plants too! I didnt realize that either! First time tomato grower here as well! :)
08-05-2005, 09:49 AM
Hang on wait. It maybe early yet for them to ripen (depending on where you live?). We only one red one and, believe me, wy husband has fertilized, watered, tested the soil etc. Everything is on track. ;)
But, if they still don't ripen, go ahead and pick them, but put them in a brown paper bag with one or two very ripe apples. Crab apples work best, but any *very* ripe apple will do. Keep it in relatively cool, dark place for a two to three days and the tomatoes will ripen. :D
08-05-2005, 12:20 PM
You didn't say how long you have been in wait mode for your green tomatoes :) , but I usually have to wait about 6 weeks or so for mine to start making the orange to red change. I have been growing tomatoes for many years and it has always been this way. Just about the time you are ready to throw your hose down and swear you'll never try to grow tomatoes again, they start to turn. ;)
08-05-2005, 01:14 PM
Well I planted these plants in May and I have gotten 2 tomatoes off of them??!!!!
08-05-2005, 01:32 PM
Where do you live/what zone are you in? Again, it may be too soon depending on the temps.
08-08-2005, 01:30 AM
You might be right on schedule. I planted my tomatoes from small transplants (about 8 inches tall) in mid April. Around mid July, I started getting tomatoes.
Tomatoes LOVE the heat. Thats when they are in their best production mode. I'm in So. Cal. and we started getting hot in July.
If your tomatoes are green, but the size they need to be to pick, just be patient. It took me well over a month when they were fully developed but green to start getting them to turn orange...then on to red.
If everything looks fine and they are getting enough sun, they should start turning soon. I know it's hard to wait. ;)
In fact today, I made tomato sauce from about 40 pounds of tomatoes. :eek:
08-08-2005, 07:36 AM
They are definitely the size I would pick if they were red! I wasnt sure if I should just pick them and let them ripen like that or just leave them! Thanks for the info!! I guess I just need to be patient! :)
08-09-2005, 07:28 AM
The only time I would suggest picking them before they are fully red is if you are having heavy rain. The tomatos will suck up all that water and start to split open. If they are borderline red and your forecast says you've got a couple of days of steady rainfall coming, I'd pick them.
08-09-2005, 12:35 PM
If your plants are extremely greeny and tall and have no tomatoes or very small tomatoes that means there's too much nitrogen in the soil, either in by fertilizer, manure or compost.
This can be fixed earlier on in the season by applying phosphorus to the soil, but this late in the season it's probably too late.
For tomatoes you want to use a N-P-K fertilizer that's lower on the N.
08-10-2005, 08:01 AM
Aug 2002 - My beefsteak toms are all big but green still. Give it a few more weeks,
08-10-2005, 08:17 AM
If your plants are extremely greeny and tall and have no tomatoes or very small tomatoes that means there's too much nitrogen in the soil, either in by fertilizer, manure or compost
Could this be caused by adding the Tomato Miracle-Gro too?
08-10-2005, 08:51 AM
Could this be caused by adding the Tomato Miracle-Gro too?
By adding regular Miracle Gro it would definitely happen. I'm not sure about the Tomato MG though - i would imagine they'd lower the nitrogen in it if it's specifically for tomatoes. Do you know what the N-P-K number is on it?
08-10-2005, 09:02 AM
I have the tomato MG as well. Ive been adding that but not that often like I was in the beginning.
08-10-2005, 09:10 AM
Do you know what the N-P-K number is on it
I guess it's 18-18-21. The box says Total Nitrogen is 18%. Too high?
08-10-2005, 09:28 AM
I'll have to look at my tomato fertilizer, but i think mine is 1-5-7 or something like that.
08-10-2005, 09:41 AM
Just to throw in my two cents...
We're in zone 8 or 9 (southern England, climate is pretty much the same as the Pacific Northwest), and I started my seeds in March, set the plants out in mid May, and am just starting to get red tomatoes. The ones that I've been able to harvest so far are the cherry varieties. The bigger ones have just barely started to turn.
I have to keep the suckers trimmed or tomatoes don't grow bigger. I have also noticed that the plant I have in a pot is producing smaller fruit than the ones in the ground.
08-10-2005, 10:48 AM
Here in zone 5 i just got my first batch of pickable tomatoes last week. All of mine are pretty good size, but i'm not exactly sure how large my beefstakes are - i'll have to look at them tonight.
FWIW, i've never trimmed off my suckers before and have never had problems with small tomatoes.
08-11-2005, 07:36 AM
I'm in PA, and I just got my first red Fourth of July tomato yesterday. You can probaby guess by the name when they're actually supposed to be ready to pick.
08-11-2005, 11:20 AM
Hmmm, I don't think it's the fertilizer that's causing the small tomatoes- we only put a small amount of miracle grow garden soil in with each plant when we put them outside. That's the extent of the fertilizing we've done. Maybe we should have used more though...
How do you know what zone you are in and what does that mean for your plants?? I am in Massachusetts.
We have trimmed off all the suckers, but the tomatoes are still not getting bigger. Maybe it's a lost cause for this year...
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