U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 07-26-2018, 06:59 AM
 
277 posts, read 558,214 times
Reputation: 188

Advertisements

Tomatoes have always been my holy grail of gardening - but I've never had much luck with them in the past. This year I decided to try a few experiments - I have about 6 different types of tomatoes going right now. All started from seedlings - around 10-12" high (which I guess is more than a seedling).

4 of them are planted in the ground, in a location that only gets around 1 hour of direct sun per day. The other two are in two very large containers placed in a location that gets 6 hours of sun per day.

Surprisingly, the ones with the low amount of sun, while lanky, have started producing a decent amount of fruit - although slowly.

The two in the container I thought would be thriving. One of them seemed to be, had tons of flowers, etc, but a lot of the flowers turned brown and did not fruit. The other container looks very healthy, and has a couple of fruit on it, but has not really grown at all. It literally looks the same height as when I planted it.

Anyone have any suggestions of what to try? They have only been planted for 4-5 weeks. Am I just being impatient? I fed them about 3 weeks ago with tomato fertilizer stakes. I was doing a deep water every 2-3 days, but the last week has rained almost every day here (lower NY), so maybe they are getting over watered now?

I'm not sure what to try, or if I should just stay the course. I had high hopes for the container plants because I know 6 hours of sun should be enough to be moderately successful.

Any tips?

Thanks!

H
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-26-2018, 07:24 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,564 posts, read 54,139,367 times
Reputation: 30791
How hot has it been? They like sun but if too hot will not set fruit. That's my problem now, tons of blossoms but not setting since it's been 88-93 all week and in the greenhouse as high as 107 in the afternoon. In pots, the roots will get hot too, and slow down the growth. If possible, you might try moving them to a spot that gets less sun, avoiding the hottest afternoon hours. Alfalfa meal added to the soil when planting helps them get off to a good start, but for fruiting you want a fertilizer with the 2nd number higher and with micro-nutrients, trace elements and minerals.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2018, 08:43 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,785 posts, read 18,706,772 times
Reputation: 24366
it does not hurt to add ground up egg shells to the soil next to the plants either . Make sure you put the egg shells into microwave for about 30 seconds and then grind them up in your food processor into a powder like substance and then dig a hole next to the tomatoe plant and drop the powdered egg shells into the hole and cover it up . the great thing about this is you are also sharpening the blades on your food processor too ., win win .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2018, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Upstate, NY
594 posts, read 256,004 times
Reputation: 748
I have six plants in my bed. They are about 4’ high and are producing a lot of fruit. My bed gets at least six hours of direct sunlight, but by 3pm it is in shade. I use the square foot gardening method popularized by Mel Bartholomew. My bed is comprised of “Mel’s mix,” which is comprised of compost, vermiculite, and natural fertilizer (of at least three to five different sources). There is no actual soil in the mix. There are also virtually no weeds. I never add any other type of fertilizer except for one trowel (per square) at the beginning of the season each year. I did “cheat” by buying planters that were already over a foot high. Here in Upstate, NY the season is relatively short. Finally, I water every day between 11am and 1pm. I use a watering can.

I’m trying to figure out if I should trim the “suckers” or not, or whether to trim off the little tomatos near the top of the plants.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2018, 08:02 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,564 posts, read 54,139,367 times
Reputation: 30791
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfas View Post
I have six plants in my bed. They are about 4’ high and are producing a lot of fruit. My bed gets at least six hours of direct sunlight, but by 3pm it is in shade. I use the square foot gardening method popularized by Mel Bartholomew. My bed is comprised of “Mel’s mix,” which is comprised of compost, vermiculite, and natural fertilizer (of at least three to five different sources). There is no actual soil in the mix. There are also virtually no weeds. I never add any other type of fertilizer except for one trowel (per square) at the beginning of the season each year. I did “cheat” by buying planters that were already over a foot high. Here in Upstate, NY the season is relatively short. Finally, I water every day between 11am and 1pm. I use a watering can.

I’m trying to figure out if I should trim the “suckers” or not, or whether to trim off the little tomatos near the top of the plants.
Last year I pulled up my plants full of green and partially colored fruit in Mid October, placed them stems and all flat on a table on newspaper to let them ripen, and was eating them until a few days before Christmas. Still tasted far better than store bought.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2018, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,011 posts, read 22,774,659 times
Reputation: 34928
Need to know your planting zone and temperatures.

We had a really cool spring here in SF Bay Area - crazy cool. It's just now getting into upper 80's during the day, and into 60's at night. Once we got into the 80's my tomato plants started thriving.

That said, tomato plants are very hungry and thirsty plants. It's okay to wait until they start wilting to water them, if you're afraid you're overwatering them. They'll spring back really quickly when you water them, if you do so just when you see them starting to wilt.

Fertilizer is very important for tomatoes. If you started them in incredibly wonderful soil, you can wait to fertilize them for a short while. But, if you're not sure what you're doing, I have found the best fertilizer to be Miracle Gro for Tomatoes. Second option that's best, is just generic Miracle Gro for all plants and veggies.

I use 1 tablespoon to one gallon of water, and fertilize my tomatoes (all in pots) once a week.

When blossoms fall without producing fruit, my experience has been that that's caused by excessive heat, and/or overwatering.

Tomato blossoms dont' need to be pollinated, as they have both male and female parts in the blossom. But, it doesn't hurt to just wiggle the plants once in a while, to help the pollen spread inside the blossoms. It's called "tickling" your tomatoes.

And just know that some years you can do the same thing and have a terrible year, then a great year the next year. That's what I'm experiencing with my pepper plants this year. Sometimes, the weather or bad seeds or plants or bugs or whatever - will wreck your harvest. The only way to gauge whether it's something you did wrong or not - is with time and practice. If you've been growing tomatoes the same way for 10 years, you'll know that it's something out of your hands that has caused "this" year's crop to fail.

So, don't judge yourself too harshly. Give them good soil, water them when they start to wilt, fertilize them weekly - and if they still fail, it's probably something out of your hands like the weather.

I hope you don't give up. When you get a great year, it's worth it :-)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top