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Mon Aug 18, 2014, 10:03 AM

 

Tomatoes - I live for fresh tomatoes.

I also live near Seattle so have a very short growing season.

My problem this year is that my plants have grown twice as tall as normal. I think my potting soil had more fertilizer in it than it should have. In any case I am wondering if I cut out some of the foliage it will help the tomatoes grow and ripen.

I also would like suggestions on how much water to use now that fruit are on the vines.

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 11:00 AM

1. If NRaleighLiberal doesn't have an answer....

 

Then nobody does!

I won't even venture a guess, though I have found that doing nothing works, but then I'm down in California in tomato land!

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 11:30 AM

2. The best summer of my life was when I worked at a company in the engineering department.

On Friday's we would all bring something to contribute to a sandwich bar. One guy lived up in the mountains by a stream & the other by a lake. These two guys would bring in a bounty of tomatoes & there quickly became a contest between the stream grown vs lake grown tomatoes. We were all winners!

Store bought tomatoes shouldn't even be allowed to be called tomatoes. Oh, they are quite beautiful on the outside, but all white & pithy on the inside.

Hope you get some fruit soon!

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 02:49 PM

3. if they have a lot of foiliage but few fruit that could be excess nitrogen

We have some that have outgrown the 6 ft stakes and I want to cut and root the tops. They are producing beaucoup.

If you are growing in a container then in hot weather I would water daily, first thing in the AM and directly to the soil, just until you see the container start to drain. In cooler weather, maybe soak every other day.

What variety are they? If they are determinates, like Romas, then you won't get ripe fruit until the very end and the whole plant will go at once. Determinates usually need a little extra fertilizer or top dressing between flower and fruit. If you see color draining out of the lower leaves then your plants may need additional nutrients.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 02:54 PM

4. The only Roma I have is stunted for some strange reason.

 

The same planting methods as the others, mostly Early Girls. I used Miracle Grow potting soil when I planted them and it must have had more nitrogen than it should. Some of the Early Girls are six feet high and the Sun Sugar reaches about seven feet.

I was wondering if I cut away some of the foliage it would help the fruit to grow.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 03:45 PM

5. Those are a tall variety

Looking them up, I see Early Girl is "tall" ("9 feet" and an F1 hybrid (not open pollinated). 9 feet?! wow.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Girl

There are other varieties that I like better. I have had poor results with "early" tomatoes -- Stupice (stoo - pee - chay) was especially poor, plasticky and tasteless. Celebrity was a hybrid that did well for me and the taste was better, although not top tier like the Brandwines and the Oxhearts.

For containers I like Sweet 100, Sungold and Juliette (good for sun or oven drieds). I am growing some Green Zebras, cherry and Sungolds. The Sungold have done well. The Zebra has only 4 fruits on it and they have been slow to ripen (probably not enough sun in the spot where the container is).

I had about 40 plants last year but this year I am a guest farmer on a farm and they have 1000s so I am doing filet beans and edamame. This is a shot from last year. None of these did as well as they would have in the right hands, some are small, many cracked, (and some on the picture are under ripe but I wanted a group shot...)



I guess the answer for Early Girls is to trellis them and let them get tall. The Romas I grew stayed under 4 feet and put on a lot of fruit which bulked up quickly right at the end (around 75 days).

Good luck and Enjoy!

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 18, 2014, 04:04 PM

6. In the past my Early Girl tomatoes haven't gotten over 5 feet.

 

But this year we've had exceptional heat so far. Early Girl works best for me because I don't have the best spot and they have a early yield which is very important to me.

Thanks for the comments.

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Tue Aug 19, 2014, 01:13 AM

7. Love them!

Ours are growing nicely and starting to produce very well. We always have a later harvest date because of late frosts that are normal for here. I always remove a lot of excess foliage and it seems to help production. I roast and freeze what we can't eat so that works for us.

As far as watering goes it depends on the amount of rainfall we get. It's been very dry with little rain so DH has been watering every day. They seem to do better with the rainwater rather than with our well water.

I love grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches so I've been ODing on them the past few days.

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Response to Lugnut (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 19, 2014, 04:39 PM

8. We love caprise salads and sandwiches. Also, potato, tomato, and mozzarella casseroles. nm

 

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