Please look at my tomatoe plants - any advice?(15 Posts)
Belatedly repotted these to bigger pots today. Do you think they look alright? Few yellow, dying leaves perhaps? First time I've grown anything. Used a combination of multi purpose compost mixed up with my garden soil which is what they were growing in before. They started in one of these mini greenhouses but got a bit hor and a few scorched leaves so out on the patio now.
First question - I don't feed them yet do I? until they flower - when might they flower? Think they are mostly 'Gardeners Delight' from Wilko and some 'sweet aperitif' from Thompson & morgan. Is there nothing i should put on the soil except water for now then?
Secondly, what on earth do I do with them come the autumn and over winter (assuming they are still ok). Not got a greenhouse (just that mini one which is way too small). Can they be left on a patio over winter?
Third, I don't really understand about the trusses that I should be cutting off to get a higher fruit yield. Should I be cutting anything off these plants yet and if so where exactly?
Finally, any other observations from the pics then please feel free to advise. I am a complete novice.
Thanks in advance
IMO they look very dry. Tomato plants need watering every day, unless it rains. If you think about it tomatoes are at least 85% water. Don't worry about over wintering. Once the plant has fruited and finished fruiting it is for the compost heap. The varieties you have are bush types, I believe, so don't worry about cutting off trusses. Good luck.
I'd say they need feeding, they look starved of nutrients and light.
It's a very wet year so far and they are behind, so they are very vulnerable to blight before they fruit. Can you get them under cover so they are in sun, but not exposed to rain?
I have always been told not to start feeding until the first fruits appear. What part of the country are you in?
Thanks, cannot get them undurcover now they are too big for my mini green house or window sill. Hmmm, they were in the green house a lot until last couple of weeks but got scorched. I'll make sure they get a daily watering if it doesn't rain. Why does exposure to rain harm them?
oh, bad kitten, when you say they need feeding do you mean some 'tomorite' or equivelant product?
rain carries the spores for blight. There is a map you can keep an eye on, but it seems you need to register.
I've had trouble with blight the last few years.
I wouldn't give them much, just a half dose as they look a bit sad. Elephant is right that normally it's when they start to set fruit, but I think they need a little help now.
I'm hoping a more expert gardener finds their way through brexit to give you some more confident advice.
I see thanks, maybe I need to invest in a proper greenhouse if I want to be doing this every summer. In the meantime I think I'll buy some tomatoe feed tomorrow anyway. Thanks
ok, half dose just to give them a lift sounds wise.
Well done for starting growing! Its great fun, healthy, tastiest, freshest and sustainable for the planet.
I would say for a beginner your main aim is to water regularly but not over water. Over-watering is more dangerous than under-watering. You can bring a plant back from wilting (being dry), but you cannot bring them back if you drown their roots with constant water logging. You want your soil slightly moist not sodden, but if you have got to this stage I am sure you are doing alright in this respect.
I never feed my tomatoes.
Next year though pot them on in smaller more regular stages so as not to shock the plant as much going from small pot to huge pot. But for now, go buy some Marigold plugs (^Tagetes^) to plant round the edge to protect against pests, and speed this process (because plants have a certain amount of energy so while its concentrating on filling pot with roots it wont be growing, fruiting as vigorously). You can plant them on top of the tomato without digging because tomato can be planted as deep as you like so just chuck more soil on top.
Basil also great with tomatoes and likes similar conditions and I find is well loved by slugs, so I use them as a sacrifice crop to distract them from climbing up my beloved toms.
Best of luck
Oh and if you are going to feed, don't until it has put its roots down properly. Wait a minimum of 2-3 weeks from potting on. Feeding is sometimes just as bad as good, so maybe do experiment with half and half.
Thanks Bengal, I'll look for some Marigold plugs and hold off on the feed for a while. I'll put this year down as a learning experience and any tomatoes I get are a bonus
No problem Any excuse for chat about gardening
I think you will get some, but they are young atm, so look like it will be September. I have my fingers crossed for late Indian Summer, so you maybe lucky even up till early October for finishing any ripening (although I am in south!).
And if you can afford, you could buy yourself a more developed tomato from good garden centre to keep you occupied with toms while these grow out. Its so much more satisfying when you reap the rewards, and a little bit of 'cheating' in the beginning is essential for learning and seeing how a plant develops/ should be.
Next year I would start some early (New Year indoors) and do some later like you have, I find its best to have a couple of different age groups to stagger space they take and peak crop times. Also look at grafted tomatoes, well worth a purchase (although will need pinching trusses). There is even one which is tomato grafted onto potato so you get tomatoes and potatoes from same pot; although I did find the potato crop quite poor; I did find the tomato plant on top stronger, required less water, and provided my best crop so far. I think its called TomTato.
They look fine, because of the wet spring everything is a bit late.Dont waste your money buying bigger plants half the fun is starting your own from seed. I have grown both those vareties for years now. Gave my son a sweet Aperitif, plant, he lives in a second floor flat no outside space, had it growing in his kitchen for 3 years, in hotter countries toms are considered perennial. I have never had blight, found my toms did better outdoors, 2 years ago, with the hot March days and normal March temp at night got blossom end rot. Join The Gardeners World forum.
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