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Tomato planting error - too many plants in one bag...

Novice gardener here - my partner and I planted a mix of tomato plants (labels lost at a nursery so were being sold off as unknown varieties) a couple of months ago and popped them in the greenhouse. 

We have a tomarite grow bag and mis-read the instructions suggesting three plants per bag as being three plants per marked area on each bag. End result we now have 8 mighty huge plants and one smaller one in a single bag and I've only noted the error reading the bag of another growbag we've just planted some peppers into. 

They're certainly growing well (around 3-4 ft tall aside from one) and we have 10 or so flowers now starting to appear - no fruits as yet but the weather here in Bath has been dire for a couple of weeks. 

The question is - should I leave them as is at this point or disturb them to move into some other containers?

Any advice much appreciated,

Steve

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    Hi Steve - if they're doing well, it's probably best just to leave them. I think you may find them impossible to untangle.
    You can start feeding them once the first truss of fruit appears, but it might be tricky if they all start at different times, so some may get more food than others. Not really an issue though , as you'll get a crop of some kind.
    You'll just have to wing it  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    Hi Steve - if they're doing well, it's probably best just to leave them. I think you may find them impossible to untangle.
    You can start feeding them once the first truss of fruit appears, but it might be tricky if they all start at different times, so some may get more food than others. Not really an issue though , as you'll get a crop of some kind.
    You'll just have to wing it  ;)
    Thank you for replying :smile:

    They do seem to be growing well just lacking in fruit so far. I have the growbag they're in on one of those Hozelock feeding trays and they seem to be drinking plenty of water so fingers crossed.

    I hadn't even thought about feeding issues as they'll be at different stages - I guess I'll just put some feed in with each water refill once the fruits appear.

    I'll leave them be and go back to worrying about my dying cucumber plants instead. 


  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    I would leave alone as you would cause to much root disturbance now and could end up loosing all of them with the exception of the small one if its really small try and pull it out but if it wont come just cut it off at ground level.

    As for the rest you need to be feeding them now once a week if the first set of flowers are set and once the plants get there second set of flowers increase to twice a week once each plant has has three or four trusses of tomatoes I would cut out the top off each plant.

    You should also be taking out any side shoots.

    Image result for tomato side shoots

    Hope this helps and good luck.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    The biggest issue could be airflow round the plants, so be aware of that as temps rise, and keep the greenhouse well ventilated. You can remove some of the foliage once fruits are growing though. Normally, you would pinch out the growing tip at about 6 trusses, but again, you might need to play it by ear as you have a lot, and don't know which varieties they are. Have you been pinching out the little side shoots that appear in the leaf axils?


    There will be a lot of competition for the water/nutrients with so many plants, but tomatoes thrive on benign neglect, and keeping a consistent regime of watering is more important. Good luck with it - it'll be interesting to see how you get on.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you @Hampshire_Hog - I'll pop some food in when I top up their water later. 

    I've been removing the side shoots but have a lot of intertangled trusses - is removing some of these ever a good idea?
  • @Fairygirl I've actually brought them out of the greenhouse as they were getting a bit too big for the small greenhouse we have. 

    I've been removing side shoots but they have gotten pretty tall and intertangled. I'll snap a picture next time I pass them and you or someone here might be able to share some more tips. 
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,991
    I would be tempted to cut at least one of them down to ground level in each of the planting holes. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    I think you may have to remove a few stems or plants here and there if they're very tangled.
    Another alternative would be to try and split the bag into two or three and put each bundle into a large pot, but it's difficult to determine how easy that would be.  :/

    Food should really only be given once the first fruits appear, not flowers.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    As Fairy says usually you would only start to feed at the first fruits but as the bags are over full they would of used up most of the feed in the compost by now I expect.

    I would not be to worried about them being entwined its how they grow in the wild through other plants and together but if its a real pain then yes remove some leaf be careful not to cut the main stem if you can and just limit the number of trusses or the fruit wont ripen or mature when they are fighting for the available food.


    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,507
    If you are able to move the growbag onto soil then you could remove most of the bottom of the growbag to let the plants root into the soil. Just cut a big flap similar to the one you cut on the top.
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