Tomatoes - possibly my second mistake of the year!!!!

Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

My tomatoes are about 15" tall, in the GH but no signs of any flowers forming?  How big are they normally before flowers form?  I haven't removed any of the side shoots yet or put them in their grow pots / grow bags, but they are in quite big pots.

The reason I am concerned is that I think I may have made another mistake!!!  I know from info on here that you aren't meant to feed veg plants before flowers form and I haven't - intentionally. However, muppet me in my enthusiasm for big healthy plants bought the Miracle Gro Compost, when I planted them on the first time I used this (but not the second time) I am now worried that I have inadvertently fed the plants (and not only the tomatoes!) and I have ruined them image



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,429

    Don't fret image - they'll be fine - the Miracle Gro does have added fertiliser, but so do all composts - I wouldn't expect flowers yet image

    What varieties have you got?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,872

    Nip out any sideshoots you can see OL. They'll be fine - I grow mine in large pots as I find that easier, and they don't need as much feeding as people believe but you won't have done any harm. You'll probably find flowers forming quite soon -depends on the variety and all sorts of other factors like location and temperature etc. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    The ones in question are Alicante (I think!), I had written it down but can't find the list image

    I'm also growing Tumbling Toms, red and yellow but they aren't affected as I'd run out of Miracle-Gro and didn't buy any more as I'd already read it wasn't worth the money!

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    I still don't understand the side shoot thing, it has been explained so many tomes but how do I know flowers won't form on the shoots I take's the one thing in gardening I can't get my dippy head round image

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  • PottersPotters Posts: 55

    Hi OL

    The Alicante are what's known as determinate (or in our house - the tall ones that need staking image).  Here's how I  understand it.....the side shoots, if left, will eventually produce flowers and fruit but it takes the plant a lots of extra energy to grow these side shoots and then the flowers and fruit. This means the first lot of fruit may take longer to grow and ripen, and given the shortness of our summer times you may end up with a lot of green tomatoes (I know this from experience and I have a lovely recipe for Mangoish chutney made from green toms if you ever need one!).  If you remove these side shoots, the plant can concentrate its energy on the flowers and fruit that grow from the main stem and you'll have tomatoes sooner and hopefully most of them will have the chance to turn red.   

    With the tumbling ones, these are known as bush tomatoes and they wont have one main stem but lots of branches, so you don't pinch these out, jut let them get on with it.

    Hope this helps - took me a while to get my head round it too, I don't know if I've got it right yet but it seems to work for me.  My main advice is don't worry about it - just go with the flow.  If it doesn't quite work out - call it an experiment and have another go next year!



  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800


    Thanks Scroggin, so if I've understood right, I should take the very bottom shoots and also the ones above (sort of in the middle if the plant) off? Is that it then?  I leave the rest?  I think I'll just grow the determinate type next year so I don't have to worry image

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    OL there is a main stem and leaves growing from it, right and left, right & left all way up. Side shoots are the little bits growing between the main stem and the leaves. These are what you nip out. Don't do the very top ones until you are sure which is the main stem.image

  • PottersPotters Posts: 55

    HI OL - I've circled the ones I would pinch out .....I can't really see what's happening at the top but if I was unsure I;d leave it til they got a bit bigger....



  • PottersPotters Posts: 55

    Snap KEF

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