The Tomatoes have arrived!!

LucyLLucyL Posts: 163

Hi everyone, The tomato pugs that I had ordered have arrived image

I have the following (The others are going to a friend)

- Gardeners Delight

- Green Zebra

- Black Opal

Since i received them 2 days ago, I have potted them up into small individual pots, and are now sitting on the base of one of my propagators so that i don't end up over watering them, they can just soak what they need.

When do the above need supports? I read in one of my books that Tall Cordon Cultivators need training up supports but bush and trailing don't. How do I know what they are? and how soon do they require staking?

yes i really should have done a bit more research before buying image... but bought in the hope that my partner would be interested in growing them as he always says picking of the plant is the best. image

How big will each get? Will any of them be ok to go outside in a few months?

As always thank you for you're advice and help image




  • Mark 499Mark 499 Posts: 379

    I would give the Black Opal to a friend, grew them last year, very bland almost tasteless.


  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,492
    All of these will require support and you will need to pinch out the side shoots. The growing tip will need to be pinched out once the plant has five flower trusses by which time the plant could be five or six feet tall. The company from which you bought them should have cultivation advice on its website, or look on something like the Mr Fothergill's site for information on growing the different types of tomato.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Lucy, all 3 varieties are indeterminates, meaning they will need staking further down the track.

    At this point all they need is as much light (preferably natural sunlight) as possible and some reasonable warmth. The aim is to let them develop under their own steam, building up their strength for the season ahead.

    Take them out of the propagator. Water them only when necessary. The mix must not be permanently damp. It should be allowed to dry out between waterings. Toms are very sturdy things and shouldn't be mollycoddled.

    If you have daytime temps into double figures, put them outside in a sunny spot, moving them to catch the sun if necessary. Bring them inside at night if the temps drop overnight. If your dayime temps are lower, put them on a tray or into a small crate and cover them with something like bubblewrap which will keep them warm while letting in any available sun. 

    My seedlings live in 3" pots until they're ready to plant out. They're ready to plant out when they reach around 6" in height though obviously the timing depends on (a) your temperatures; and (b) where you're going to grow them.

    You don't need to worry about staking till they're planted out. In good growing conditions expect the plants to grow up to 6', though the Green Zebra will likely be a bit more compact.

  • LucyLLucyL Posts: 163

    Thank you Italophile, Ceres and mark 499, I will do as you all say, and stake them further down the line. I am going to keep all these 3 varieties as they are all slightly different n' its the one's my partner chose out of the 5 kinds image

    I am pretty good at not mollycoddling plants (most of the time they get neglected and forgotten about) but i will try to keep them given enough care but not too much.

    They are not covered by the lid of the propagator, just sitting on the base to allow them to take as much water as they require (i can be a bit heavy or too light with the watering) this way they won't drown or dehydrate image

    6' is a fair size, so they will be living outside when they get this big, but by the sounds of things i will be having to tidy shed so that they can be put in there at nights where we have a heater on the stat so they will never get too cold.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Tomatoes thrive on controlled neglect, Lucy. Ovewatered and overfed are the worst things for them. 

    I would still take them out of the propagator. The plants can't decide when they do and don't want moisture. If the soil in the pot has access to water it will soak it up regardless. It has to be allowed to dry out.

    Sounds like you will be growing them outdoors in containers? 

  • LucyLLucyL Posts: 163

    Yes since they will get a fair size they will be grown outside in containers, but will only go outside when too big for indoors image glad they thrive on controlled neglect - my type of plant. I will take them off the propagator n' allow them to dry out.

    I have no space in my garden for them not to be grown in containers as all the garden is gravel and ground under is majorly stony and near impossible to dig up

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Lucy, they will be much better off outside as soon as the weather allows. Toms need at least 6-8 hours a day of direct sunlight to perform at their best. They will produce with less but the results will be correspondingly less.

    What are your tems at the moment - day and night - and what are your usual (if there's such a thing) temps - day and night - in summer?

  • LucyLLucyL Posts: 163

    Well today the average is about 9c  and night is roughly 4c, is 4c too cold for them at the moment?

    They will be potted up again i think tomorrow - i don't want them getting pot bound... but are they big enough at the moment to be potted up again? With some the roots have just reached the bottom






     Just looking at them, and noticed the end of this leaf looks a bit odd - whats wrong with it? (one on the right, slightly lighter in colour)



  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

    yours look pretty good to me, lucy! I think they've reached a similar height to mine. I seem to have ended up with about six or seven varieties and I can see that the leaves vary from variety to variety in terms of shape and size of leaves and colour. I wouldn't worry at all if some look a bit different.

    In terms of potting up, I tend to follow italophile's advice i think! Mine will ultimately go into 15 litre pots outside so i just keep them in these 3 inch ones until that point. I'm in Southwark, London, so cold nights aren't too much of an issue but I know putting them out too early can cause problems. So, even though I'll get into trouble for keeping them in the house, I imagine I'll leave them indoors at least until the end of the month. I've got a small coldframe they can go in to harden off for a few weeks. If they get too big and the weather's ok, I may try and get them in the coldframe earlier. My wife will appreciate it...

    I think last summer, I was a little too cautious about putting them in their final positions so I may be a little braver this year... Or hedge my bets and split my plants by putting half into the coldframe earlier...



  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Lucy, they're fine in those pots. Mine live in smaller pots than that till they're planted out. A tad pot-bound doesn't hurt them.

    They're established seedlings, 4C won't particularly hurt them. You'll have to wait till it's warmer overnight before planting them out, though. Bf (above) goes for 15 litre pots, which is fine. Personally, I'd go a bit bigger.

    I can't see anything wrong with that leaf.

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