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Tomato lost its head

So I went out to the greenhouse this morning to discover a dastardly slug (or something else?) had climbed up the neck of one of my tomatoes and chewed through, severing the head (and infuriatingly leaving everything else intact). It was only about 15cm tall, and is in the corner of the grow bag in a grow pot where it has been growing for two weeks. I have been removing side shoots as it grows, so the two leaves that remain have been previously plucked. 

I have some back up tomatoes (aka I sowed too many) but they are half the size, if that, as I've not been nourishing them since I don't have the space. My question is, should I hoik the severed tomato out of the grow bag and replace it with a smaller tomato, with its growing point intact, or should I leave it in there, since it has a larger root system, which is plausibly already entwined with its other growbag chums, and hope that it will reshoot.

So which is, in your opinion, likely to get me most tomatoes? A plant with more roots, but no grow point, or a plant with less roots but with a grow point?



  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    I'd think that if you leave it, and let a new side shoot take over, it will carry on to fruit-as you've already been pinching out side shoots, I'm assuming it's not a bush variety. Your point about the root system's a good one, and I'd actually put my money on the one with the severed head, and would recommend some sort of slug repelling measures as well.

    Generally, tomatoes don't need feeding until the first flowers have set fruit.

  • PanoplyPanoply Posts: 75

    Thanks for your advice figrat. It is a Moneymaker plant. The seed was old so I was generous thinking only a small percentage would germinate, but almost all of them were successful.

    I will take your advice and leave the plant as it is to recover. I accidentally broke one last year and it went on to be as successful as its peers, although it was a higher break and a much older plant.

    By nourishing I meant the spares were still in their seedling sized pots and in a shadier part of the greenhouse, but I have also been giving the main tomatoes a splash of comfrey juice now and again. They've not set fruit yet, of course, so is this a waste, or likely to do harm? They seem to be doing fine, but I'm still a novice when it comes to comfrey and feeding so I'd hate it to be the cause of their downfall.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Panoply, it's good advice from figrat. It will develop a new growing tip from a side shoot in no time at all.

    Your toms don't food of any kind until the first fruit sets. Let them get there under their own steam. Less is always better in terms of feeding toms.

  • PanoplyPanoply Posts: 75

    Thank you for the advice as well Italophile.


    I will hold off on the feed for the time being. When is the fruit considered to have set? When the flower drops off and you can see the little tiny tomato, or when it's reached a reasonable size and will begin to change colour?

  • Rosie31Rosie31 Posts: 483

    I start feeding at tiny tomato stage!

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Yup, that's when it has set fruit.

  • PanoplyPanoply Posts: 75

    Tiny tomatoes it is image Thank you all! I am determined to get a crop before the blight sets in. Hopefully the weather will work with me!

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