Forum home Fruit & veg

Help needed with my tomato plants


I'm growing various toms in my greenhouse and outside - some large beef toms, some mixed cherry types and some 'normal' salad type tomatoes.

My problem is that last year they ran riot and totally filled my 12 x 8 greenhouse so I couldn't grow anything else in there.  

The toms are all in pots/grow bags and what I would like to know is do I nip out the growing bud or do I let them grow to their little tomatoey hearts content?  

I had a fairly small harvest of toms last year, but want to get a better harvest this year, so will nipping the growing bud increase the yield?

Sorry if this thread has run before, but being a novice gardener of only 3 years, I still have a lot of questions!

Thanks in advance


  • michael mpcmichael mpc Posts: 422

    hi native58  if  you say you have no room and you grow  lots of toms grow some outdoor types allicanti some cherry  are outdoor/ I have peppers and cues outside sheltered from wind  ..I only grow mine in pots big pots) I also stagger my plants so as not a glut all  at once same as my cues I have 14 toms 3 peppers  2 cues and 8 smaller toms and pepper out side behind shed/g house     ,,      there is lots of nice gardeners  on this  site  but some will criticise but take it all in as it is still advice    Michael    good luck image

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806

    There are two types of tomato plants, cordon (indeterminate) and bush (determinate).  Each variety belongs to one or other of those groups, e.g.. Gardeners' Delight is a cordon, Tumbler is a bush. 

    Cordon tomatoes are best grown upright,supported with canes. To keep them in trim, you pluck out side shoots as they develop. Bush tomatoes just creep or tumble on the ground or in baskets or beds, and don't need to be nipped out.

    Later in the season, it makes sense to stop the. plants by nipping out the leading shoots, so that the plant doesn't waste energy producing fruit that will never ripen. Cordons should be stopped once about 4 or 5 trusses of fruit have appeared.  I also stop my bush tomatoes in late summer or early autumn, otherwise they go on and on making marble-sized green tomatoes.

    So you have to know which varieties you are growing, and whether they are cordon or bush types. If it's too late to identify them, you'll just have to do whatever seems easiest - you'll still get some tomatoes. If you know the names of the varieties, google them for details, to find out how best to grow them.

  • Native58Native58 Posts: 46

    Thank you both, I'll have a look at them and see what needs doing.  

    Last year they grew so tall I had them tied to the roof struts to keep them off the floor.  Does anyone know what size pot and whether I should grow 2 or 3 plants to a growbag?  Last year I put the plants in large pots and then on to a grow bag as I heard that toms have deep roots.  I got hold of a couple of 'long tom' pots this year and have put my beef toms in them.  I also 'acquired' some supermarket crates (the ones that deliveries are made in) and have lined them with black plastic, perforated for drainage, and have two plants in each crate.  This seemed to work well and I got some decent toms from the plants.

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806

    I think you could get three to a grobag if you use pots as well. You can cut the base out of the pot and sink it into a cutout circle in the bag, so the plants can get their roots down into the bag. To get the water directly to the roots, take a large lemonade bottle, cut the base off, and push the neck of the bottle (without the top) into the grobag. Then you can use this as a funnel to keep the compost moist.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,882

    I grow mine in pots - around ten to twelve inch ones. They're about right for what I grow, which is usually Gardener's Delight. I don't have a greenhouse, just one of the plastic things (about five feet high) and I let them get near enough the top of it and pinch the tops off then.  That gives me a good crop each year  image

    If you use growbags, give them a good shake to loosen them up and make sure the compost isn't solid inside. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Sign In or Register to comment.