Help - unexpected greenhouse tomato management
Our 86 year old neighbour was rushed into hospital 6 weeks ago with a broken leg. Since then I have been sole carer of 2 growbags of tomatoes in her very ancient greenhouse.
One side is sungold and the other side something I have forgotten... but essentially one grow bag hosts little ones and the other bigger ones.
My problem is they are not changing colour. I am giving them a watering can of water each morning and night at the same time, putting tomato food in the water all the time, opening the door to ventilate between 8am and 6pm as she did (skylight thingy doesn't work). She has bubble wrap round the sides but the roof is not shaded at all. I seem to recall her having tomatoes lined up along her kitchen windowsill ripening... but I am so worried she returns home and her precious tomatoes are not performing satisfactorily.
(The many and varied houseplants are a whole other worry). What else should I be doing please?
THE MAIN THING TO WORRY ABOUT IS WATERING. MOST PLANTS ARE LIKE GOLDILOCKS. THEY LIKE NOT TOO MUCH AND NOT TOO LITTLE, THEY LIKE JUST ENOUGH WATER. IF YOU PUSH YOUR FINGERS FLAT DOWN ONTO THE COMPOST AND JUST A LITTLE COMPOST STICKS TO THEM YOU HAVE IT RIGHT. IF THE COMPOST IS BONE DRY YOU NEED TO ADD A LITTLE. IF THE COMPOST FEELS WET THEN DON'T ADD ANY.
DON'T LET ANY WATER LIE IN SAUCERS OR DISHES UNDER POTS.
AS TO THE TOMATOES, THEY WILL RIPEN WHEN THEY ARE READY. PROBABLY ALL AT ONCE.
Last edited: 01 August 2016 11:34:08
If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
Sounds like you're doing just fine - you're a neighbour to treasure
Thanks for that Pansyface - although she is a person who always uses more water on her indoor plants than I would - AND when I first looked at the grow bags (just after the ambulance left) they seemed VERY wet. I have read that changing the amount of water tomatoes are given causes them to split so that is why I have been keeping the grow bags really wet.
My thoughts exactly Dove.
Good on you barb!
Tomatoes are tricky customers: they seem to spend ages doing nothing then one day you'll go and in and all you can see is red.
Don't worry about them not ripening soon enough: the longer they stay green the more time your neighbour will have to enjoy them when she gets out of hospital!
Oh thank you - that is an encouraging thought. Not entirely sure WHAT she will DO with them all - but at least I will have kept them going for her.
It is easy to forget that Sungold tomatoes don't go red when they ripen, they just stay that yellow colour that red varieties go through before they ripen. (just saying, not that I have ever been that stupid honest ) So you need to test the ripeness of Sungold in another way. See if the oldest tomatos are easy to remove from the sprig and taste test.
Oh THAT is a thought.... they are a yellowy colour aren't they (I realise that she probably gave ME as many as she kept for herself)... all the ones in there are very definitely green at the moment but I will try wiggling the oldest ones if they show any hint of yellow. Thank you steephill