Please help me out

MayHeartfieldApril 22, 2014

I recently recieved some tomato plants from my sister who lives in an apartment with one bedroom, so i got them when she realized that they were actually big. The plants i got are better boys and i know very little about tomatoes and taking care of them. I am trying hard to take care of them all and planted them in my garden but i havent every really owned plants other than some herbs and flowers... so anything on their upkeep or characteristics would really help!

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Welcome to the wonderful world of tomatoes!

Can you tell us where you live (just an approximation, so we have some idea of when your last frost is likely to be, how long your growing season will be, whether your summer is likely to be hot and humid or cool and foggy, etc.)?

How tall were the Better Boys when you planted them? How far apart did you plant them? And how many do you have?

Ideally, tomatoes should have at least 6 hours of sunlight. More is fine. Less than 6 hours, and you may not get many fruit ripening.

Depending on the length of your growing season, Better Boys will probably get 6-8' tall. You'll need some way to control and/or stake them. (The 3' ring cages you see in the Big Box Stores aren't for indeterminate tomatoes like Better Boy.)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:41AM
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I live in southern texas, around houston towards the coastline. It gets fairly hot here and can be humid sometimes as well. They definitely get a full day of sunlight in my garden too and i have two plants right now. They are not very large yet and dont yet really need a stake as of right now but will soon, i think i bought some taller stronger ones i found. I rhink theyll work. Thanks for replying

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:35AM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

One thing to be aware of is that tomatoes don't set fruit when it gets very hot. So your plants may start off well and then just sort of shut down and not produce any new tomatoes.

It's happened to me up here in Virginia so it will probably happen to you too.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 11:36AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

You should put the stakes in now before the roots spread out so you don't damage them.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:59PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Just as a possibilty, you could put some shade cloth above the tomatoes in the hottest time of year. Best of luck with them; fewer things are better than a home ripened tomato!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 2:52AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It looks like most of them are going to make it. The sungolds look bad. The Arkansas Traveler and the Cherokee Purple survived.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:13PM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

May I am in the central part of the state a bit north of Austin. If the plants are large you most likely get fruit off of them before the heat sets in. Think of the growing season here as two seasons.

Early season is from last frost till the heat kicks into high mercury mode of highs over 95 with lows over 80.

Once the heat gets to triple digit level keep the plants watered. They will survive. If you see them flower just note they may not set fruit. That is normal.

Once the heat breaks the plants will set fruit again. It is just a matter of if they get to fatten up enough before the first frost hits.

If they get to the point that they are full fattened up, but still green. You can harvest those as well. Wrap each one in a sheep of news paper, and put them in a box in a warm dry place. Check on them every few days after a month. You will have some nice ripe red tomatoes in the middle of winter.

If not then fried green tomatoes can be tasty as well.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:51PM
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Thank you guys very much, im very grateful for the feedback. I did stake them and am going to build a tomato cage for them starting this week. I am going to do my best and hopefully ill get some results. A shade cloth does sound like a good idea so i may try that as well. I never really planned on getting giant tomato plants but i think it will be a very interesting learning experience. The only thing i still really have a question on is pesticides and fungicides. Do you use them regularly or only if you see problems? Are there any really good brands to use? Thanks again guys!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:27PM
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