tomato plants getting way too tall

DTrayJune 19, 2011

So I did not plan well at all, this is my second year at growing tomatoes, last year was a disaster so I had no success. This year all my heirlooms are reaching for the sun, I planted them in late march and they are setting fruit like crazy and starting to ripen.

My problem is they are over 7 feet tall, out grown the junky 54inch cages and the limbs are breaking off and cages are wanting to topple over. I have secured the cages to a near by fence so they wont fall over. I am tying the limbs up to the fence to hold them up straight but they are taller than the fence now.

from what i am aware i have a really long season and almost no frost where im at till december.

what should i do?

Should i top them?

Is it normal to grow to 7ft in 3 months time?

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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

If y ou can let them grow over the fence and back down ?Not uncommon

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:37AM
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KMKacan

I would love to see some pictures. Sounds like your very lucky.

Happy Tomato Harvesting : D

-Kristina K.

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Farm Wife

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:59AM
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DTray

ok so here are a few pictures you can see the one toppling over, the others are still growing straight up, but for how long im not sure

I didnt know how to add pictures with the link i put my pictures up on google photos, then added the link, hopefully i didnt violate any rules, if i did i will take them down asap.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-x_jYQLAjv0M/Tf40hcnz2LI/AAAAAAAAABI/zScELx1UECg/s512/IMG_0235.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ANiFzazEUIY/Tf40htwojhI/AAAAAAAAABQ/yq4W9om9hP8/s512/IMG_0236.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eAvvrnUlTTU/Tf4208BNQhI/AAAAAAAAABo/hmvGIzokKEc/s512/broken.jpg

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:53PM
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karendee(5WestOFChicago)

What a nice problem to have!

Here are your photos pasted in for everyone to see...

Those are some pretty plants!! Mine are about a foot tall so this prob won't be a problem for me.

Karen

Here is a link that might be useful: HOW DO I INSERT A PHOTO?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:40PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

My mother-in-law used to cut hers off. Of couse she was only 5 feet tall. It didn't seem to bother them any. Maybe try it with one plant and see how it does? I hate to have them break off from the weight!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:46PM
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DTray

here is another picture, and im trying out adding a picture

and i got it to work. so i will be adding lots of pictures from now on. thanks guys.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 5:09PM
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karendee(5WestOFChicago)

Nice job with the photo DTray !

I am still jealous of how tall your plants are :)

Mine are small but I found lots of small tomatoes today.

Karen

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:45PM
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DTray

Thats awesome karen, thank you for the info on how to post the pictures.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:48PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Is it normal for them to grow that tall? Yes. Do they usually outgrow their cages? Yes. Happens to all of us who grow indeterminate varieties. You just let them drape back down over the top of the cages. The branches will bend and a few may even appear to break a little but they keep right on growing.

Should you cut them back? Not unless you want to lose production.

If you want plants that don't outgrow their cages then stick with determinate varieties.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:19PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

If that house on the other side of the fence isn't yours the neighbors will be happy! :) Beautiful plants!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:05PM
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LB_Gardener

Nice plants!

If you want to add some extra support, you could buy some 8 foot sections of 1/2" thick rebar and drive one next to each plant to use as a stake. They need to be driven at least a foot into the ground to remain stable. Just get some twine or nylon string and loosely tie the escaping branches to the rebar, and you should be able to get a few extra feet of vertical growth before they flop back over.

I think that would be the least intrusive way to add support to your plants at this stage if you choose to do so.

Happy Gardening!

Michael

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:20PM
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garf_gw

Sounds like you're complaining about success. I haven't come close to getting my container mixes right for use in Miami. If I get 3' from a plant, I'm doing well. Since I don't have this "problem", I don't have any answers. Sorry.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 2:24PM
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qaguy

I use PVC for cages and just let them grow. They'll grow
up just so far and then they'll flop down and keep growing.

Put something on top of the wire cage to cushion the
vine. That should take care of the vine breaking. I've
seen folks use short pieces of garden hose as a cushion.
Just cut a chunk a few inches long, split it and put
it over the cage wire where the plant is.

I don't have to since 3/4" PVC is much larger so I don't
have that problem.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 6:09PM
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