Tomatoes not getting bigger than a golf ball

srg215(6b nj)July 13, 2012

I have a plant, its either a better boy or an early girl and it has about 35 tomatoes on it but they don't seem to be getting bigger. What is going on?

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hcoon(5a)

I'll be curious as to the response as I'm having this problem too. For me it's a "beefsteak" plant with 1-2 oz tomatoes. I thought the problem was my container... or perhaps the heat OR a mislabeled plant.

None of my tomatoes that should be large seem to be producing really large tomatoes, however... but most better than the "beefsteak".

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:00AM
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oliveoyl3

Looks like Early Girl with a lot of fruit set. Mine usually have more leaves than that. I don't have an answer for fruit size since it is genetic. No amount of fertilizer will increase it, though the added nutrition will increase the health of the plant and your total pounds of fruit. Continue to keep watered to avoid wilting. Looks like you have done a great job with a container plant!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:39AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

They are still growing and from the looks of them they will be for some time yet. But it's not like you can actually see the growth unless you want to use time-lapse photography.

Both varieties are normally medium 6-10 oz. varieties not beefsteaks, not all fruit in the cluster will ever be the same size (distal fruit will always be some what smaller), and they are in a container and that can also limit fruit size.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:06PM
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hcoon(5a)

hmmm... I thought Better Boys were bigger -- more like 12+ ounces. At least, that's what I've read in various places. I hope so... I'm growing some for the first time this year and hoped for some bigger tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:13PM
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samsthumb

My toms on some plants are much smaller this year, some with yellow hard tops and some with sour unripe taste. I am chalking this up to 11 days of 100+ temps and little to no rain. No amount of watering with a hose compares to a good 1/2 inch rain. I would think toms in a container would be prone to heat even more depending on what surface they are setting on (such as concrete). Just keep watering and see what the season brings.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:31PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

When they say a variety is 12 ounces ,that means when grown in the ground .Containered toms are usualy a tad smaller than advertised.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 5:46PM
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hcoon(5a)

I know that container tomatoes do tend to be smaller, but 1-2 oz for a "beefsteak" seems a bit out of whack!

And my better boys are in the ground, so hopefully...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 6:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

but 1-2 oz for a "beefsteak" seems a bit out of whack!

Who said 1-2 oz. and since when is Better Boy a beefsteak?

Dave

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 6:33PM
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hcoon(5a)

Who said 1-2 oz. and since when is Better Boy a beefsteak?

Dave -- If you look back in the thread, in sympathy with the original poster, I said I was growing tomatoes labelled as "beefsteak" in a container that were 1-2 ounces and wondered why. I thought dickiefickle was responding to me.

A different part of the conversation discussed better boys and early girls. I am also growing better boys, but they are in the ground. I had thought they were 12+ ounces, as that's what I'm reading in many descriptions from seed catalogues and other places.

Sorry for any confusion.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Rusty

My tomatoes are all ripening very small this year, too.

Early Girl, Celebrity, Black Prince, Solar Fire,
Mortgage Lifter and Big Boy have only produced
A few tomatoes per plant.
None have been much bigger than a golf ball
I've pretty much chalked it up
To the weeks of 3 digit temps
We've been blessed with almost constantly
For over a month now.

Rusty

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 1:03AM
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srg215(6b nj)

Dave, they are now turning red and still not bigger. Why would this be?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:39AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Dave, they are now turning red and still not bigger. Why would this be?

The record heat. Excess heat causes all sorts of issues for tomatoes - blossom drop, stunted plants, uneven ripening, green/yellow shoulders, sunscald, etc. just to name a few - and container plants are even more affected than in ground plants.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:12AM
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remy_gw

Hcoon,
Your plant was obviously mislabled. Size gets affected some, but not that dramatically. A big beefsteak grown in a container or under stress might get smaller,but it would look like a small beefsteak still.

srg215,
Since you weren't sure if it was an Early girl or Better Boy. It must be Early Girl. Early Girl is a small globe tomato averaging 4-5 oz. in ideal conditions. So your pic doesn't look too out of line with that.

Remy

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:20PM
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srg215(6b nj)

Thanks. The better boy had bigger ones on. It but the squirrels got them all

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 3:01PM
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hcoon(5a)

Thanks, Remy! I also have a plant from the same nursery labeled "Cherokee Purple" that produced a pinkish tomato... so mislabeling seems even more likely.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:26PM
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plantnut65

These tomatoes were picked this evening, there is an optical illusion here, the one's on the back roll are about a half again larger than the one on the front roll.
I can't solve the problem, because mine are the same, only they are ripening while little, nothing wrong with the taste they are very good. I've had both these varieties over several years, they are Beefsteak and Big Boy. There are a few tomatoes on the plants that have grown lager and are still green.
They have been watered well and I put several bags of Miracle Grow down, before planting. I did change the tomato plants to a different bed this year, All my tomatoes have been in the same beds for several years, thought it was time for a change, thus the reason for the bags of Miracle Grow, to bring the PH up to par.
Any ideas would be great, already harvested about 15 small tomatoes this year and most of whats on the vines have that light colored glow that proceeds ripening..

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:00PM
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plantnut65

this is one of the plants I was writing about.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:04PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Any plant, including a tomato plant, has limited resource. That is what is distributed and pumped by the root system.

Now , the plant has to support all of its parts, foliage, new growth and fruits. When your plant is fully loaded with fruits in an unpruned condition, expect to get much smaller fruits.
That is my understanding why one cannot get huge fruits like the seed catalogs publish.
Then , of course, your growing conditions is yet another factor. For example, a containerized plant in fairly small volume of soil cannot possibly grow big fruits.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:26PM
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labradors_gw

I suspect it's a nutrient deficiency, and that you could solve the problem next year by adding some manure or compost to your soil. What kind of Miracle Grow did you use? I know that they sell one that is a compost.

Mulching the surface would also help to keep the moisture in, and something organic could be dug into the soil to add more nutrients for the following year.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:56AM
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plantnut65

Thank you seysonn, and labredors, for your comments,
As far as the Miracle Grow, I just chose the one I could afford, not sure the name other than Miracle Grow, and that it had a lot of the nutrients that I needed to bring the pH balance to match the label of the seed.
I have gone back an checked the pH again and it's still were it should be for the two packs of seed I bought, I also bought three large plants, one Big boy one Beefsteak and one hybrid. They may have been planted below the 6 inches of Miracle Grow, because they were in large ten inch deep pot, I removed them from the pots and have always use the potting soil that came in the pot leaving as they came...
So far I'm not too worried because the tomatoes though small are really good, I can live with them being small.
I do have a bag of compost that hasn't been opened but that shouldn't be add to growing plants, right?
Thank again,

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:35PM
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