Why are my cherry toms always so pathetic?

catherinet(5 IN)July 21, 2014

Maybe I should start buying my starts from a different nursery.....but for several years now, my cherry tomatoes (of varying kinds) only put up about 2 scrawny branches each. I can remember growing others in the past that would get quite bushy. The rest of the garden does great. Is this just a scrawny line of cherries? I usually plant sun sugar, a grape and a sweet 100. any ideas? I have a husky red cherry in a 5 gallon bucket and it's doing great......but I think that kind is usually more robust.
Thanks.

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donna_in_sask

I am growing Sunsugar from seed and it is a robust plant. It might not be the seeds but more to do with the growing conditions i.e wrong soil mix, in too small a pot, not enough light, too much root competition, not enough fertilizer, etc.

If you have more than one growing, you might want to change how you are growing it and see if it improves. Are you saving seeds from Sunsugar? It's a hybrid so seeds won't come true.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:39AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Donna,

The "pathetic" ones are growing in the ground in my garden. I bought them as small plants from the nursery. I'm thinking maybe I should buy them from some other nursery next year.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:43PM
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labradors_gw

Interesting! Tomato plants are sprayed with Growth Inhibitor so that they look short and stout when people buy them. Perhaps that slows down their growth.

Have you tried growing them from seed?

Linda

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:19PM
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lazy_gardens

Make sure you are watering and fertilizing them well enough.

Sometimes you change practices and don't realize it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:29PM
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mbrowne(9b Central CA)

From labradors:
Tomato plants are sprayed with Growth Inhibitor so that they look short and stout when people buy them. Perhaps that slows down their growth. Please share your source for that.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:48PM
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labradors_gw
    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:30AM
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sharonrossy

I'm also growing sunsugar from seed and it's in a 15 gallon container. It's quite bushy,lots of fruit, nothing ripe yet, but it's big. How much sun exposure are they getting, and have you amended the soil and fertilize? Cherry tomatoes are usually pretty easy to grow.
Sharon

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:37AM
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mbrowne(9b Central CA)

labradors, your earlier post implied that nursery tomato plants are generally treated with growth inhibitors. The article you cite provides no evidence of that. Neither can I see any economic incentive for such large-scale treating of tomato plants for sale to the public.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:05PM
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labradors_gw

mbrowne wrote: "labradors, your earlier post implied that nursery tomato plants are generally treated with growth inhibitors. The article you cite provides no evidence of that. Neither can I see any economic incentive for such large-scale treating of tomato plants for sale to the public."

Do you grow your own tomatoes from seed? If so, have you been to your local nursery and seen the amazing-looking dark-green-leaved, perfectly-proportioned, stout seedlings that are available? I have to say that I was shocked at how good they looked when my own seedlings had been given such loving care but paled in comparison.

Well, the answer is that many nurseries (in addition to using ferts, heat and grow lights) use growth inhibitors to keep those good-looking seedlings looking good long enough for them to sell. They wouldn't look very good all lanky and over-grown now would they? People wouldn't buy them! Can you see the economics in that?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:33PM
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mbrowne(9b Central CA)

I'd be glad to hear of any evidence to back up your claim beyond plants looking too good to you. Like maybe documentation that someone has actually tested and found traces? Or maybe some industry insider spilling the beans? Anything? The cited article contained no evidence, just innuendo.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:50AM
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labradors_gw

Go for it. Google is your friend!

I first read about it on a tomato forum. It sounded logical to me.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:17AM
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posierosie_zone7a__

Growth inhibitors are commonly used for greenhouse plants. No one wants to buy something that is"leggy ". My mother used it when she taught horticulture and sold poinsettias for fundraisers.

I cannot speak directly about tomatoes, but I would not be surprised.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:32PM
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