Regular Tomato flowering

saoodhashimOctober 27, 2013

To start with my gardening endeavors, I bought two regular tomato plant (the indeterminate regular type variety - don't know whats it called) from the local nursery about 7 weeks back and transplanted it couple of times and finally into its 5 gallon container. I would assume that they were around 4 weeks old when I bought it, so that that makes it 11 weeks. Being a beginner, I made a lot of mistakes, over watering, underwatering, compacted soil, heavy soil, potting soil and what not. At one point I even found some small flying insects (based on research on internet it seemed psylids) near one of them in huge numbers and I applied a very concentrated liquid soap (approx. 25:75 with water) and it actually burned many of its leaves. It seems I did everything to kill those, but they have survived all of my onslaught :)

My question is that at the moment they are around 1.5 feet in height and perhaps while I was transplanting them, they would have around 6 inches underneath the potting soil. So that makes it around 2 feet tall and have starting showing flower buds. Do the regular tomatoes give flowers at this height? While reading various materials on veggies, I remember that any flowers developed at early stage of the plant should be pinched off so that more energy can be used in roots and leaves development for a good fruit later. I dont know whether I should pinch these flowers off? Their age (11 weeks - almost 3 months) tells me that this is not early stages of development and the plants are maturing, whereas the height of the plant tell me that it is a very small plant and therefore at early stage development. I assume it to be in the early stages, because of the time wasted in recovering from the mistakes I made.

How should I proceed?

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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Saood,

INDETERMINANTS, can grow over 7 foot tall, depending on the variety and growing condition and the variety . So you have to think about a support system.

The next item, is to consider PRUNING OR NOT PRUNING. Inderminants can grow wild not just tall but also by spread wide by continuous branching out. Most prefer DETERMINANTS for container planting.

Container size ( 5 gal Bucket for indet ?) is probably too small. But that is already done. Most container grower will use 10 gal. or bigger.

I suggest that you visit container Gardening forum and search and read. I personally never done container planting tomatoes. But I have read a lot about it.

Fertilizing container plants is also a whole new ball game as opposed in ground planting.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:26AM
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saoodhashim

Yes, Seysonn, these were the first plants that I bought and therefore put in those 5 gallon pots which were available. Reading some University's minimum size as 4 gallon. I thought 5 gallon is good start. For my seedlings, I plan the bigger 7 pots.

Thanks for your concern. Appreciate that.

As for my concern regarding pinching the flower buds, whats your advise?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:21AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There are many past discussions here about removing early flowers that the search will pull up. Some remove them, most do not so basically it is your choice. They may not even set fruit and will fall off naturally.

I agree with the comments above that 5 gallons is too small for anything other than a dwarf variety or a small determinate type. The university site you were reading was likely referring to those types.

If you want some success from these plants they need to be moved into much larger containers now.

If you go to the Container Gardening forum and type tomato into the forum search bar there (bottom of the page) you'll find lots of information.

Dave

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:21AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

If I were you I'd leave the flowers. You need something for your efforts. Maybe you will get a tomato. Keep trying and learning. Your local nursery is selling tomato plants so that means others in you area are growing them. Maybe someone at your nursery could show you how tomatoes are grown there or you could meet someone at the nursery and discuss their methods. You will find information here but someone in your area would know what works there. You seem to love plants; good luck.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:56AM
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saoodhashim

Thanks Helenh for your advice.

I too feel that since this is my first attempt at growing anything, I will let the flowers grow to see what happens.

As for others that buy the tomato in my area, I spoke to the nursery guys and they told me that perhaps I was the only one growing in containers. All the other have large plots for in ground planting. However, I still have found one guy who will come over to my place and see how things are going at my end. However, I have noticed one thing that the in ground planters over here are not too very aware about the change in dynamics when growing in containers. But lets see.

Yes it I seems that I love plant. But as one member of GW said, my love of plants results in too much attention which can kill them :-)

Thanks again for your input.

Saood

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:38AM
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