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Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Posted by csj50 none (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 23:34

I know this may seem like a silly question for some :p. I have a big boy tomato plant in a 10 in container; no problems with getting fruit, and just as I was wondering when they would ripen, two of them have started to develop some color- my concern is that they seem small for their type- the largest is bigger than a golf ball, and the smallest I have are maybe slightly larger than a ping pong ball. Am I doing something wrong?
Just FYI the weather is extremely humid (I am in DC), and day temps have been in the mid to upper 80s (heat wave the past two days, with temps near 100). As far as feeding goes, I started with Osmocote when I bought it as a planter, and have switched to a light feeding of tomato tone every week and a weak dose of fish/seaweed soluble fertilizer as well.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

I believe once a tomato has shown some color it will no longer grow in size. Maybe it had already stopped growing bigger a while before that.

Ripening tomato is internal to the fruit. Which means it doe not get anything from the plant to help it ripen. That is why once you see a color break you can pick it and let it stay on the counter , in room temperature, indirect sun, and watch it ripen. This can help if you fear any spoilage due to : Over ripening, cracking, rotting, birds, critters.


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

cs...you have hit on a subject that many experts do not agree. Does a dead-ripe picked tomato taste better than one picked at blush? Certainly, people pick early when fear of critters is high. As for your question...often physiological problems (sun, water, food) are the blame for fruits not reaching full size. Often early ripening fruit on a plant will be inferior to fruit that ripens on that same plant later in the season. Simply put...that plant is stronger and more established...later.


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

have a big boy tomato plant in a 10 in container; no problems with getting fruit, and just as I was wondering when they would ripen, two of them have started to develop some color- my concern is that they seem small for their type- the largest is bigger than a golf ball,

10 inch container.

It is the size of the container primarily. It is far too small for a Big Boy plant. Restricted root development often results in undersized fruit.

Dave


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Oops!!!!! I meant to say 10 gallon, not 10 inches!!!!

Any other reasons why they are so small?


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Often early ripening fruit on a plant will be inferior to fruit that ripens on that same plant later in the season
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10 inch container. ... It is far too small for a Big Boy plant
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OP's question is:

"Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening? "

I expressed a view but I could be wrong. I also want to make sure :

"Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening? "
Anybody?


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

The answer to the question of whether the fruit of the tomato will get larger as it ripens is no. But the underlying question is why does a Big Boy plant that should produce fruits that are much larger ripen such small fruits? And Dave's answer is correct: constricted roots in a too-small pot can cause undersized fruit. In my opinion, 10 gallons is the minimum size for a BB. But if it is in good soil, being fed regularly and getting enough water and sun, it should produce larger fruits even in a 10-gallon container. If I were the OP, I would try using some balanced chemical fertilizer with trace elements, like MiracleGro 24-8-16. It's hard for organic fertilizers like fish emulsion and Tomatotone to provide all that a plant needs in a container.


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Yes, sure. What are the factors that determines tomato size, is also another issue here then. And right, pot size is one of the many factors.

A container with 10" diameter and 16" height (example)will have about 5 gallons volume. 5 gallon buckets are widely used for planting tomatoes by many.
Soil type, watering , fertilizing, amount of sun are also important factors.

Big Boy Does no have real big fruits. Here is a quote From Burpee's official site:

Burpee's Big Boy®
......
>>>Spacing: 24-36in (60-90cm)
Exposure: Full Sun - 6+ hours direct sun
Fruit weight: 8-9oz (225-255g)
Days to harvest: 78<<<


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

I grew big boys for many years in 25-gallon containers. They got to be well over 7-feet tall and produced many fruit, all of which were between hardball and softball size. The OP says the largest fruit that is ripening is just a little larger than a golf ball. Unless the plant is something other than a big boy, something is wrong.


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Ohiofem hit on a good point. It could have been a mis-labeled plant. And I agree that nutrients can be the problem with size.

Basic principle of organic gardening and the use of dry organic ferts is there has to be an active soil food web in the soil for them to work. None exists in most containers and if they do they don't survive for long. Focus more on the liquid supplements you are using and see if things don't improve with the later fruit size.

The problems of trying to grow in 5 gallon buckets, much less any 10" pot, are well known but are irrelevant anyway to this discussions as the OP corrected it to 10 gallons.

Dave


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Ohiofem- isn't that Miracle Gro too high in nitrogen? I always read that high nitrogen were detrimental for fruits...in addition to tomato tone, fish emulsion, I am also using (some) Osmocote...

Thanks everyone for your replies!


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

Many of us on this forum and in the growing community believe most plants need more nitrogen than phosphorous or potassium. For plants grown in containers where you can't count on the soil to feed them, fertilizer with a 3:1:2 ratio of NPK, like the MG formula I mentioned, supplies what they need in the right proportions. I won't go into it here since that's not the original topic, but follow the link below if you want to know more about the reasons behind this thinking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizing containerized plants


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

seysonn, since you chose to call out people's posts....you are actually mistaken and somewhat rude....that was the title of his post.
what he did say in his text was ....." my concern is that they seem small for their type- the largest is bigger than a golf ball, and the smallest I have are maybe slightly larger than a ping pong ball. Am I doing something wrong?"
That is why my quote you posted.. was answered the way it was...his concern for under-sized fruit. Digdirt did the same.


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RE: Do tomatoes still grow in size while ripening?

isn't that Miracle Gro too high in nitrogen

It can be but the thing with containers is the nutrients wash out everytime you water the plant. So they need to be replaced regularly. Many report good success with MG diluted to 1/2 strength weekly or even diluted to 1/4 strength every time you water.

If using a self-watering container or if using drip irrigation and fertigation with containers it can be quite effective as it is always used in a diluted form.

Dave


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