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Tomatoes - various

Posted by daveinoz Australia QLD (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 31, 12 at 20:09

Tomato newbie so have a few question - and I can't get over how some air, water, sunshine and a plant can produce these wonderful fruit :)

I am growing a Roma tomato plant on my balcony in a large pot - I get 8-12 hours of sun (Australia) and its grown from around an 8 inch seedling 3 weeks ago to now being about 2 feet tall, getting bushy with thick stems and the first fruit have JUST started to show.

A few questions:

1. I have read I should remove "suckers" - how do I identify these. Are those just lower down stems that have failed to produce flowers?

2. I have been watering once a week and giving a good deep watering with some fertiliser and coffee grounds. Now its producing fruit should I water more frequently and maybe just use less water each time so its not drowned or continue to just test the soil by sticking my finger an inch in to see if its damp?

3. My first tomato showed about a week ago and is now about an inch round, and obviously still very young and green. About how long does it take a Roma tomato to go from this to maturity?

4. Day time temps are perfect at the moment but by mid December will be at 85-95 degrees most days - do I need to shade the plant at that point?

Sorry for the length and probably very basic questions!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tomatoes - various

1. ignore that. It only applies to certain types of plants and yours isn't one of them. Even then it is optional, not required. You can learn more about it by searching 'pruning' in this forum.

2. continue as you have been doing. As the temps increase you will likely have to do it more often. Don't let it dry out.

3. approx. 6 weeks

4. once temps consistently exceed 90 shade will help. Check out the FAQS here, especially the one on 'blossoms falling off".


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing tomatoes FAQs

RE: Tomatoes - various

On point 4:

The ideal temperature for fruit set is between 17 and 25C (62 and 77F). In borderline conditions, fruit may set without adequate pollination, however this can result in puffy and flat-sided fruit that contain few seeds.
For best pollination and fruit set, minimum night temperatures should be
below 27oC (80F) and daily maximums above 18C (64F). If the temperature exceeds 28oC (82F) fruit can be softer and yellow or orange in colour, especially if there is not a lot of leaf cover.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Juicy Tomatoes

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