Author Topic: Tomato feeding question for short plants but already with flowers  (Read 1483 times)

newspud9

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My Moneymaker indeterminate tomato plants have started producing flowers but are only 2' high ...which I actually think is a bit short (they're usually double that before there's any sign of flowers).  I incorporate nitrogen for green growth at the start and then change to something like tomorite when the flowers appear.   Do you think I should do that now, or keep using the high nitrogen feed to get some more height...or even use both?   Thanks for all the advice

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saddad

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Most of my varieties have started flowering with the hot weather, and most aren't knee high yet... if the fruit set switch to the "Tomorite" style feed, they will continue to grow... until the weather turns... only about three months left!

gray1720

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I'm so glad it's not just me with dinky tomato plants still! They're all potted on in their final spots now, but only the Captain Beefheart are really motoring yet.
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Tee Gee

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I'm so glad it's not just me with dinky tomato plants

I have noticed a similar situation with my plants.

Over the last few years, I have been noticing subtle differences with plants & seed germination.

It might only be my imagination, or I am having another of my ageing moments, but I have been thinking that the changes in weather patterns may have been having an effect particularly, with the 'reproduction cycle' on what might be termed 'indigenous' plant life like the stuff I have been cultivating for the last fifty odd years.

Perhaps we will have to find/breed new cultivars suitable for our hanged climate!

I have mentioned it before with my 'spring bulb collection' that I am getting fewer flowers in successive years, and I am putting this down to the 'die back' process after flowering. In the past, I would allow my plants to take up to 5-6 weeks to die back after flowering, but over the last few seasons they have died back in a couple of weeks after flowering because of the unusually warm weather we are now getting at this time of the year.

In my opinion, this is not long enough to recharge the bulbs in preparation for next year's flowering, hence the abundance of blind plants!

Then last year for the first time ever my Apple crop was virtually non-existent and my Pears didn't fare much better.

This I put down to pollination or lack of it!

Again the non-seasonal weather seems to have played its part in so far as April and May have swapped weather patterns i.e. the last few Aprils have been quite warm then May become quite old and this (again in my opinion) is playing havoc with the insect life, particularly the 'pollinators'

I have noticed that the pollinators are coming out of hibernation because of the warm weather in April, only to find there is not much feeding material about because the plants have yet to come into flower, meaning, many must be going hungry and dying off!

The few pollinators that remain may be getting killed of with the unseasonal weather in May (too cold), meaning they are not around to pollinate plants when needed!

Hence, my lack of fruit.

My thoughts are now going to seed production, and it begs the question in my mind 'are the summer plants being affected by poor or non-existent pollination' ?

If this is the case, are the seeds that are being produced being altered in some way that might be causing the stunted growth, as for example with the Tomatoes you are growing this year?

I have noticed in previous years that when the weather in the growing season is non-seasonal, we sometimes get poor to indifferent result from plants the following year, i.e. the year the seeds were produced!

Then dare I mention it! 'Compost Quality' for example the pH may be out of kilter meaning the plants do not perform so well, and this combined with what I have mentioned above, I would say; "fings are not what they used to be!

Note: As I have mentioned a few times, these comments are only the opinion/ramblings/observations of some would say; a senile old gardener and perhaps should just be ignored!

I will leave this to you guys to judge! :angel11:

Tg



saddad

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A lot to think about there TeeGee, we save our own seeds, of tomatoes and other "easy" to save plants. Two years ago we had heritage peas 6' tall by now (pictures to prove it and remind me) germination has been erratic and growth very slow... only one row has managed to get above 3' so far.

BarriedaleNick

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I very rarely feed tomatoes.  I plant them outside with a good helping of whatever manure I have and leave them to it.  They might get a tomato based feed late in the season if they look like they need it but nothing more than that.
Different here as I am getting used to conditions but I have toms that are in all stages of growth - some are just getting planted out but I picked a pound or so yesterday!
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Beersmith

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I'm so glad it's not just me with dinky tomato plants

I have noticed a similar situation with my plants.

Over the last few years, I have been noticing subtle differences with plants & seed germination.

Tg

Much to think about there TG.  The problem we have as amateur growers is that every season is different and it is extremely difficult to separate the long term changes from this season's weather.

My personal suspicion is that spring droughts are getting more common, but I don't have any hard data to prove it.
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Tee Gee

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Spring droughts are getting more common, but I don't have any hard data to prove it.

Neither do I!

I have been keeping records of my gardening tasks since 1986 and by using these records I built my website, but I did not record the weather.

In the early years I considered making notes on the weather, but it was so variable I decided not to!

At least with gardening tasks they tend to be one-offs on a given day, whereas the weather could change every hour of the day, making 'keeping records' a mammoth task!

Occasionally I would make a note if a weather pattern was particularly unusual, that is; it had affected my 'general' gardening in some way.

Something I did do over the last five or six years of when I had my allotments was observing when natural things took place.

To explain my website is laid out in week numbers (1-52) but so far as I know plants do not work to a calendar like we do, so I started looking at when certain perennials appeared to see if I could correlate these events with my website dates.

I have always thought that plants appear when  certain conditions are taking place!

I have a gut feeling that 'barometric pressure' has something to do with this, but can't prove it!

Likewise, I got to thinking that we gardeners often think in terms of things happening earlier/later than usual, or the seasons are coming early or later, and I decided to use new plant emergence as my benchmark!

So I used my collection of Spring bulbs as my 'barometer!

For example, I have seen Snowdrops in flower before Christmas, but in other seasons it might have been mid-January.

So I used this observation to 'mentally' judge the dates on my website to carry out tasks as per my website.

So if, for example; The Snowdrops flowered in December I would start up the seasons tasks as per my website dates but would think in terms of delaying my task by say a couple of weeks if the Snowdrops were later in flowering.

Similarly; When my Crocus appeared, I would consider starting up my 'half-hardy' stuff

When the Daffodils started to flower, I would think in terms of starting up my hardy flowers and vegetables.

When the Tulips flowered, I thought in terms of sowing Runner beans, Cucurbits etc.

Then when the Daffodils died back I considered that to be the time to 'plant out' where I would plant out my hardy stuff first and following on with the half-hardy stuff possibly a week or so later.

I have to say it worked quite well and had I kept on my allotments I think I would have found this method quite helpful now that (IMHO) there are no 'seasons' as such any more!

There I go rambling on again so as I think you will have got my drift by now I will close and if you want to humour an ancient gardener and ex-allotmenteer please respond to what I have written above (warts and all)

Tg





Beersmith

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My Moneymaker indeterminate tomato plants have started producing flowers but are only 2' high ...which I actually think is a bit short (they're usually double that before there's any sign of flowers).  I incorporate nitrogen for green growth at the start and then change to something like tomorite when the flowers appear.   Do you think I should do that now, or keep using the high nitrogen feed to get some more height...or even use both?   Thanks for all the advice

Back on topic, I am a little intrigued by your choice of variety. An old reliable standard with a reputation for good yields but mediocre flavour.  Is it a particular favourite of yours?  I thought it had been superseded and was a bit surprised to see that it is still available.
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newspud9

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Thanks for all the interesting responses.  Beersmith, my choice of Moneymaker wasn't anything special so I'd be interested to know what others have thought to be "what a tomato should taste like" in previous seasons.  I did sow Red Verdant determinate also.

Beersmith

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Re: Tomato feeding question for short plants but already with flowers
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2021, 21:31:22 »
My personal favourite is called sungold. One very knowledgeable contributor on these threads suggests piccolo.  Gardeners delight is an old favourite grown and loved by many. But there is always a strong element of personal choice. I'm sure others will suggest their favourites. 

A good proportion of the best tasting ones seem to be cherry size.  Sakura and sweet 100 are also highly rated.  My approach for a number of seasons has been to grow mainly my favourite and another type I have not grown before as a test/experiment. All my production is outdoors, so I have found varieties I really like but that lack the robustness to do well outdoors.  I'm still searching for that "must grow" second type.  I intend to try piccolo next year. Finding your perfect variety is part of the fun.
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Beersmith

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Re: Tomato feeding question for short plants but already with flowers
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2021, 23:07:50 »
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I'm so glad it's not just me with dinky tomato plants

Over the last few years, I have been noticing subtle differences with plants & seed germination.

Tg

Plenty of food for thought in your comments TG.  Like you I try to be observant but interpretation is really difficult. One of my ideas is that onions, shallots, garlic etc does much less well when rainfall is erratic.  Periods of very dry followed by very wet just seems to produce poorer yields and inferior keeping.  For me, potatoes don't seem so sensitive.  They clearly need enough rainfall but don't seem to mind if it comes in an irregular pattern.

Things are certainly having to cope with changing conditions. In the UK the last decade was about 1 degree C warmer than the long term average. It doesn't sound much but some crops need periods of cold weather to grow successfully.

And there are always the strange  effects that are completely counter intuitive to plague our understanding. I came across one not too long ago. Science has measured increasing sea levels, partly because of ice melt, party because as water warms it expands. Simple stuff. But where are the effects going to be greatest? My guess was about the same everywhere.

In fact the effects will be greatest in the northern hemisphere.  And the reason is unexpected. We know the moon has enough gravity to pull on the world's oceans and produce tides, and gravity is a function of mass and distance.  Well the ice at the south pole is far less massive than the moon but it is much much closer. Surprisingly it has enough gravity to drag the world's oceans towards the south pole. Ice melt in Antarctica will not just raise sea levels but the reduction in mass will cause the shape of the worlds oceans to to change and disproportionately the effects will be felt in the northern hemisphere.  I'm old. I doubt much will happen in my lifetime, but the grandkids are looking at a whole heap of problems.

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