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Tomato Plants are Too Small?

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Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/20/2012, 12:21 am

Well, I got the tomato plants from the farmer woman today and most of them are really small(less than 4 inches). Now I'm wondering if they'll be ok to plant or should I get bigger plants at a nursery?

Not all of the seeds I gave her germinated either. I think I'm missing about a half a dozen varieties. She did give me some of her varieties though.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/20/2012, 12:44 am

So your tomatoes aren't too tall Razz

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Turan on 5/20/2012, 12:55 am

Mine were similar heights and I planted them last weekend. Today I looked into the wall o waters and they have doubled in height and one has set fruit (the cherry).
The smaller ones that have not out grown their pots transplant much happier. Then they take off, hopefully.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 7:22 am

I too have been having trouble with my seedlings being slow to grow, they are now only 1-4" tall. I transplanted then into one of the garden beds yesterday and place cloches mad from one gallon jugs over them. When they get a bit larger I will transplant them again, to their permanent spot in the garden. They will come along, Very Happy

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  hruten on 5/20/2012, 7:23 am

Mine were about that size when I put them out. I have some in wall-o-waters and some just out. All the tomatoes are growing fine. Actually, the roma I BOUGHT at the garden center is growing the slowest of all my tomatoes. The brandywines and triple-L's are on a roll!! My sweet 100 cherry's are upside down and doing well too. However, they keep trying to put themselves right side up???:scratch:

PS They are near a rock retaining wall that gets sun most of the day so the heat is reflected onto the plants in the evening. Found the idea on some website somewhere.... sunny Warm and sunny seems to be the key.

Maybe some of that red mulch fabric to warm the soil would give them an extra boost? I've noticed the small commercial growers do that here.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Goosegirl on 5/20/2012, 8:32 am

That was all the bigger mine were as well when I put them out. Plus a bit of sun scald from my hardening off impatience (not as bad as last year when I lost them ALL). All but one are greening up and taking off nicely. I have to say that because of their small size I have been more attentive than usual to their watering needs now that they are outside in the boxes. Only the smallest one did not survive, and it was the only one of that variety to germinate, and THAT took WEEKS! Already stuck a replacement in its spot - one of my seedlings that I broke off and had to root in water. I think it is actually the healthiest of all of them!

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  kbb964 on 5/20/2012, 8:37 am

I have had my tomtato plants in just over a week now and they havent grown even half an inch! I did watch a video on the laying down method of planting and they said that they might be slow to start a growth spurt ....... Sad

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 8:55 am

@kbb964 wrote:I have had my tomtato plants in just over a week now and they havent grown even half an inch! I did watch a video on the laying down method of planting and they said that they might be slow to start a growth spurt ....... Sad
Just because the plants are not obviously putting on height, this doesn't mean they are not growing. If the plants are not dead, they are surely putting on root growth which is desirable because with good strong roots comes good strong plants and yummy fruit! Very Happy

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 9:34 am

Hi TTT
I have been wondering where you were at with tomatoes.
I have some of mine planted in my hoop house, and some just out in the open with cloches over them at night.
I also have some that I plan to grow in large 5 gallon buckets and I transplanted them 3 weeks ago and have just started putting them outside the past few days and they are getting huge.

I think that once the night temperatures are more consistently warm, they will just take off.
My take on the situation is that when it cools off at night, even if it does not freeze, it sets them back and they put all their energy into just staying alive, and then when all their needs are met 24/7 THEN they can grow.

I have many many plants (I had to plant the entire package now didn't I?)
Some are still in their 3 inch pot, some are in quart pots, some are in the garden, some are in 5 gallon buckets and the ones in the largest buckets in the warmest place are doing the best. (all needs met)
Yours will do just great

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/20/2012, 10:13 am

I think I should change my name to Too Small Tomatoes

Anyway, I went outside to sort through my tomatoes. I picked out the tomatoes for myself and I put aside the tomatoes that family members wanted. There's a few varieties that apparently didn't germinate. They're not getting every variety they wanted(with the exception of my sister....I was lucky enough to give her the few she wants) but they're getting one or two that I had more of.

Here are the pictures.....





It's embarrassing to give some of these tomato plants to those who wanted them. I won't be a bit upset if they look at them and say they're not going to bother planting. I'm actually thinking of not planting some of them.

Look how small some of them are.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 10:22 am

Now look! How big are your kids? Were they always this big? No! They were quite small and frail once, but you gave them what they need... Lo and behold, those kids GREW!
Put the wee plants in the ground, give them some food and warmth and sun, go ahead and sing to them... once they put down roots, THEY WILL GROW!
So.... don't feel badly, it will all be ok... I think they want to go outside and play.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 10:45 am

TTT
those plants look 100% better than the ones I still have in my 3 inch pots.
Mine have been there TOOOOOOO long, however my neighbours who were not ready for the plants when I was ready to give them, were happy to take them.


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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/20/2012, 11:02 am

Your tomatoes are all bigger than the ones I started from seed! I did break down and buy some too but I will still be planting mine too. It'll be a neat comparison!

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/20/2012, 11:07 am

@camprn wrote:Now look! How big are your kids? Were they always this big? No! They were quite small and frail once, but you gave them what they need... Lo and behold, those kids GREW!
Put the wee plants in the ground, give them some food and warmth and sun, go ahead and sing to them... once they put down roots, THEY WILL GROW!
So.... don't feel badly, it will all be ok... I think they want to go outside and play.


I sure hope I don't have kids

I know what you mean though. I just thought that since they're small to begin with, it'll take longer to produce fruit. I'm hoping that they'll have a growth explosion before I get too impatient. What a Face

On a side note, the other box with the other veggies in it are doing great What a Face Some of the plants have quadrupled in size.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 11:14 am

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
@camprn wrote:Now look! How big are your kids? Were they always this big? No! They were quite small and frail once, but you gave them what they need... Lo and behold, those kids GREW!
Put the wee plants in the ground, give them some food and warmth and sun, go ahead and sing to them... once they put down roots, THEY WILL GROW!
So.... don't feel badly, it will all be ok... I think they want to go outside and play.


I sure hope I don't have kids

I know what you mean though. I just thought that since they're small to begin with, it'll take longer to produce fruit. I'm hoping that they'll have a growth explosion before I get too impatient. What a Face

On a side note, the other box with the other veggies in it are doing great What a Face Some of the plants have quadrupled in size.
LOL, it was a collective 'your kids' Wink

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  brenda g on 5/20/2012, 11:17 am

TTT:

Most of my tomato plants look about the same - and I started them over two months ago!! So I was grateful to see this thread and LOVE camprn's response haha!

I am embarassed to admit I have almost seventy plants (I'd never started from seed before; I thought only half would germinate and hadn't yet read ANSFG so didn't know not to plant every seed in the packet - common sense did not prevail either Embarassed ) BUT I told all my friends and family not to buy any so hopefully they will all find good, happy homes where they can 'grow up'!

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 11:57 am

@brenda g wrote: BUT I told all my friends and family not to buy any so hopefully they will all find good, happy homes where they can 'grow up'!
Trading garden plants is a great tradition. Wink

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/20/2012, 12:05 pm

@camprn wrote:
@brenda g wrote: BUT I told all my friends and family not to buy any so hopefully they will all find good, happy homes where they can 'grow up'!
Trading garden plants is a great tradition. Wink


It sure is fun What a Face

It's actually almost relieving to see that others have small tomato plants. It gives me hope Very Happy

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Tomatoes too small

Post  memart1 on 5/20/2012, 12:09 pm

Last year my brother stuck a 3" high seedling in my garden, and I laughed at him. But he had the last laugh when it grew into a huge plant of grape tomatoes!! Just give them some TLC.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 12:12 pm


I am embarassed to admit I have almost seventy plants (I'd never started from seed before; I thought only half would germinate and hadn't yet read ANSFG so didn't know not to plant every seed in the packet - common sense did not prevail either
I did the same thing 2 years ago in Oregon and everyone laughed saying I was nuts, but it was not a great year for tomatoes and I had LOTS... :pig:

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 5/20/2012, 12:38 pm

@memart1 wrote:Last year my brother stuck a 3" high seedling in my garden, and I laughed at him. But he had the last laugh when it grew into a huge plant of grape tomatoes!! Just give them some TLC.

With how fertile my growing medium is, those plants should start growing like crazy with some of that TLC. What a Face

Another Pennsylvanian

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  Turan on 5/20/2012, 1:12 pm

When I look at your pics I see plants needing to be planted out. With your deep soil don't bother with the laying down thing, just put them deep enough to cover stem to the cotyledon leaves (which you pinch off). Is there any purpling of the leaves? If so a touch of bonemeal or Epsom salts would be a good boost. Water well and lightly cover to help with the transition to out doors. If your temps are cool at night give them a bottle of water as heat reservoir, babies like that.

A market farming friend starts her seeds late and plants them small. She says they do better in the long run. She starts some earlier for selling at the market because home gardeners are so easily seduced by bigger plants (me too, even if I know better). Eliot Coleman says to start 6 weeks before planting and get them planted at around 4" tall, before the leaves over lap between blocks set side by side. But he has his set up dialed in well enough that they are into 4" blocks by then. He is the King of too tall tomatoes.... that whole lay down the vine thing as he keeps 'only' 8 feet in leaf and fruiting.. Shocked This is in greenhouses but still affraid

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 2:06 pm

that whole lay down the vine thing as he keeps 'only' 8 feet in leaf and fruiting..
I tried this last year, and am going to try again this year, mine got up to 6 feet.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 2:40 pm

Turan, good post! I didn't lay my tomato plants down when transplanting, but I did plant them deeply, last year they got to over 8'tall, the year before, over 10' tall., Here are the roots of eggplants last year. I cannot see m to find the tomato root photo. must be on the old computer.

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Re: Tomato Plants are Too Small?

Post  floyd1440 on 5/20/2012, 7:44 pm

My tomatoes are not that big either but a few were large and I tried laying some down..will see how they turn out

Here are some pics.



The one on the corner I layed flat and it is going up nicely. trust me it was hard to convience myself to do it!



These were buried as my boxes are 12 inches deep. i think they will grow OK and even put some coffee grounds around them, just 1/8 cup per plant..see if it keeps the bugs out///


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