Question for Tomato Gurus...

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Running Arrow Bill
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Question for Tomato Gurus...

Postby Running Arrow Bill » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:37 pm

This year I put tomato transplants (Betterboy and Early Girl) from a nursery in 5 gal containers using premium potting soil. Fertilized with MirAcid. Plants took off slowly. (I planted outdoors in May). The plants started producing sparse tomatoes in July. So far, tomatoes have been undersized (< 2" dia.) from expected "average" size (~ 3" dia.) from above varieties. It's been hot here too. Not sure what problem is. Never had this happen before.

Possibly? Nursery mislabeled the transplants? Plants stunted while grown at Nursery?

Comments?? Thanks!
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Re: Question for Tomato Gurus...

Postby CottageFarm » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:10 pm

5 gal containers

Tomatoes don't do their best in containers. They like lots of soil around they're roots. They're heavy feeders, and it's hard to maintain consistent moisture and soil temperatures in containers, especially in hotter climates. 5 gal pots are pretty small for most tomatoes.

Fertilized with MirAcid

A high nitrogen fertilizer early and then switch to high phosphorus after blossom set starts would be the ideal. They really prefer slightly higher ph soil over acidic soil.

I planted outdoors in May

If it got hot shortly after transplant, it makes it hard for them to get going, especially in containers. The blossoms won't set when the temps reach low - mid 90's. Some varieties, mostly indeterminate in my experience, will start setting blossoms again when temps cool down to the 80's. You can but a tomato/pepper set spray, or hand pollinate to help them along.

Undersize fruit is likely a fertilizer and container size issue. While I've come across poor quality nursery stock, the issues you describe are more likely attributable to post transplant conditions. The early girls will typically be right around 2", but yes, the better boys should be in the 3-4" range. Hope this helps, sorry I couldn't blame the nursery stock.
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Re: Question for Tomato Gurus...

Postby greybeard » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:31 am

July is about the time my tomatoes usually stop producing or begin to produce stunted fruit, but I'm quite a bit south and East of RunningArrwowBill.
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