I am new to growing tomatoes. I have a plant outside that is about 3ft high but the tomatoes themselves aren't growing.

Can someone give me some tips please?

Please note I am the southern hemisphere and it's currently summer.

The plants have flowered & I have fruit but they do not seem to be getting any bigger. I have fertilized the plant. I wondered if I needed to nip out new growth so all the growth now goes into the fruit.

The plant has been in the ground over 4 weeks. Temperatures haven't been what you'd call summery, but it hasn't been much below 13 degrees celcius.

  • they haven't even flowered?
    – WebChemist
    Jan 18, 2014 at 8:35
  • 1
    How cold does it get at night? Tomatoes don't grow well if it gets colder than 13 degrees (55 Fahrenheit)
    – THelper
    Jan 20, 2014 at 10:42
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    I think we need more information - how long have they been in the ground? What are your temperatures like? Have you fertilized the plant? Do you have flowers? Have you gotten no fruit, or some fruit that just isn't growing and maturing? Do the plants show signs of stress?
    – michelle
    Jan 20, 2014 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


You haven't said which variety of tomato you're growing - most of the larger tomatoes do need nipping out, and the usual procedure is to pinch out new growth and new trusses once you've got 5 or 6 trusses present. This is not the case with smaller tomatoes, such as 'cherry' varieties.

Tomatoes also do much better if they're fed at least weekly with a proprietary tomato food, usually diluted and watered directly round the plants.

Otherwise, its not clear whether 13 degC has been your day or night time temperatures - so long as the temperature isn't falling below 13 deg C overnight and daytime temperatures are at least 20 deg C, temperature isn't the problem. If, though, you're saying that's the daytime temperature, then it's simply not warm enough.

  • Thanks, I'll do more nipping & give them more feeding. Daytime temp is about 16-19 celcius at the moment & down to about 13 & above at night. Summer is a bit slow in coming but fingers crossed we'll get some warmer weather soon. I appreciate your advise.
    – user3051
    Jan 24, 2014 at 4:17

I think the problem you are having is the temprature. Tomatoes like it warm and sunny they need about 10 hours of light. The optimal growing thempurature is 27/22 c (day/night) 13 is to cold they arnt going to grow very well. I normaly have mine against a south faceing brick wall in the summer. Where I live tomatoes are normaly only grown in green houses its just not warm enough here in the summer. But we can get some speical kinds that have been bred to grow outside in at a cooler temprature, these are the ones that i have had most sucess with growing against the wall.

They wont die at 13c but they arnt going to thrive either. Is there a chance it will start getting warmer soon?

  • Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. Summer is a little slow arriving this year, 13 degrees is the nighttime temp, we've been getting 16-19 daytime with occassionally hotter. Mine are against a trellis, also south facing.
    – user3051
    Jan 24, 2014 at 4:19
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    It's worth noting that @LindaL's profile says she's in Denmark, so her "south facing" would equate to your "north facing"
    – LRE
    Jan 27, 2014 at 8:44

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