33

Watermelons and pumpkins naturally grow as trailing vines across the ground. A tomato plant grows upright, holding its fruit up off the ground. They often need cages or stakes because the tomatoes get heavy enough to pull limbs or even the entire plant to the ground, potentially snapping the branches or stem in the process. 'Wild tomatoes' bear much ...


21

The size of the tomato has been increased with human selection. Wild tomatoes are berry sized, so the plant doesn't need extra support. The same is true for most plants that humans have selectively bred, although for tomatoes, the plant is not fibrous or tough enough to bear much weight. Genetic engineering has come a long way, but it will be a while before ...


18

I've done tomatoes in a few different ways. The list of steps below seems long and involved, but it's really pretty easy. Start 6-8 weeks before the last frost date for your area, or 6-8 weeks before you plan to transplant to the garden. That's about 1 week to germinate, 1 week for growing before potting up, 3-5 weeks of growing in the second container, and ...


18

Let me preface this answer by saying that due to my experience in 2016 contrasted with my 2015 experience, I personally think soil conditions and composition, kinds of light and light levels, and how you water your tomatoes may have a profound affect on heat-tolerance. Since the temperature in your area fluctuates so much between day and night, the rules ...


17

Yes, you should thin them. If you wanted to keep them, you could try pricking out -- gently tease apart the roots from the soil and move the plant into a separate container. Always handle the plant by the leaves, not the stem. (The plant can replace a broken leaf, but a broken stem is fatal.) In your case, since you've got more plants than you need, thin ...


17

Another reason to cage them is if you leave them on the ground, they are more prone to fungal diseases, and you really don't want those in your garden because they are hard to get rid of. I speak from experience. 4 years later and I'm still trying to eradicate the blight spores that came when one of my trellis' fell over from a wind storm and I thought it ...


16

Tomato plants need some kind of support (as you see, they are a sort of vine). Especially when they are fruiting, the stem cannot support the weight of the tomatoes. It is normal to have the stem curved (and down to the soil). In professional greenhouses, the tomatoes are supported by a cord, and the cord will be lowered (or elongated) in order to have the ...


15

In addition to the good points made by the other answers, at least in my experience, it's also important to keep the leaves and branches off of the ground, not just the fruit. Branches and leaves dragging the ground (or even hanging low enough to the ground to be splashed by soil during rain) can get Septoria Leaf Spot, which will quickly kill off the ...


13

Cracking tomatoes happens when the (almost) ripe fruit expands and the skin can't hold up any more. (A bit like stretch marks...) There are a few causes that typically lead to different crack patterns, but sometimes it's a bit non-conclusive, so I won't go into detail. Excess water, especially after a drought - water as consistantly as possible, protect ...


13

That injury looks more like a "sprain" than a break. In other words, the stem is injured, but the tissue isn't completely severed. If you can immobilize it and provide additional support to keep the weight of the ripening fruit from damaging it further, I bet it will recover. (Patient needs to avoid strenuous activity though.)


11

Looking closely at the last picture, there are clear dark concentric circles around the black spots which is textbook early blight. It is a trademark of the disease. Blight has been bad, really bad this year. Your best chance is unfortunately to pull the plants and save any remaining healthy plants. Then going forward there are some key cultural ...


11

Tomato seeds that have never been dried can germinate. I've tried it. Tomatoes can actually germinate inside the fruit, sometimes (wherein the fruit is still good to eat, at that). I've read that the gel sacks around the seeds are supposed to inhibit germination. You may have greater success if you remove the sacks. I could be wrong, but I don't think ...


11

Sweet Million are an F1 variety, so will not come true. Seeds saved from their first year may grow what are known as F2 types, which may be quite close to the original F1 Sweet Million, but any seed saved from the second year will produce random tomatoes. More info here http://www.gardenfocused.co.uk/vegetable/tomato-outdoor/variety-sweet-million.php


11

I recall doing something like this each spring (for several years) growing up, and the plant of choice was Marigolds (planted in a paper cup, as far as I recall) which were grown in class and then taken home at the end. Tough enough, and if grown in the classroom they can also be an educational experience while not taking up any of your growing space at ...


10

You should definitely thin them out. No more than two per spot. If you have two, you will have to make sure they get enough nutrients and water. I snip the stem of the thinnest stalked seedlings with a pair of scissors. If they are the same height I pick the one with more leaves. It does look like your seedlings could use a little more light, but they will ...


10

I would say pull the whole plants if they will not survive the winter, just in case they became infected with something like Verticillium Wilt in their weakened state prior to dying, which might then build up and overwinter in the soil and infect your new plants next spring. Plus think about gophers or insects that might feed on the roots, you're providing ...


10

Too much water, most likely, for one thing, could be combined with poor drainage depending on the details of the pot and soil mix. Probably some other things [planting depth?] to not get any tomato seedlings (I gather that you "planted tomatoes" [fruit] rather than transplanting tomato plants) such as excessively cool temperatures or not noticing the ...


10

Blossom end rot is a physiological disorder primarily caused by irregular or insufficient water supply, which disables calcium uptake. The fruits, or the bits that aren't affected, are not dangerous to eat, so if the part that's left after you cut off the brown bits is tasty, then yes, you can eat them. You might want to reconsider if the brown parts are ...


10

I'm afraid with over 20k tomato breeds and striking similarities among many of them (with crosses possible), there's not enough information for others to know what kind of tomato this is. Even if it had fruit that looked just like a particular breed's fruit, it would be a guess at best. If the seeds were all supposed to be from Black Krim, then it's ...


9

Here's what I do over the course of a week before I transplant to the garden. This is sort of the "ideal" plan, it never goes exactly this way -- variations are ok. On the first day, which is ideally overcast and not windy, set the plants outside for a couple of hours. If it is sunny, I put them out in a spot where they'll be shaded for those two hours. If ...


9

I think ladybugs are what we call ladybirds - there have always been yellow ones with black spots, sometimes black with yellow spots, and the more usual red ladybirds. They are classified often by the number of spots they have on their backs, but they all do the same job - eat aphids, which is good for your tomatoes and any other plants.


9

The seed will grow, but you don't know what sort of traits you'll get. F1 means that it came from distinct parents selected for certain traits. On the other hand, if you use open-pollinated seed, that comes from a plant that had parents of the same variety, so you can expect it to share the same genetic traits that both parents had. Among the traits that you ...


9

That is Early Blight, Alternaria solani. The earlier you treat, the better the control, as a strong infection will build up resistance to the fungicide. Here's what to do: Remove all leaves showing signs of early blight (yellowing, dry margin, large to small round dead spots.) Do not touch the unaffected leaves with the removed portions, or your hands ...


9

That is magnesium deficiency. It can also cause yellowing between leaf veins. Treat by watering Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) at a rate of 1 cup per every two gallons, with every watering until the symptoms leave. See a comparison pic:


9

If the tomatoes have any red on them, you can set them out on the counter or a windowsill and they may still ripen. If they are all green, your best bet is to use them for fried green tomatoes or green tomato relish. Since you've already tilled the tomato plants in to your garden, you could also compost them if you aren't interested in eating them. Some ...


9

You don't need any fertiliser at all to start with - the clue is in the word 'starter'. You're only meant to germinate the seeds, then wait till they have 2/3 sets of leaves (one cotyledon pair and one true leaves), at which point you move them into individual pots containing probably seed and cutting compost - then move them up into potting compost in ...


9

They should all be 3 feet from one another, the tomato plants and the potatoes. Its not to prevent blight, but to prevent disturbing the roots of the tomatoes if you dig up some potatoes nearby, and to prevent blossom end rot caused by insufficient water/calcium availability for the tomatoes. The greater distance also makes it less likely that any plant will ...


9

That's a small pot, and definitely not ideal. I recommend as much larger of a container as you can manage, even if you have to sacrifice drainage to make room. However, you can grow some kinds of tomatoes in small pots (but the harvest may be modest). I've grown Galapagos Island (Solanum cheesmaniae) tomatoes in a foam cup, which produced four fruits indoors ...


9

This looks like blossom end rot. Here is another source of info. According to the second link, which is from Clemson University: After tomatoes are planted, gardeners can minimize the potential for blossom end rot by doing the following: Once transplants become established, encourage the production of a large root system by keeping plants a little ...


9

It really depends on the variety. Some can stay on the vine for a long time after they're ripe (how long they can stay on is known as hang-time), and some have to be picked as soon as they're ripe. How picking affects the matter also seems dependent on the variety, as well as how ripe the fruit is when you pick it. It seems to me that if you pick them when ...


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