33 votes

Do tomatoes really need support to grow?

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 ...
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  • 5,839
23 votes
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Since tomatoes don't need cages in the wild, how do they stay up?

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 ...
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  • 1,585
18 votes
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Which tomatoes grow the best in high temperatures?

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 ...
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17 votes

Do tomatoes really need support to grow?

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 ...
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16 votes
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Can a tomato plant break by its own weight?

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 ...
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15 votes

Do tomatoes really need support to grow?

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 ...
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  • 301
13 votes
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Why are my tomatoes cracking and what can I do?

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 ...
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13 votes
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How should I repair a partially broken stem with lots of tomatoes?

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 ...
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  • 3,639
12 votes

Are blossom end rot tomatoes edible?

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 ...
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  • 128k
11 votes

Do seeds from fresh tomatoes need to completely dry before they will sprout?

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 ...
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11 votes
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If I save seeds from sweet million cherry tomatoes will I get more sweet million tomatoes

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 ...
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  • 128k
11 votes
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Plant recommendation for gift for kindergarten students

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 ...
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  • 18.1k
10 votes

Sudden Outbreak of Yellow Leaves on Tomato (and Other) Plants

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
10 votes

Mushrooms instead of tomatoes

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 ...
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  • 18.1k
10 votes

What variety is this tomato with long, milky green branches?

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 ...
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9 votes
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What is causing the leaves to develop brownish patches between the veins on my tomato plant?

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 ...
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9 votes
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What can I do with unripe tomatoes when prepping a bed for winter?

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 ...
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  • 9,414
9 votes
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Is peat moss nutritious enough for tomato seedlings?

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 ...
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  • 128k
9 votes
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How far do potatoes really need to be from tomatoes to prevent disease/blight?

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 ...
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  • 128k
9 votes
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How long do tomatoes live for?

Sue encouraged me to turn my comments into an answer. So, I'll try to make them meet the criteria. I've only ever heard of tomatoes living a few to several years at the most. Ecnerwal's answer sounds ...
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9 votes

How can I grow tomatoes in a pot?

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 ...
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9 votes
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How can I organically make the soil potassium rich?

I don't know of anything ubiquitous off-hand in the kitchen that is both high in potassium and ready to use on plants without composting or some other such. Kelp is supposed to have some. So, maybe if ...
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9 votes

What are these abnormal tomatoes on my tomato plant?

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 ...
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  • 6,937
9 votes
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What should new tomato growers know about growing tomatoes?

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. ...
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9 votes

Will applying twenty year old cow manure hurt my vegetable garden?

Unless harmful elements fell into your manure during those 20 years without your knowledge, it certainly shouldn't hurt anything. It might not be as potent as properly matured and composted manure, ...
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  • 311
9 votes

Plant recommendation for gift for kindergarten students

My two suggestions; Scarlet Runner Beans and the second is Carex testacea or Orange Sedge. Easy to grow, very pretty no matter its age, wonderful to tuck into any plant bed or pot, nice just left in ...
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  • 39.8k
8 votes

Does seed from F1 hybrid tomato fruits grow?

An F1 tomato hybrid occurs when you have two tomato plants of different varieties and then one is pollinated by the other variety's pollen. The seeds of the resulting cross-pollinated tomato will grow ...
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8 votes

Does this tomato plant look alright?

Looks fine for a tomato plant indoors. Is there anyway you can get that guy outside? They grow well in pots, you'd be able to get a few yummy tomatoes but they need a heck of a lot more light. Is ...
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  • 39.8k
8 votes

How long do tomatoes live for?

Anecdotally, I met a "tomato tree" (not really a tree, just a vary large old tomato plant) that was reported to be 4-6 years old (likely started after the last serious hurricane) on an island in the ...
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  • 18.1k
8 votes
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Do tomatoes require pollinators to bear fruit?

For the most part, no, tomatoes don't require pollinators. Because of the way tomato flowers are formed it is very common for pollen to fall off of the stamen (male-part) onto the stigma (female part),...
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