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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:46 am
Location: vancouver, BC , canada

long and lanky tomato plant

I am a first time grower of tomato plants. I bought my four plants from the nursery a couple of weeks ago, they were about 8 inches high. but in the last two weeks they have grown another 10 inches with very little foliage. Is something wrong…or is this just normal growth. I should mention that two of the varieties’ are a grape tomato while the other two are hybrid large tomato ( at least that's what the label said at the nursery)

thanks brad


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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

We call that leggy and it is because your tomato plants aren't getting nearly enough light. If it is too early for them to go outside, then you need to find a way to get a lot more light on them.

Here's a picture of something I tried when I ran out of room under my grow lights:

I only post it to say it did NOT work. That was still not nearly enough light (the window is the best I have but it is right across from the neighbors house so not enough direct light). The tomatoes got like yours, very tall with lots of stem space between the leaves. Some people will say "why is that bad, just bury them deeper when planted." Among other reasons it's bad because those tall slender stems are not as strong; many of them just snapped in the hardening off process, so those plants were wasted.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Not enough sun light.

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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:59 pm

When dealing with leggy tomato plants, make believe you are a TV cop interrogating an uncooperative perp. Shine very bright (flourescent) light at it and smack it around little(get some light breeze on it, just enought to ruffle the leaves, remember you don't want to be charged with police brutality). :P

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Green Thumb
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:59 pm
Location: South Dakota

When you plant those outside, plant them deep, so they don't blown down in the wind. Tomato plants are very good at forming new roots, wherever they are buried. In fact, you could probably snap of the long shoot, and put it in some water, it will form new roots and you would have two plants!

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