Watchwait
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:25 pm
Location: Paso Robles, California, USA

Small Early Girl Tomatoes

I live in Central California (Paso Robles). This is my 2nd year of planting Early Girl tomatoes in raised beds. Beds are 2ft high - full of FRESH planting mix (replaced the old w/new mix after last years *great* yield). I fertilize with Miracle Grow for Tomatoes (this is a specific product JUST for tomatoes). I drip irrigate daily. Plants are HUGE (7ft tall). VERY prolific (many plants), but all relatively small (2" average diameter). Last year, these same tomatoes, with the same type of soil, fertilizer, watering were much larger. Plants were purchased approximately 8" tall & then planted. We get hot days here and cool nights. The small fruits are very tasty - just small - much smaller than last year. I picked Early Girls specifically as last year they just kept producing for many months - but with bigger fruits. I've tried to list all details here, as I've noticed questions typically generate more questions - so I can't think of anything else to say about these tomatoes. So just hoping someone might have some specific pointers/solutions for me - thanks! Oh yes - FWIW, I also planted one Sun Gold Cherry tomato plant in this same mix, same fertilizer and watering - and it is wildly successful! Huge, many, many fruits - approximately 1" in diameter - perfect for this variety. Wish I could post photos as well!

CharlieBear
Green Thumb
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Small Early Girl Tomatoes

If you have a heat wave or several heat spikes in the first couple of weeks after tomato set they tend to be smaller. This is the conditions we are facing on the west coast this year. Note, that the amount of water the plants receive during this period is vital. If it is hot again like this year in the future, water more often. Tomatoes don't like to dry out, they prefer even watering. By the way you are not alone out west with smaller tomatoes this year. (not all varieties of tomatoes suffer in size as much)

User avatar
MattCVG
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:02 pm
Location: Springfield, WV

Re: Small Early Girl Tomatoes

I'm curious to see when my Early Girls come, the size of mine as well. This is my first year with them. I am in the Northeast.. have had a ton of rain and now some really hot days (for where we are) and I started late. We'll see. I would love to show you my results when they come but I will probably have some videos of them anyway. You can find me on youtube if you think about it. They are just now starting to set fruit so we'll see. I'm having some troubles of my own with tomatoes period. Good luck with everything anyway!

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11238
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Small Early Girl Tomatoes

I am inclined to agree that El Nino has definitely affected my plants. My beefsteak tomatoes were the size I would expect an early girl to be. They did give me a lot of fruit, they were just small. I did get very large red cherries for some reason this year. They were bigger than usual, but the vine was smaller with fewer fruit and it died very quickly. It wasn't very good, the birds did not bother the ripe ones.

The zucchini fared worse. I think I ended up with three fruit. I moved my cucumber trellis so I don't know if that caused an issue but I only got 2 cucumbers on a smaller than usual vine.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Small Early Girl Tomatoes

Conditions? The plants themselves? Tomatoes are likely the most often grown plants in the home garden and the most frustrating. My tomatoes this year are enormous, but they haven't even bloomed yet. I don't know why. We have had beautiful weather and a little cooler than most summers. Just give it some time. Water twice a week. I would not fertilize any more.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27665
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Small Early Girl Tomatoes

Since it sounds like you planted purchased plants, you are also at the mercy of the grower. Did you get the plants from the same source? If so it would be a good idea to go back to them and TELL them that last year's Early Girl was much more impressive. (But it may turn out that these will taste better -- you never know until harvest :wink: )

It's also possible that they had some kind of a seed mix up or they are growing from different source seeds.

If you save seeds and grow them, another thing that can happen is an accidental bee cross with a smaller variety which can result in intermediately sized fruit in the next generation.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

lexusnexus
Green Thumb
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: MD Suburbs of DC, 7a

Re: Small Early Girl Tomatoes

Here in the mid-Atlantic area we had a very wet spring/early summer so our tomatoes are large. But we have been hot (above 90) and dry for the past 3-4 weeks so growth is now stunted and ripening has slowed significantly.
Dan - "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..." Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Karnevil #9

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”