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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:09 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Tomatoes - late and no flowers yet

Yeah, I did my tomatoes a little late. It was my first try with basic seeds from the garden centre, and I've got 8 plants here at home, all around the same sizes. The ones grown indoors inside the window are really tall (4 feet odd) and had no side shoots until I moved them outside into a mini ploycover greenhouse.

The ones I put out in a grow bag (3 in one bag) are a lot shorter but seem to have browner stalks, darker leaves and no problems that I can really see, aside from a tiny sign of yellow dots on some leaves - but it's barely anything there and it isn't spreading.

The taller ones have varying degrees of issue with the leaves having marks on them that are pale yellow. On one plant, whole leaves have actually chemically changed form into rubbery pale brown, stretchy stuff!

The main issue is, even if I lose a plant or two with these really wierd leaves, I am not getting ANY flowers/fruit at all showing so far. Of course, I don't really know what I am looking for (which doesn't help) in the first signs, but so far it's all stalk, leaves and that's it.

I am pinching out side shoots. The plants are warm enough and get sun. They are not waterlogged and I have tried feeding the ground with various forms of basic fertilizer, and now I've also added some tomato liquid feed and spray for the leaves to encourage growth. I cannot see any bugs on them and no chewing or slug trails.

Any ideas why it's late september and no sign of flowers or fruit, even rubbish ones? :)

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

Unfortunately it sounds like you aren't going to have tomatoes this year. Tomatoes depend on daylight and we just aren't getting enough hours of daylight now to set fruit.

As far as what happened, it sounds like some combination of things. The rubbery stretchy leaves is very odd and I don't know what that's about, except probably some kind of disease. But, as you discovered, you can't grow tomatoes in a window. They are full sun plants and need 8 hrs of direct sun a day. Then you said you had THREE tomato plants in one grow bag? Never work. Tomatoes are huge plants that get 6 or more feet high and 3 feet wide. They need a lot of space and a lot of soil to feed all that plant. A grow bag would be pretty iffy for growing one tomato plant. People do grow the topsy turvy tomatoes in a grow bag (ONE per bag) but then they water and fertilize them all the time. Generally if you want to grow a tomato in a container, you grow ONE tomato plant in a 5 gallon bucket. Growing tomatoes crowded encourages diseases as well as starving them.

Finally you said you were "pinching out side shoots" Did you mean just the suckers that grow in joints between the main stem and the branches or did you mean all of them? Tomatoes grow from the side branches, not from the main stem. You may have been pinching too much.

Just some thoughts for next year... we all live and learn, hopefully next year will go better! :)

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