karavshin
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:38 am
Location: Singapore

Growing Tomatoes in Singapore

I live in Singapore. Tomatoes in Southeast Asia are terrible. Bland, white, mealy balls. It would be so much nicer to grow my own. (I grew up in Pennsylvania where it seemed effortless)

I'm on my second set of trials. My first try was a couple years ago. I planted a bunch of species in containers, fertilized the hell out of them [oops], and was amazed to see 5' high tomato shrubs. Not so happy to find no tomatoes, and only a few (failed) blossoms.

This time around we built some large self-watering containers and planted a mix of heirloom species I bought from the USA. I picked the "southern states" mix of seeds, hoping they'd be more amenable to Singapore's temperature:

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb2hi/singapore-constant-weather][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-j1g2xsddcmcsqxjfxgsuuak4ig.preview.jpg[/img][/url]

It's always this temperature, the only thing that varies is whether it rains or not. It's pretty humid (example, right now it's 74%) most of the time.

Trial two went marginally better. I just returned from three weeks in Italy and found that a species "[url=https://rareseeds.com/seeds/Tomatoes-Yellow/Egg-Yolk]Egg Yolk[/url]" is producing some amount of fruit. The tomatoes that have ripened have a reasonably fruity flavor, too, which In find delightful.

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb27q/egg-yolk-tomato][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-e9n9u76emt2abje581xe6cwqsp.preview.jpg[/img][/url]
Egg Yolk Tomato

The other tomatoes are in various states of disrepair. One species (the markers rinsed off in the rain!) is nearly as big as my egg yolk, but produces no fruit, no blossoms. Other species aren't bushing as large, and have withered leaves, etc.

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb27u/ouch][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-fs8iyg22547bw8ddsre6979ijc.preview.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb27w/picasa-3][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-n6x9u4k55ya7ey6m3gmwxqm8sb.preview.jpg[/img][/url]

I also planted a tomatillo heirloom. Despite being eaten alive by god-knows-what, it has produced a lot of tiny tomatillos. And I mean TINY. They are the diameter of an M&M! The nannies at my house are from Myanamar and they recognized it as some sort of weed. (ha)

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb27s/tomatillo-leaves][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-89cy3x2gahearynfxm1u62hffu.preview.jpg[/img][/url]
Something came for Tomatillo Dinner

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb275/tiny-tomatillo][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-kaphmcmtkgt92qr996g4snxamt.preview.jpg[/img][/url]
Tiny Tomatillos!


So my question is: what species of tomatoes are most likely to do ok in this consistent climate?

Also, I'm wondering if I should be planting these tomatoes in nastier/less luxurious soil so that they don't bush so much, and then giving them fertilizer or supplements that will encourage more fruiting/blossoming, and less growing?

I presume "blossom set" spray is useless here -- I understand this is only for blossoms that don't set during cold temperatures, something I don't experience.

Any other advice/recommendations to try? For interest, we are mixing up our soil with biochar, as we heard it can help temperate plants grow in tropical environments.

[url=https://skitch.com/karavshin/nb26n/wishing-i-was-back-in-italy][img]https://img.skitch.com/20091004-tf6tf5ykmpk7ihta2nwdncfekb.preview.jpg[/img][/url]
Wishing I was back in Italy

User avatar
kimbledawn
Senior Member
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:18 pm
Location: Memphis

I'm not an expert but from what I have read here, the problem with your fruit set may be your fertilizer. My garden is organic so I know nothing about fertilizers but the gardeners here have said that when your tomato plant are mature you should stop the nitrogen fertilizers. It prevents fruiting. That you should continue only using the the p and the k to feed your plants or just water them.

Also you should prune off the damaged leaves and see what is eating your plants so that you can treat them either with neen or soap spray.

Hope it helps.
Dawn
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

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Diane
Green Thumb
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Mass

I wish I was in Italy too. :)
Since you can't buy good tomatoes there it must be hard for them to grow there.
Many people here who live in the south complain that the heat stops their tomatoes from growing. Sometimes even killing the plants.
Dawn gave you some good advice.

The plant with burnt looking leaves needs to be pruned. Is it too much heat or sun or fertilizer?

Since your egg yolk plant is doing well, try some other types from the US, southern states and you might have more luck.
Trial and error I guess.
Another thing you could try would be compost. It works wonders.

I love your tomatillo plant. It's the first I've ever seen.
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

karavshin,

I envy you for what you can grow in Singapore. My daughter and her husband spent a month there earlier this year. She took and gave me hundreds of photos of native fruit and veggies. I researched a few and found that none will grow and produce where we live in North Texas. To me, it seems reasonable that if what grows well in Singapore will not grow here, what grows well here (great tomatoes) may not grow well in Singapore. While your climate is much more temperate in temperature, it also has a very consistent high humidity. I spent many years in Louisiana with very high humidity in the summer. It was difficult to grow tomatoes because the humidity promoted many diseases. I wish you well in your efforts. Eat a durien for me. :)

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

netkomm
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 7:03 am
Location: Singapore

Tomatoes in Singapore

Hi,

I am just doing my first steps and I planted some tomatoes.

I planted some San Marzano, and I am going to plant soon some Roma, Napoli and Sorrento tomatoes.

So far the plants are growing ok. I am also using some self watering pots I purchased at IKEA (the nektarin) only because I could not find anybody selling the Eartbox.

What type of soil/mix are you using? Are you mulching your pots?

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