Planting out tomatoes

My young tomato plants are reluctant to develop their first flowers. They are about 10inches tall, not spindly,just not actually flowering. The first flower buds are just developing. I am wanting to get them started in their final pots but the experts say wait for first flowers to form before so doing. (a reason for this would help)
Could it be that they require a leaner compost to start rather than the multi-purpose that I have used?
Sue
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I have seen prolific tomatoes growing in very poor soil. They are more affected by water, temperature and light.
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Sue wrote:

Saw a garden expert on TV the other day that said you do not want too much fruiting growth before planting. You may get early tomatoes but plant will poop out early. On planting you want most of the growth to go into the plant and roots and not the fruit. She was actually pulling off blossoms and only leaving a few to help the plants growth.
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That's odd, unless your growing determinate tomatoes, my vines keep on growing even after they start producing tomatoes.
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At 10" tall I don't expect flowers on my tomatoes. Buds may be forming.... but flowers at 10" ?

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Most multi-purpose soils are fairly well aerated, so I wouldn't think so. I add vermiculite when starting off seedlings though.
Tomatoes that are flowering are definitely large enough to transplant, but I wouldn't say it is a requirement.
I've heard of stripping off the first set of flowers too, although I never have. Our season is so short it's touch and go whether the fruit is ever going to develop anyway. Pruning leaves and reducing the number of branches seems to help the fruit develop faster.
Go ahead and transplant, bury them deeply up to the first set of leaves.
Dora
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Stripping flowers might be a good idea, if they are precocious and you still have a long summer in front of you. Flowers and ripening fruit will sap some of the vegetative growth but this is really fine tuning. It might make sense to a commercial grower but not to a gardener who can't wait for a real, fragrant tomato.
I would just plant and let it rip.
Once your tomato plant is 3'- 4' tall, you may want to pinch off the growing tips of the vine to direct it's energy on producing fruit.
" . .the experts say wait for first flowers to form before .. (transplanting into) .. their final pots."
Where did you read or hear this?
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On the back of the seed packets, and I think Dr H says so too in his greenhouse expert guide.
I have grown tomatoes before and not had this "problem" until last year when I planted them anyway, flowers or not. Was just wondering about it.
Thanks for all replies so far. It is nice to return to this group and not find it overloaded with Spam like it had been last time I looked.
Sue
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Being of a curious nature, I did some googling and the only other source I could find for this was the Royal Horticultural Society http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0706/tomatoproblems.asp
In fact, they suggest keeping the plant in a small pot to stress it and force it to produce flowers (because it 'thinks' it is going to die?)
I'm not sure I agree with this. Mind you I usually end up doing this, but not on purpose.
Dora
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Being of a curious nature, I did some googling and the only other source I could find for this was the Royal Horticultural Society http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0706/tomatoproblems.asp
In fact, they suggest keeping the plant in a small pot to stress it and force it to produce flowers (because it 'thinks' it is going to die?)
I'm not sure I agree with this. Mind you I usually end up doing this, but not on purpose.
Dora
That's a bit like my theory of using a leaner compost. Bring them up tough!
Sue
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Dora, do you know the OP?
The purpose of species is to procreate. Given enough nitrogen and eater, most plants would continue to think it is spring and keep on vegetating. When the water is reduced, the plants start thinking about the future and set fruit. This is the advice for tomatoes, anyway. Lots of water until they flower, and then water sparingly.
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no. but i'm always happy to ponder tomatoes.

I guess the problem I have with the approach when they are small is that keeping them in a small pot too long could end up damaging the roots, or the death threat could turn serious on a hot day etc. etc.
Dora
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Understood. Thanks.
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A little more clarity please (1) tomato cultivar, (2) brand of seeds, (3) who is Dr. H?, (4) can you verify what you think?
(cut)

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1) I don't think in this case it is relevant but Sungold,Gardeners' Delight,Cherrolla and A.N.Other whose name escapes me at the moment and computer and greenhouse are not in close proximity. 2) Johnson's/Thompson and Morgan. 3) The "Expert" Guide titles...Dr Hessayon is it? 4) Personally, I think it doesn't make much difference if the flowers are opening or not but I am no expert, just grow stuff. And maybe there is something in the theory that a stressed plant will flower if it possibly can because that is what it is for! So you get the tomatoes to flower then give them all the goodies so they make nice fruits for us.
Sue
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Sorry I cut that last post a bit heavily!
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I think you will find that a plant stressed from germination on will be stunted, and consequently less fruit full.
Johnson's site has no information on growing tomatoes. Thompson and Morgan's site does but says nothing about waiting for flowers to transplant.
Growing Instructions Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots and later plant out into growbags, pots etc. 45-60cm (18-24in) apart. Outside, sow early spring and grow as above. When 20cm (8in) tall gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions and plant out 38-45cm (15-18in) apart 75cm (30in) between rows in a warm sheltered sunny spot in moist, fertile well drained soil and keep well staked. Aftercare Remove side shoots as they appear and restrict the plant to one main stem. Outdoor plants remove growing tip late summer to hasten ripening.
http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds1/product/840/1 / http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds1/product/277/1 /
Perhaps there was some confusion with "Remove side shoots . . ." and the idea of removing flowers.
In any event, follow these instructions and all should be well.
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