I skipped growing tomatoes last year so I've forgotten a few things.
This year I have six tomatoes going in containers, 2 Whoppers, 2 el
cheapo Wal Mart specials, a cherry, and some fancy organic one I picked
up at an upscale nursery. I've planted these a couple of weeks ago and
they're starting to get big. The Whopper tomatoes and the Walmart
tomatoes are starting to bloom flowers. I can't remember whether or not
I should pick the early bloom to encourage more vegetative growth. I
don't recall ever seeing blooms this early and these plants certainly
have a long way to go before they get full size. I haven't even built
cages for them yet (my project for next week). So should I pick them or
will I get a bigger crop if I just let them turn into tomatoes?
I feel it is usually best to let the plant do its thing. SOme early
blossoms on plants never fruit, either they don't get pollinated or
(in case of things like squash) not the right combo of male and female
flowers out yet.
If the plant was very small I would pull them since it might not even
have built the support system for full fruit. With indeterminates the
lower branches do fruit first and those are usually the ones that end
up hidden among the vegetation and get picked first. I haven't had a
need to pull blossoms off of tomatoes. I've done it with pepper plants
if they haven't developed a decent stem yet, like with a cheap potted
one from someplace. They tend to force out flowers from stress and
neglect I guess.
On a two foot tall tomato I will see lots of flowers. If it was only a
foot tall, maybe I'd pull them.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email)
Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound
3rd year gardener
I've heard it is good to pinch the flowers. But I think what Mark said
about only doing it when the plants are small makes sense.
Just out of curiosity, how big are the containers? I am interested in
growing some tomatoes in containers...how big do the containers need to
be to get a big healthy plant?
Two years ago, I grew them in 20" cedar planters which were about 16"
deep and they grew big. I had some soil problems and lighting problems
that caused the tomatoes to ripen funny. I now have them in 20 gallon
tubs with drainage holes drilled into the bottom which are about the same
size as the cedar planters. I put them in a spot that gets sunrise to
sunset sun so I'm hoping for the best. The planters dry out fast so they
need to be watered every day.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.