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Old 06-04-2016, 02:07 PM   #11
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Controlling Cherry Tomato Plant Size

I'm thinking 16 containers are too small. The wind will probably knock them over. 24" would be better. Your tomato plants may be small enough now to transplant into bigger pots. I've put several cherries into one big pot, along with my branch teepee, and it always survived big winds.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
I didn't know you could do that. If there are tomatoes on the top part that is cut and replanted, will they survive until the roots grow? USDA has us in zone 6a, which is the same as eastern inland Massachusetts. I'm hoping that the cuttings will produce fruit before the growing season ends.

I think that if I had used bigger containers I might be able to use higher cages or a trellis, but my concern is that they will topple in the wind in a 16" container. I'm wondering if they will get to full height in the containers I have, as I subsequently found out that 24" containers are recommended.
I would say your growing season is shorter than ours here but you could take one of the pots that you started one of your "toppers" in and bring it inside into a sunny spot to complete its life cycle. You may not get a whole lot of tomatoes but you'd get some and be able to enjoy them after the ones outside are gone.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:48 PM   #13
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A quick calculation shows that a 24" container will weigh more than twice as much as a 16" container, and I would prefer not to have to handle that much weight, at least not without putting it on wheels. I think that for this year I'm going to use cages and top them as necessary and see what happens. I'm guessing that if I keep it down to 4' or so it should stay upright, and if they're predicting high winds I can pick up a 16" container and move it to a sheltered spot.

Not too sure what the earliest frost date is here. The nearest I could find was for a town 10 miles inland, which is Oct. 4. We're less than a half mile from the ocean, which can make a significant impact on the temperature. It's not uncommon in early winter for it to be raining here, but snowing 2 miles inland. Still, I don't think I'm going to bother with replanting the tops.

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:15 PM   #14
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I container garden and have had tomatoes in pots for years. I have never had them get that big. I have assumed the container (and container size) stunts them a bit.


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Old 06-04-2016, 04:50 PM   #15
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Controlling Cherry Tomato Plant Size

One year, I brought my Sweeties inside prior to a frost. The plants were about 5' tall. They were still prolific. Took both DH and I to wrestle in the pot, but we had cherry toms into February.

I found a stand with casters on it for the big pot. Probably easy to build.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jeni78 View Post
I container garden and have had tomatoes in pots for years. I have never had them get that big. I have assumed the container (and container size) stunts them a bit.
I see you're in Minnesota. Your short growing season and cooler temperatures, as well as the container size, will affect their growth.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
I didn't know you could do that. If there are tomatoes on the top part that is cut and replanted, will they survive until the roots grow? USDA has us in zone 6a, which is the same as eastern inland Massachusetts. I'm hoping that the cuttings will produce fruit before the growing season ends.

I think that if I had used bigger containers I might be able to use higher cages or a trellis, but my concern is that they will topple in the wind in a 16" container. I'm wondering if they will get to full height in the containers I have, as I subsequently found out that 24" containers are recommended.
Katie H's. advice is spot on. Where do you have the pots. Is it possible to tie the pots to a fence or railing of some type, so the wind cannot blow them over?

I remember when we lived on the farm, we had some tomato plants on the south side of the barn. My father pounded hooks into the barn and tied the plants to them along with the trellis.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:52 PM   #18
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When I planted cherry tomato plants the first time, I had no idea how much those things grow. I had a 10' x 10' area cleared and I think I put one plant in each of 4 corners, as near as I can remember. I didn't know they needed cages.

All I did was water the little suckers and in about a month, you couldn't put your finger between vines in that entire area and touch ground. It was like clearing a jungle when I went outside to pick some and I had cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears.

But I finally learned how great food directly from the garden can taste.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:26 AM   #19
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My biggest negative issue with the cages is they become top heavy. That's why I changed over to fence posts and pulled stainless steel wire. Fencing may very well be what I use next spring.
Even with all the prep work and care, yesterday I had to spend about an hour tying up stems.
I guess its the type of tomato, but these things have more than one main stem. There are several stems coming from the bottom out. They are already gigantic in terms of fullness. They are as wide as they are tall.
With this new knowledge, next season should be much easier.
Oh, I planted Cherokee Purple and Rutgers.
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:24 PM   #20
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Tomatoes are pretty adaptable. Here, I've seen fields of you-pick tomatoes, acres of them, no cages, just planted and let nature water them, and they produce like crazy. You pull up the greenery and underneath there are dozens of tomatoes ready to go. You lose about 10% of them from bugs because they are sitting in the dirt (some of them). This is also the way tomatoes are planted by producers for the canning companies, where you buy your tomatoes at the store canned as whole, diced, sauced, stewed.

We cage our tomatoes (and peppers and eggplant) and I've yet to bother tying up a branch. We just let them grow through the cage however they happen to grow and this keeps them off the ground. You can trim and prune and shape them as much as you have time to do that. We have 8 varieties of tomatoes this year, for eating, and canning.

Use whatever method works best for you, trellises, fences, tying them up, whatever works for you.
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