"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Culinary Gardener
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-04-2016, 06:55 AM   #1
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Hampshire Seacoast
Posts: 798
Controlling Cherry Tomato Plant Size

While at the home improvement store a couple of weeks ago on a whim I decided to try to grow cherry tomatoes in containers on the patio. I grabbed a couple of plants and containers and set them up on the patio. They are doing well so far and I looked up the variety to see when I could expect fruit. The producer's web site says they will grow to 5 - 7 feet tall. Holy crap! I don't know much about gardening but the tomato plants I have seen are in the 3 - 4 foot range, and I just assumed that cherry tomatoes would be smaller. The containers are 16 inches, and if the plants really do get that big I'm concerned that there will be too much sail area for the containers and they might topple in the wind. We're pretty close to the ocean and wind is always a factor. I'm anticipating that I will need to cut them back. Should I wait until they get to be too tall or should I prune earlier?

https://bonnieplants.com/product/cho...inkles-tomato/

__________________

__________________
tenspeed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 07:02 AM   #2
Executive Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,792
This may sound like a stupid question, but are you using tomato cages in your pots?
__________________

__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus & C. Batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 07:18 AM   #3
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Hampshire Seacoast
Posts: 798
Not a stupid question, because I'm a gardening noob. I'll be picking up tomato cages within the next few days, before they get too big to get the cage over.
__________________
tenspeed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 07:39 AM   #4
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,117
If you get yourself some good 3-4 foot cages, you can trim from the tops and sides later in the season. Once the plants are 1-2 feet tall, take off the bottom leaves, the lowest leaves. Many diseases that kill off tomatoes early, like fungus and others, come up from the ground and splash (during watering and rain) up onto the leaves, then travel up the plant before the season is over. If you avoid getting disease and fungi on the lower leaves (by removing them), your plant may last longer in the season.

There are stories (true or myth!) that when tomatoes are not producing tomatoes and only growing leaves, the farmer would go out and damage them, yelling at them and hitting them with sticks to injure them. Parts of the plant are cracked and broken, dying off. The remaining plant will produce more fruit at that point. Think of pruning off parts of the plant as a way to push the plant to produce more fruits.
__________________
blissful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 11:33 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Roll_Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 2,841
Cages will not help a 7' plant. A trellis will. I stopped using cages as they work well for short plants but do nothing for taller plants.
You could buy a trellis or two and put the pots at the bottom and train them to go up.
Also, plants in containers need to be checked for water at least once every two days.
So, you must keep an eye on them so they don't dry up on you. Good luck.

If you are going on vacation this summer, you should find a way to get them water as needed.
__________________
Roll_Bones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 11:36 AM   #6
Executive Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
Cages will not help a 7' plant. A trellis will. I stopped using cages as they work well for short plants but do nothing for taller plants.
You could buy a trellis or two and put the pots at the bottom and train them to go up.
Also, plants in containers need to be checked for water at least once every two days.
So, you must keep an eye on them so they don't dry up on you. Good luck.

If you are going on vacation this summer, you should find a way to get them water as needed.
Burpee offers 4' extensions for their cages.
__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus & C. Batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 12:05 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,114
Controlling Cherry Tomato Plant Size

I got some great 5' galvanized cages years ago at our local Farm and Fleet. They're very sturdy, and have served me well over the years. I've also used 3 long tree branches made into a teepee and stuck into the pots for a tomato trellis.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 12:47 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
While at the home improvement store a couple of weeks ago on a whim I decided to try to grow cherry tomatoes in containers on the patio. I grabbed a couple of plants and containers and set them up on the patio. They are doing well so far and I looked up the variety to see when I could expect fruit. The producer's web site says they will grow to 5 - 7 feet tall. Holy crap! I don't know much about gardening but the tomato plants I have seen are in the 3 - 4 foot range, and I just assumed that cherry tomatoes would be smaller. The containers are 16 inches, and if the plants really do get that big I'm concerned that there will be too much sail area for the containers and they might topple in the wind. We're pretty close to the ocean and wind is always a factor. I'm anticipating that I will need to cut them back. Should I wait until they get to be too tall or should I prune earlier?

https://bonnieplants.com/product/cho...inkles-tomato/
If given the chance, cherry tomatoes will literally "cover you up." So far I haven't seen anyone mention "topping" the plants. That is, cutting off the uppermost part of the plant at the height you want it to be. This isn't a cure-all because you most likely will have to top the plant more than once during the growing season.

This will achieve a few things. It will shorten the plant, obviously, and it will force it to bush out, along with allowing any feeding medium and water to go to the remaining plant. A little more efficient use of your plant food and water.

You can also take the top cuttings and root them and create new plants in other containers. I've done that many times. You'll have multiple tomato plants from the one you already started.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Hampshire Seacoast
Posts: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
You can also take the top cuttings and root them and create new plants in other containers. I've done that many times. You'll have multiple tomato plants from the one you already started.
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.
__________________
tenspeed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 01:47 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,877
If there are tomatoes on the cuttings, they will compete with the roots for nutrients and should be cut off. I think Katie is in a warmer zone with a longer growing season.

You could try to find a way to anchor the trellis or cages to prevent them from blowing over.

I don't think having them in too-small containers will affect how tall they grow. The roots will fill up the containers in an effort to get enough nutrients to the leaves and fruit. Topping them is probably a good solution, but depending on which variety you have, you may or may not get fruit from the cuttings before a freeze. When using the last average frost date in your area?
__________________

__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
tomato

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.