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7 messages
08/04/2012 at 19:47

For 2 years I have tried to grow tomatoes in my greenhouse. Every time, the tomatoes seem to grow out of hand!!! I've put them in cages, tied them to sticks, always prune them, and try to find determinite types but even those didnt stop growing! They are in 2 feet wide pots and still grow out of them!! Should I take out a tile in the greenhouse and plant them in the ground? Does anyone have any suggestions of types of tomatoes I can use or any tips/tricks to keep my plants from becoming limp and vine-like? Thanks in advance!

11/04/2012 at 03:37

Maybe because of the sunlight???

for plants will grow in the direction of sunlight...

12/04/2012 at 18:30

Tomatoes are vigorous plants with lots of heavy fruit and need solid support. They are usually grown as a single cordon which will easily reach 8ft or more. Have a look at how a commercial greenhouse like Thanet Earth grows theirs - some reach 15 metres! A small domestic greenhouse doesn't have that sort of space so you need to find another way. Winding them round a cane wigwam as they grow is one way to make the extra length manageable. Pruning them just means less fruit.

13/04/2012 at 08:53

pierox, Amy's post (above) is a good starting point. The plants are limp and vine-like? What colour are the leaves and stems? How much sunlight are they getting? Ample, or even tons of sunlight, won't cause them to be limp.  Insufficient sunlight could well have them straining for light.

Another possibility. Excessive fertilising, particularly with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser, can cause excessive growth. How often do you fertilise and what with?

Genuine determinate varieties won't grow as you describe because they're genetically incapable of it. If you want more contained plants, determinates are the way to go.

It sounds like you have indeterminates. You can always remove the growing tips of an indeterminate variety when it reaches a size that satisfies you. 

15/04/2012 at 19:11

You mention that your plants grow out of hand and you prune them.

Unless your growing a bush variety, your aiming to grow a single stemmed plant. In what way do you prune them !! I've been growing for many years and not once have I pruned a tomato plant. Do you mean - the removal of a sucker - the shoots that grow in between leaf joints. If these are not removed, then yes, it will grow like a triffid.

Also, when your plant has produced four sets of flowering trusses, pinching or cutting out the growing tip at the top, stops the plant from getting any taller. This tells the plant to concentrate all its energy towards the fruit.

I've just re-read you question. By the way, which type of tomato plant are you trying to grow?!?!

 A cordon, single stem(or indeterminate) tomatoes grow tall (can reach up 2m/6ft) and require staking; bush (or determinate) tomatoes are bushy, and don’t require staking.

You mention your growing determinate/bush in your question, but it seems your trying to grow it like a cordon/ single. Hmmmmm

15/04/2012 at 19:15

...forgot to ask

Which variety of tomato have you choosen to grow, we might be able to help you further.

 I like Alicante, a nice sandwich tomato IMO.

15/04/2012 at 20:29
From what you describe it suggests you are growing them in "cordon" fashion which is quite a common method. Grown this way they will naturally be limp and vine like hence the need to tie them into some form of verticle support. Add to this if you do not remove axil growths you will end up with a gangly somewhat bush cordon. This link might show what I mean; http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Data/Tomato/Tomato.
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