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yes, have got all my tom plants in decent size pots with drainage holes. i'm generally reasonably cautious about watering but i suppose the plant could have got infected by something during one of the summer's various wet spells. ah well, i'm not too fussed. more interested in how my black russians now do...

My greenhouse is full of green Toms  Help How can I ripen them????


There is a trick that is supposed to work but I have never tried it-take a ripe banana or two into the greenhouse it gives of ethylene gas that ripens the tomatoes-I do find if one tomato ripens the rest soon follow.

Other than that -remove a few leaves to let more light and air around the plants-they will ripen- probably sooner than you think.


ellie, temperature is the key to ripening toms. You don't need direct sunlight. A very very very general rule of thumb is that they take 4-6 weeks from when they first start to change colour from their darkest green. Optimum temps for ripening are low-20s and above. The lower the temps, the longer the process.


Hi can you help me please I am a beginner, it says to only start feeding tomatoes when the second truss has set. What does that mean, how big will the plant be when the second truss has set? I looked it up on Google but still couldn't get an idea of how big the plant should be before feeding. Thanks



Look at the bottom of the plant where it comes out of the ground.  Count up the main stem until you get to the second main branch off the main stem.  The tomatoes on these branches are 'the truss.'  Are there small tomatoes?  Or only flowers?  

If there are only flowers it is too soon to give liquid fertilizer.  If you give it too soon you will get too many leaves.  Tomatoes have to be treated a little hard, so that they 'think' they had better make seeds; that is fruit before they die.


Okay mine have not even flowered yet so I guess I did start feeding them too early. Thanks I know now for next time.


I'm not sure how tomatoes actually pollinate. Is there some kind of powder that grows on the leaves that, when you shake the vine, falls onto the flowers?

What I'm wondering is, what happens if you have small tomato plants of different varieties in pots next to each other, and they start flowering? Does this lead to cross-bred tomatoes or will I still end up with normal Marmande and Money Maker fruits?

Also, can you tell by looking at the leaves, flowers of stems before the fruits grow which variety you have? Sadly, I forgot to mark the pots and now they're mixed up (Marmande and Money Maker).


In simple terms, the tomato flower contains both the anther and stigma - the male and female organs. It only requires some sort of movement of the flower - a foraging insect, a flick with the fingers, etc - to trigger the release of the pollen from the anther. If sufficient pollen is taken up by the stigma, you have fruit. If insufficient pollen is taken up by the stigma, or pollen isn't released by the anther, the flower doesn't produce fruit and will eventually shrivel up and drop.

Tom plants of different varieties adjacent to each other can cross-pollinate but the cross will only reveal itself in the next generation - ie, if you were to save seeds from the fruit that results from the cross this season and plant them next season. This season's fruit will be the variety you planted. It's the seeds inside that are crossed.

It's very hard to tell varieties apart in the early stages unless they are different leaf shapes - eg, potato leaf as against regular leaf. It's sometimes easier to differentiate between them later if you're familiar with growth habits, etc.

I grew Black Russian toms last year - absolutely gorgeous flavour and will definitely grow them again. I am growing Gardeners Delight this year - my usual- because I have loads of pkts of seeds for this, courtesy of various gardening mags - also Maskotka and Roma, neither of which I have grown before.

Fortunately, my son and his family are keen on eating tomatoes so nothing will go to waste - I hope. I have small fruits on the Gardeners Delight and Maskotka but nothing on the Roma yet. My greenhouse is very small and has suffered from wind damage earlier this year so it is not as insect proof as it should be. However the plants are battling on well.

I wanted to plant the courgette seeds I had from Which as a trial but had to take the plants out of the greenhouse as they were encroaching on the toms. I have transferred them to larger pots and put in the garden - fortunately, we have been having some very sunny warm weather here in S Wales this year and they are pretty big but as yet I have not seen any evidence of baby courgettes. I am not familiar with their growth habits but I am giving them plenty of water and feeding them with Tomorite which is what I have always used on the tomatoes. However, I read (from Monty Don) that he uses seaweed extract so I may try that.


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