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How are your Tomatoes growing? I am again growing Gourmet (mid size) sown in February in heated conservatory, eventually into GH with heat in April. They are now 4 foot tall with 3 trusses of flowers and small fruit developing.

I do not remember having the heating on in late May for years but this spring has been and still is disgusting. Here in Cheshire, today  the temperature is 50 degrees (sorry old English) which considering we are 6 days from the first day of Summer - June 1st, it is pathetic. According to our annual gardening diary the plants and the garden as a whole, we are 3-4 weeks behind other years.


Betty Brown Eyes

Hi Bigolob, I am growing 2 types of tomatoes, one is called Rosabunda ( a plum type ) and another one called Sungold.Both in a growbag in an unheated GH. They are still small, 10 " (inches)and 14" respectively, and at this rate wont get anything until Christmas!

I have Gardener's Delight outside - but also, for the first time, something just called 'Italian Plum' tomato. Should I pinch out the side shoots of the latter or leave to grow as a bush? Anyone happen to know? Thanks

Thanks Betty. I grew Sungold some years ago and found it to have good flavour but a bit on the small size. I now grow a couple of Gardener`s Delight each year, again, for their flavour but I still prefer the mid size Tomato Gourmet for its flavour (eg. the size of a Moneymaker or Shirley although I have always found these 2 varieties utterly tasteless inspite of other growers feelings!).

With the wonderful weather we are having, you do not say which X-mas!!!

Sorry Greengardener 2 I have heard of the variety but not grown it. I suggest you ask at a garden centre or look it up on the internet for the answer re removing side shoots or not.




I have grown Roma and Ferline some in the soil in greenhouse, some in plastic greehouse out side, i also have Shirley, but they are only for greenhouse, they are all2ft tall with 2 trusses.

greengardener2 wrote (see)

I have Gardener's Delight outside - but also, for the first time, something just called 'Italian Plum' tomato. Should I pinch out the side shoots of the latter or leave to grow as a bush? Anyone happen to know? Thanks

Haven't come across "Italian Plum" as the name of a variety. Sounds more like a description. San Marzano and other similiar tomatoes are "plums". What is its growth habit at the moment? Spreading like a bush variety or developing separate leaders with growing tips?

If it's a true "plum" variety it should be doing the latter as an indeterminate variety. You can nip out the side shoots.

I'm getting geared up for hardening mine off in the cold frame, putting in final pots and hoping for the best...

i know about the advantages of burying part of the stem when potting up but I'm not sure whether to bury above the cotyledon leaves? On some of the plants, they've started to drop off or shrivel (some have only got one left), none them look like they're doing much anymore. So, do I remove them, bury them, or just keep them where they're still on the stem?


You can take off the cotyledons, Bf. Once you've got developed foliage the cotyledons have done their job. They provide the nourishment till the real leaves come along.

The deeper you bury the plants the better. All of the stem that's underground will turn into root structure. I take off all wee branches and foliage up to the canopy - the very top cluster of wee branches and foliage. Then I plant so that the canopy is virtually sitting on top of the soil. It will be off the soil within two or three days as the plant starts to grow.

Bury the stems except on grafted tomatoes.  Keep the graft above the soil level


Good point, Verdun. Forgot about grafteds.


When I planted mine out yesterday I only buried the stem about 4cm; I was being cautious. A neighbour gave the toms to me; he learnt to grow them about 50 years ago from an old Italian guy near London; he had never heard of burying the stems and thought they might rot. I am always impressed by this neighbour's toms; they stand like sentries about 6' high and produce masses of tomatoes. Mine look like the aftermath of a good party, sprawling all over the place

Forgiven Italophile.

Enjoy your info on tomatoes.  Sprayed with milk this morn.  Supposed to be good for preventing possible deficiencies ....?  

I intend to foliar feed tomatoes this summer.....seaweed, tomorite and milk dilute.   What do think?  


Verdun, sorry, but I never foliar feed tomatoes. Damp/wet leaves are an invitation to fungal problems. I know people do foliar feed in the mornings to let the sun dry the leaves but I wouldn't. Dry leaves and as much air circulation as possible are about the only natural aids against fungal problems.

Haven't heard of milk preventing deficiencies. Some claim milk is a guard against fungal problems. I've seen it argued that milk changes the pH of the surface of the leaf making it less comfortable for the fungal spores. But there's no scientific evidence, purely anecdotal.

artjak, toms will certainly grow without their stems being buried at planting time. The benefit of burying is the extra root structure. The stronger and more extensive the root system, the healthier the plant.


Full fat or skimmed Verd? Does it make them bigger if you use Gold Top 

Mine have just started producing little fruits so I'm keeping them indoors where they'r esafe. The little bargain ones can go outside once I've got something to put them in.

Do you find foliar feed better than doing it the conventional way Verd?



Italophile, thank you.

Hiya Fairygirl.  Good day?  Dont usually foliar feed actually.  Been receiving newsletters about tomato growing and takIng advice that way.

Italophile, im aware of needing to keep leaves dry, ESP to keep blight away, and I've always fed soil in the past.  

I generally get good toms but want to achieve large crops this year without Tom diseases so looking into "systems" of growing.

My main reservation about foliar feed is getting it onto tomato fruits so may rethink this

Thanks all. Here's a progress report on mine if you're interested. Well, this is half of them! There's a sunnier windowsill in another room I'm rotating these with, but here gets plenty around midday.


Italophile, re your helpful post, do you remove those lower branches or bury them? Presume the former? And I should be fairly ruthless in stripping them? 



Verdun, decent soil, etc, aside, weather's really the key to a good crop. Temps from low 20sC upwards are the go. And don't pamper them. They thrive on controlled neglect.

The common fungal diseases - Early Blight, SLS, etc - don't really impact on either the quality or quantity of fruit providing sensible housekeeping is practised. Nip off the diseased leaves at the earliest opportunity, etc. With reasonale care, these common fungal problems rarely kill a plant.

Cripes, Bf, you've got a forest there! They look desperately in need of sun, too. You'd be hard pressed to dig holes deep enough to bury them down to the canopies. I'd aim for burying down to half way. Nip off the wee branches with sharp scissors, dig deeply and plant.

Hasn't made me very popular with mrs bf...  

They're definitely under-sunned, I agree. I've got a decent south facing windowsill in another bedroom which has got some other plants on it and I'm trying to rotate them. The problem has been the bloomin' weather! Yesterday was the first sunny day in our part of the world for ages. Clearly they'd get more outside - but temps got down to low single figures by night the other day, on Friday daytime temp didn't get above 10C!

So, have been working on the basis that I hold out for better weather and keep them inside for longer. Avidly watching the weather forecasts and they suggest from mid-week things could finally start to approach summer conditions... I think I'll definitely for for it this week.