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I was taught to break off the side shoots that grow between the main stem and the outside leaves so that the plants don't get too bushy. Each one of these go onto having flowers and tomatoes.

Side-Shoot.jpg

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19 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I haven't noticed any difference with the grit, as it's ornamental  I suspect it's not rough enough to keep them off, my two dahliettas seem to still be  getting eaten!

:(

 

19 hours ago, Madeleine said:

the usual advice is to cut off the leaves to let  the light get to them.

I didn't know that and they are being quite hidden by leaves now so it would probably be a good idea!

 

 

11 hours ago, poppy said:

I was taught to break off the side shoots that grow between the main stem and the outside leaves so that the plants don't get too bushy. Each one of these go onto having flowers and tomatoes.

Oh, maybe that's what they meant! It is quite bushy 

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14 hours ago, poppy said:

I was taught to break off the side shoots that grow between the main stem and the outside leaves so that the plants don't get too bushy. Each one of these go onto having flowers and tomatoes.

Side-Shoot.jpg

Poppy is correct. The "suckers" should be pruned. Each sucker becomes a main stem. If you do keep some try to keep those that develop near the bottom of the plant. I usually keep about 2 or 3 main stems and then prune all other "suckers" as they develop. Surprisingly the suckers seem to develop almost daily and you  really need to keep pruning them for the best quality tomatoes. Tomato plants can get out of hand rapidly, especially when they get a little larger. This is a good article on growing and pruning tomato plants.

How to Prune Tomatoes (finegardening.com)

Edited by muggle not

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It's a good idea to check the whole length of the tomato plant regularly, they have a sneaky habit of sending out new side shoots at the lower end, when you think you've  already dealt with them all.

Not all tomato plants need to have their side-shoots removed, so read the instructions on labels or seed packets.

 

A couple of years ago I heard/read that if you stick a newly broken-off side shoot into the compost it will root and provide you with a fresh tomato plant.

It works!  Sometimes they wilt, but just keep them moist and wait. I don't think I've had one fail yet, although some are rather slow to get going

 

I buy in my tomato plants, and this is a good way to get extra plants for my money.  Also, my son planted out his tomatoes too soon this year (misled by the early summers we had round here for the last two years) and lost the lot. I was able to supply him with half a dozen well rooted plants from side shoots. Admittedly late, but he should get some fruit - especially if the promised mid-August heatwave materialises.

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18 hours ago, muggle not said:

Each sucker becomes a main stem. If you do keep some try to keep those that develop near the bottom of the plant. I usually keep about 2 or 3 main stems and then prune all other "suckers" as they develop. Surprisingly the suckers seem to develop almost daily and you  really need to keep pruning them for the best quality tomatoes. Tomato plants can get out of hand rapidly, especially when they get a little larger. This is a good article on growing and pruning tomato plants.

How to Prune Tomatoes (finegardening.com)

Thank you! Yes, that is definitely what's happening to my tomato! I've just been tying the extra stems to the post to support them, but I thought it seemed oddly heavy! I will be going out to see if there's any more 'suckers' as soon as I finish work.

 

14 hours ago, megustaleer said:

It's a good idea to check the whole length of the tomato plant regularly, they have a sneaky habit of sending out new side shoots at the lower end, when you think you've  already dealt with them all.

I'll make sure to check the bottom too, thanks!

 

14 hours ago, megustaleer said:

A couple of years ago I heard/read that if you stick a newly broken-off side shoot into the compost it will root and provide you with a fresh tomato plant.

It works!  Sometimes they wilt, but just keep them moist and wait. I don't think I've had one fail yet, although some are rather slow to get going

 

I will definitely try that next year! 

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One of mine self-seeded from last year, I don't know how!  The tomatoes are still stubbornly green, despite the mini heatwave the other week.

 

I did cut off some of the side shoots the other day, as advised by Monty Don on Gardeners World last week.

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Well it’s definitely not the neatest of tomato plants, but I got the first three ripe tomatoes off it today and they taste lovely! :) 

 

I know some people pick them a bit early and let them ripen in a bowl (with bananas?). What does everyone here do? 

3E680F45-B531-4639-A7D2-6B72AEDB8CF9.jpeg
 

E8BCCDD0-6FE4-4D9E-AAB7-72C8CFB3FC46.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Hayley said:

Well it’s definitely not the neatest of tomato plants, but I got the first three ripe tomatoes off it today and they taste lovely! :) 

 

I know some people pick them a bit early and let them ripen in a bowl (with bananas?). What does everyone here do? 

3E680F45-B531-4639-A7D2-6B72AEDB8CF9.jpeg
 

E8BCCDD0-6FE4-4D9E-AAB7-72C8CFB3FC46.jpeg

 

Very nice. Isn't it great to get fresh tomato's. You absolutely should make a tomato sandwich with one of those great looking tomato's. 

 

I let my tomato's ripen on the vine except very late in the season when I pick them early to prevent them cracking.

Edited by muggle not

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 Having your own tomatoes is great, they are so much better flavour and sweetness. 
We have a greenhouse, so we just pick tomatoes when they are ripe. Previously we have picks some when they are still green, and keep them (remove the stalks, as they tend to go mouldy soon in the house) in a plastic container. They can still ripen, without sunshine, in a couple of weeks. Though it is ideally to keep them on the vine in plenty sun. 

Strangely, our tomatoes haven’t had that much sun in the last few weeks, but they are very sweet tasting - and I have no idea why! :wacko:

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Finally picked my first tomato the other day, it's on the hall cupboard at the moment as that's the brightest part of  the house, thanks to the lack of sunlight!  A couple of others are slowly turning orange now, but it's started to rain again.  

 

Yours look delicious, what type are they? Mine are Alicante and Gardeners' Delight.

Edited by Madeleine

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6 hours ago, muggle not said:

Isn't it great to get fresh tomato's. You absolutely should make a tomato sandwich with one of those great looking tomato's. 

It is! I was very excited about it :lol:. And that would have been a good idea but we put salt on them and ate them just after that photo was taken… the next one can be a sandwich! 
 

6 hours ago, muggle not said:

I let my tomato's ripen on the vine except very late in the season when I pick them early to prevent them cracking.

So they will crack if they get too cold?

 

4 hours ago, Marie H said:

We have a greenhouse, so we just pick tomatoes when they are ripe. Previously we have picks some when they are still green, and keep them (remove the stalks, as they tend to go mouldy soon in the house) in a plastic container. They can still ripen, without sunshine, in a couple of weeks. Though it is ideally to keep them on the vine in plenty sun. 

Thank you, I wouldn’t have thought about the stalks. I suppose it’s weighing the risk of them being damaged by the weather or eaten by slugs etc when they’re in the ground isn’t it. I’ll try just leaving them for a while longer and see how they go! I did notice a couple of small slugs on the leaves today though.

 

4 hours ago, Marie H said:

Strangely, our tomatoes haven’t had that much sun in the last few weeks, but they are very sweet tasting - and I have no idea why! :wacko:

You must just have a magic touch :lol:

 

3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

A couple of others are slowly turning orange now, but it's started to rain again.  

It’s been nice and sunny here today, hopefully the nice weather will get to you too soon!

 

3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

 

Yours look delicious, what type are they? Mine are Alicante and Gardeners' Delight.

This sounds really stupid in hindsight but I have no idea, I didn’t think to check! It was a bit of a random purchase when I was getting paint from B&Q. I also regret not remembering exactly what the pepper was because I have no idea when they’re meant to be ready!

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3 hours ago, Hayley said:

It is! I was very excited about it :lol:. And that would have been a good idea but we put salt on them and ate them just after that photo was taken… the next one can be a sandwich! 
 

So they will crack if they get too cold?

 

 

I may have mislead you. They "seem" to crack more near the end of the season but I understand that cracking is caused by a change in weather from dry conditions to extreme water (rain). Some tomato plant varieties are also more prone to cracking than other types. 

My tomato plant variety "Early Girl" currently has no cracking but the other 2 types have cracking.

 

My tomatoes are beautiful in the early to mid part of the season and then they frequently have some cracking in the later season which is probably caused by dry to wet conditions. It is late in the season where I live.

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I had loads of mine split one year, it's due to either too little watering or too much sun, with this country's climate it's difficult to judge!  That was a particularly bad year, since then I've had a couple split but not too many.

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13 hours ago, muggle not said:

They "seem" to crack more near the end of the season but I understand that cracking is caused by a change in weather from dry conditions to extreme water (rain). Some tomato plant varieties are also more prone to cracking than other types. 

 

4 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I had loads of mine split one year, it's due to either too little watering or too much sun, with this country's climate it's difficult to judge!  That was a particularly bad year, since then I've had a couple split but not too many.

Oh! I see. Well yes, we do have unpredictable summer weather here! If we get particularly heavy rain forecast I might just bring the ripest-looking tomatoes in, just in case. 

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A couple more are ripening now, as it's meant to be quite warm for a few days I'll leave them on the bush for now, maybe for another day or so.

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Your tomatoes look great, Hayley :)!

 

I took my first ones off our tomato plant last week, they were sweet and delicious. It's the first time in my new house having a tomato plant (well, we've been living here for a year now, so it's not like I could've done it sooner lol). So far I've been leaving the tomatoes on the plant until I'm eating them, and it's been okay so far (I've had 6 so far in total, I have them in/with a salad (lettuce with other vegetables) or just on their own. My dad had one too and he really liked it as well).

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On 25/08/2021 at 4:47 AM, Athena said:

Your tomatoes look great, Hayley :)!

Thank you!

 

On 25/08/2021 at 4:47 AM, Athena said:

My dad had one too and he really liked it as well).

I saved one for my dad too, he also liked it :lol:

 

We also had our first pepper today! I love being able to pick and eat things straight from the garden - I definitely want to plant more edible things for next year. I just need to work out what will be best for the limited space we have!

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My new obsession is jigsaw puzzles, just bought another one today, I can only cope with 500 pieces though!  

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On 8/24/2021 at 11:47 PM, Athena said:

Your tomatoes look great, Hayley :)!

 

I took my first ones off our tomato plant last week, they were sweet and delicious. It's the first time in my new house having a tomato plant (well, we've been living here for a year now, so it's not like I could've done it sooner lol). So far I've been leaving the tomatoes on the plant until I'm eating them, and it's been okay so far (I've had 6 so far in total, I have them in/with a salad (lettuce with other vegetables) or just on their own. My dad had one too and he really liked it as well).

 

Have you tried a tomato sandwich on buttered bread with a little  mayo?

 

8 minutes ago, Hayley said:

Thank you!

 

I saved one for my dad too, he also liked it :lol:

 

We also had our first pepper today! I love being able to pick and eat things straight from the garden - I definitely want to plant more edible things for next year. I just need to work out what will be best for the limited space we have!

Was it a bell pepper (sweet pepper)  or a jalapeno type. Regardless, fresh vegetables from the garden are wonderful for eating and  it feels good knowing that you grew it.

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9 minutes ago, muggle not said:

Was it a bell pepper (sweet pepper)  or a jalapeno type.

It’s not as big as a bell pepper (although maybe they’re different sizes, I’m not sure), but they are sweet peppers. They’re about the size of the palm of my hand. We haven’t tried it yet but it looks lovely!  
 

BAC96260-178E-46C7-B747-108AE9A4483F.jpeg

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51 minutes ago, Madeleine said:

My new obsession is jigsaw puzzles, just bought another one today, I can only cope with 500 pieces though!  

 

We, my father and I, were about to take up jigsaws just before we got locked down and came to the conclusion that we did not have the space to store a part made jigsaw.  And then someone suggested an app for the tablet ........... I can solve one at 168 pieces.

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14 hours ago, Madeleine said:

My new obsession is jigsaw puzzles, just bought another one today, I can only cope with 500 pieces though! 

I haven't done a jigsaw for ages but it's something I think I would like! I had an email from The Works with some really pretty ones for sale recently too. 

 

13 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

We, my father and I, were about to take up jigsaws just before we got locked down and came to the conclusion that we did not have the space to store a part made jigsaw.

That is a big downside of them. I think you can buy a thing that allows you to roll up a partially finished jigsaw, but I don't know how well that works. It would be very disappointing if you spent ages making progress on one and it broke when you rolled it up!

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The Works have a really good selection, either 500 or 1000 pieces.  yes you can buy those things that you roll them in, but it does sound a bit risky as to whether the puzzle will stay intact!

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3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

The Works have a really good selection, either 500 or 1000 pieces.  yes you can buy those things that you roll them in, but it does sound a bit risky as to whether the puzzle will stay intact!


My father just could not get his head around rolling a puzzle up and I couldn't really see how it worked either.

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