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Thread: Indoor tomatoes won't make tomatoes

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Indoor tomatoes won't make tomatoes

    I started a couple unknown type tomatoes outside this summer and they just kept getting taller. Now they are in the living room. They are currently 8 feet tall, they occasionally get little flowers but refuse to make any tomatoes. I shake them occasionally to help pollinate them, plus there is a ceiling fan nearby....

    What gives?
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    turn off the lights and cover them in black plastic 8-10 hours a day... see if they bud then..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Try using a small paint brush on the pollen. I assume that you are having more than one of the plants in bloom at the same time. Cross the pollen from one to the other.

    Shake their lives up, let em get really dry and then flood them.

    Then again, my maters were nothing to brag about this year. New greenhouse is almost done.
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I assume that you are having more than one of the plants in bloom at the same time.
    Yeap, both plants have 15 or 20 flower buds at any one time. They are now tangled together as they are climbing up the wall and window frame.
    I will try the brush idea.
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  6. #6
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    Wife uses Q tips. Pollenating is one thing but blossom drop is another. That's a nutrient problem. Not much light now either unless you're using high output grow lights. This is the time to be starting new indoor tomatoes. By the time they get going the days will be getting longer. They like that.

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    Well its that time of the year
    Just looking on the net at stokes , Burpees and johnnys
    Burpees has one called Big Mamam.s I love makeing salsas just looking for a bigger one to make salsas with
    I have been useing Romas
    Anyone tryed them? Or does some one have a good one to salsas with? The Greenhouse is only so big
    Thanlks
    JB in Wasilla

  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I tried using a soft little paint brush to pollinate them and I cut off about 4 feet of the towering top parts. All that did is make the plants look like they are now dying off.
    They are growing in our big bay window, so they get sunlight for a few hours a day and I have a couple of those blue flood lights in the light fixture above their location. No fancy lights. I think the wood stove being 10 feet away really helps. Well at least until now...
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    I think bullbuster has it down. December 14th.jpgI just took this picture today.

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    I recall reading something about this not too long ago (lack of successful fruiting), and can't recall what the article said, but think it may have indicated there was often an environmental issue at play when this occurred; nutrients? Soil ph?

    Anyway, yes, in the event of too little natural air movement, or too few flowers for natural selection-type pollenation, a Q-tip has always worked for us, though it's typically been a tool we've used in the greenhouse or with various 'up-tight' squash, melons, etc.

    If you try smoking it, let us know how that works out... ;^>)

    As far as good tomatoes for salsa are concerned, I'm biased (in many regards). I used to prefer the short, squat 'Starfire' tomatoes (but they ceased commercially producing seeds for them, and, not seeing that development coming down the pike, I failed to preserve my own seeds. Oh well....). I was typically able to keep them less than 24" in height, quite bushy, and get a BUNCH of fruit from them. They had a nice mix of acid and sugar, and were medium-sized, averaging 3" or so in diameter, so you didn't feel overwhelmed with them like one might with a big beefsteak 'mater.

    These days, in absence of the starfires, I tend to use the 'Oregon Spring' hybrid. They're similar in many of the attributes listed above with the 'Starfires.' A good all-around 'mater. Both acidic and sweet, full flavored, moderately quick to ripen under correct conditions, good weight per 'mater, and pretty good to awesome production rates per plant. Give 'em a whirl, if you're so inclined. Compact, but productive and tasty.

    We also made both salsa and tomato sauce with some of our yellow cherry 'maters this year. I have to say that the yellow color put me off initially, but if you've got a bunch of 'maters that are still ripening in boxes after the fall harvest, and you're looking for a method by which to process them/use them, not have them go to waste, and get them the heck offa' the kitchen counter and other premium working and cooking areas, then salsa and sauce are two good methods of achieving that.

    The Gold Nugget cherry toms are good producers for me, whether in the greenhouse (currently under re-construction) or in raised beds without the advantage of a hot house. And they've got a very sweet flavor, as well, ripening to a full orange-ish color when fully ripened on the vine. Pretty productive as cherry tomatoes go, too.

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    My mom down in Kenai still has tomatos coming on her plant my the window, little orange ones..taste great!

  12. #12

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    Could be the variety, could be a "bull" tomato, could be too much water or it could be too much nitrogen. I've heard excess N can cause huge plants, lots of foliage and few flowers, but I've never run into it even in the greenhouse.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCountryWood View Post
    Could be the variety, could be a "bull" tomato, could be too much water or it could be too much nitrogen. I've heard excess N can cause huge plants, lots of foliage and few flowers, but I've never run into it even in the greenhouse.
    A guy here in wasilla uses his reindeer poop and has 12-14 foot tall tomato plants I have never in my life see them grow like that they are unreal
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    I used a vibrating toothbrush on all my tomato plants last summer with very good success. Turn the toothbrush on and hold it against the flowers. You should see a little puff of pollen. Some plants produced a small stream of pollen. Tomato flowers are self fertile. They drop pollen best in the afternoon after the first day they open. I noticed the best pollen from flowers between 12 and 4 in the afternoon. I tried shaking the plants one year and had much less success. I also tried flicking the blossoms and they wound up being flicked off the plants. Tomatoes will take a lot of abuse and still produce fruit - my dad just neglects his in the shade and he will still have little green fruits at the end of the season and an occasional ripe one.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Well, I trimmed them back and they almost died. Now the bottoms are putting out new branches and leaves but no flowers.
    I will just keep them alive until we start to get more sun thru the bay window.
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    I'm still of the belief that you had gay 'maters...

  17. #17
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    I used my electric hair clippers. I just held them on the vine until the vibration made the flowers have their jollies...
    Now I have all sorts of nice tomatoes...
    Thanks loads.
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