Tomato height??

+9
Answered
It looks like my tomatoes are reaching for the sky... how tall is tall enough? Can I chop them off at about six or seven feet without hurting them?
q tomato plant height, gardening, homesteading, Container tomatoes
Container tomatoes
  6 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jun 07, 2015
    You should "top" them now. Ours, in buckets like yours, are at 6 feet. I topped them so they will bush out and devote their energy to producing tomatoes. Look for "suckers," which are the tiny little leafy branches at the crotch of the main leafy limbs. You don't need the suckers because they, too, will sap the main plant's energy. Keep an eye on them and keep them watered, too. As they get larger they require more moisture. The stalks/trunks alone take more water than you might understand. The leaves also need water and, most importantly of all, the tomatoes forming need moisture. So you can see the importance of keeping them watered. Three weeks ago our tomato plants were only about 12 to 18 inches tall and, as I already noted, are now at a full 6 feet. Pretty impressive for such a brief period of time. On average, I give them plant food once per week. Didn't last week because it seemed as though we were in the middle of a monsoon, which was good in a way...at least there was lots of water. If your tomatoes are cherry or grape tomatoes, you will discover that you may have more than you would ever imagine. In that case, it's time to look for recipes for canned green cherry tomatoes or recipes for cherry tomato appetizers, such as this: http://www.food.com/recipe/tumbled-tomatoes-with-mediterranean-herbs-351981. These little gems are way too delicious and we almost always have a plate of them in the refrigerator during tomato season. Enjoy your fruits of your labors.

    • See 3 previous
    • Lois Martin Lois Martin on Jun 08, 2015
      @Swan Road Designs After years of struggling with soil issues, fairly heavy clay with a pH of 7.6, I'm finally taking the necessary steps to amend my soil so I can hopefully avoid the problems of the past with tomatoes and everything else I've been growing. I've never tried using buckets because I have more than enough room to grow stuff, but buckets would make it easier to have the right soil in the first place. Of course, living in Montana, growing a garden can be a lesson in futility as we never how long we'll have between frosts, again buckets would be nice so I could put them indoors when it freezes. Maybe next year.

  • Sharonatkins Sharonatkins on Jun 07, 2015
    I agree with Swan Road Designs. I do, however, use six (6) ft tall cages with five (5) inch "holes" (fencing material) in a three feet diameter around the plant. Usually, the plant will top out, get heavy with fruit and fall back onto the cage which allows more production and is easier to harvest. Either way works.

  • Penny Balanky Penny Balanky on Jun 08, 2015
    trim the tops and lay them down on the ground with just a little soil on top and they may sprout more plants for ya..happy gardening!!

  • Jan Jan on Jun 08, 2015
    It is actually good for your tomato plant and will put more energy into the fruit if you remove some of the foliage. I always top mine end of August to ripen up the fruit before first frost.

  • Rivelle Rogue Rivelle Rogue on Jun 08, 2015
    The reason they are growing so tall is that your porch does not get enough strong sunlight. I see some big trees in your yard. There is not much you can do about that, but I do top off the plant so some side shoots will grow. Give liquid fertilizer once a month.

    • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Jun 11, 2015
      So if there's not enough sunshine how will the side shoots benefit..will they just grow leggy too?

  • Rivelle Rogue Rivelle Rogue on Jun 11, 2015
    You want to encourage bushiness. If they get too tall, the stems will not be able to hold the weight of the fruit.

    • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Jun 11, 2015
      oh I get it ok well I did top them all off and I put all of those tops in water hoping to root them..might as well get something out of the deal also I heard that if they are determinate tomatoes that I shouldn't mess with the top one third of the plant is that true?