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Growing Tomatoes

Category Growing Food


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 22, 2012

I have large green tomatoes on the vine, planted from pots. How can I tell when they are ripe or will they turn red? I am a beginning gardener.


By Frank W from Anaheim, CA


July 23, 20120 found this helpful

When they are bright red - they are ripe! (But don't fail to look up great recipes for fried green tomatoes if some fall off the vine or you pick a few too early). Pluck and enjoy!

Good luck with your new gardening venture. You'll go through valleys and mountains for several seasons of learning curves, but you will never be disappointed with a great harvest. :) Just keep asking questions if you don't know the answers! Good luck and great eats!

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June 2, 2012

Something is wrong with my newly planted tomato plant. I planted them in Miracle Gro potting mix. The edges of the leaves are turning brown and the leaves are curling up. The center of leaves are still green. I need help fast. What is wrong and how to fix?


By Bonnie from Eastpoint, FL


June 13, 20120 found this helpful

Tomato leaves rarely just stay bright green all the time. They will have some leaves that curl up and turn brown. Mine are doing that right now and are producing tomatoes as fast as I can pick them. Hope your plants are still alive, that you did not "fear the worst" and stop watering them.

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November 19, 2010

When is the best time to plant tomatoes?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By ANTHONY from Riverside, CA


November 20, 20100 found this helpful

Here is a link to a planting chart for zone 9:

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August 24, 2010

I'm having so much trouble growing tomatoes. Just when the plant is bearing lots of them, it seems to shrivel up like it's not getting enough water and the leaves turn yellow then black. The tomatoes are smaller in size, split open and rot on the vine.


This is the second year the same thing occurred. What is going on?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Marie from Hampton, TN


August 30, 20100 found this helpful

Get a package of Epsom salts at the local Walmart, drugstore, grocery, farm and home. It is great for the tomatoes. When they start blossoming they are short of the magnesium sulfate and this is the easy way to do it. Follow instructions on package or go to Google for gardening with Epsom salts. This ends the blossom end rot as well.
Also, when planting your tomatoes, cut away the bottom 10 inches of leaving when they get growing about 2 feet. This makes the upper healthy, gets air to the bottom and also keeps slugs/snails away.

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Is it ever possible to grow tomatoes inside your home? Has anyone done this? What were the results, problems, etc?


By Selah (Guest Post)
October 2, 20080 found this helpful

I start my 'inside' tomatoes late in the season, about a month ago, and just brought it inside tonight. It's about three feet tall or more and blossoming. I will have to pollinate it myself with a paint brush. I have a large 'shop' light over my long dresser for the light which I leave on at least 14 hours.


I just started doing 'indoor' gardening last year but it's a lot of fun and I enjoy pampering my plants. I also have two dwarf lemon trees with fruit, an olive tree and an avocado tree inside in pots! [Pix below] I also have a greenhouse outside.

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March 13, 2007

Why are the tomatoes I am growing under lights so gangly and have so little fruit?


March 13, 20070 found this helpful

My guess is that the lights are either not strong enough, or placed too high above the plants, or both. (They should be as close as they can be without burning the plants--and moved up as the plant grows.) I don't know the exact numbers, I suspect a little online searching can get you the wattage you need, as well as the distance they should be from the plants.


As for no fruit--unless you have pet bees, they may need a little help pollinating! Use a clean small paintbrush to collect some pollen from the blossoms and move it around inside the blossom. I also know nighttime temps. must be above 65 for fruit to set, so if the room they're in gets colder than that at night, you may want to move them.

Good luck; winter tomoatoes would be nice! Maybe someone who knows more will add more!

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October 10, 2012

My tomatoes are producing well, but a lot of the smaller vines coming off the main stems seem to be drying up and dying where they come off the larger vine. I have been pruning them away, but it just continues.

I feed them Miracle Gro Tomato plant food every 2 weeks and I have no problem with the blossoms setting and growing just the smaller stems drying up and turning brown.


I have the tomato plants growing in oak barrel halves and used potting soil to grow them in.

By Debbie R

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July 16, 2012

My husband brought home a healthy plant. After about 2 or 3 weeks there were small black bugs. Which I thought was from the heat. I rinsed the plant with treatment, those stems that had yellow flowers dyed. So, it looks very healthy, yet every time a flower blooms the stem holding (small flower stem) turns yellow and dies. I just can't get any tomatoes. All leaves look healthy, never experienced anything like it. Help us please.

By Tracy from Manchester, PA

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May 20, 2012

Can tomatoes be planted next to blueberries?


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April 9, 2010

I just planted a few Yellow Pear tomato plants and don't know how much water to give them. How often, how much, and when do I need to fertilize them? Thanks.

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Carole Lyn from Cuero, TX

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

These are BetterBoy tomatoes being grown in 5 gal. buckets. Silly me, after pulling all the ripe ones, I think of taking a picture. There are tomatoes at 5 ft., 6 ft., 7 ft., and 8 ft. At 9 and 9½ ft. there are blooms.

arrows pointing to ripening green tomatoes

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These tomatoes are growing like gangbusters, but early in the season the vines were weak looking and the tomatoes gnarly. I took them in because the nights are getting cold and because I noticed the skins were showing cracks. They look pretty with my aloe vera by the window.

tomatoes on dish

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October 25, 2007

My husband planted this one tomato plant he received from my sister as a birthday present and it grew to over 9 feet tall and had a span of at least 16 feet. The plant yielded an abundance of tomatoes and there are many on the plant to still ripen.

Man Standing Next to Gigantic Tomato Plant

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These tomatoes are better than candy! There is nothing like a fresh-picked tomato.

hand holding a beefsteak tomato

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June 17, 2017

Use your fingers to quickly and easily remove these suckers before they start to compete with the main plant for nutrients. This is a page about how to remove tomato suckers.

tomato suckers

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February 21, 2018

Even though the tomato is the most popular garden crop in the US, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure the best crop possible. This page contains tips for tomato growers.

Closeup of hands holding 3 tomatoes.

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April 25, 2019

Tomatoes need to be protected from frost and cool temperatures. A plastic tent can help keep them warm and give them a head start on the season. This is a page about making a little hothouse for starting tomatoes.

Make a Little Hothouse for Early Tomatoes - pull down over the top of the pot, tie with a cord with a slip knot so that it can be raised later

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April 22, 2019

Giving young tomato plants a start following this method is easy and allows you to move them into the garden with little stress. This is a page about starting tomatoes in coffee cans.

Starting Tomatoes in Coffee Cans

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June 29, 2018

Tomato plants like evenly moist soil. Many gardeners have good success watering them by using plastic bottles, such as milk or soda, planted near the base of the plant and filled from the top. Watering deeply is good for the plant's root system. This is a page about watering tomato plants.

Watering small tomato plants with a watering can.

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April 19, 2018

This is a page about growing tomatoes in black plastic bags. Tomatoes can be grown in a variety of containers. Hanging them upside down in buckets or bags is one option. Similarly, they can be planted in soil filled bags on the ground.

Cherry tomatoes on the vine.

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June 14, 2017

Tomato suckers are really easy to root and expand your plant count and thus your harvest. This is a page about reroot tomato suckers as new plant.

Reroot Tomato Suckers as New Plant

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June 8, 2017

If your tomato plant is not setting fruit and the blossoms are falling off, there are several possible causes you will need to investigate, including temperature, pests, and soil deficiencies. This is a page about blossoms falling off tomato plants.

Tomato Blossoms

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May 17, 2017

Some gardeners have good luck using buried PVC pipe with holes drilled in it to water their tomatoes. This is a page about watering tomatoes underground with PVC pipe.

A bunch of ripe tomatoes growing outside.

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December 13, 2016

This is a page about starting tomato plants from cuttings. Tomatoes are easy to grow from cuttings if you start early enough in the spring.

Start Tomato Plants from Stems

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August 10, 2016

This is a page about troubleshooting tomato problems. If your tomato harvest is disappointing due to disease, pests, or growing conditions there some easy solutions to your gardening issues.

Tomato plant with late blight and dying leaves

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May 4, 2016

This is a page about growing tomatoes from slices. Try this quick and easy way to plant tomato seeds from your store bought produce.

Growing Tomatoes From Slices

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April 19, 2016

This is a page about growing tomatoes in hanging planters. We have seen the upside down planters for growing tomatoes, but you can also grow them in normal hanging planters.

Hanging planter baskets holding tomato plants with numerous yellow blossoms and green cherry tomatoes against a rustic background.

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