cherry tomato.wmv

cherry tomato.wmv

This is how a cherry tomato plant should look, full of tomatoes!!!!
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Question by Melody: Know anything about tomato plants?
So I bought a tomato plant and I’ve had it for a few weeks now. It’s pretty healthy and it keeps growing bigger, but the thing is I live in northern California (San Francisco) where it’s cold and foggy all the time. I know tomatoes grow best in hot conditions. I leave my plant outside on my balcony since it’s the only place I have for it (I live in a studio so I don’t have an actual garden). Should I bring the plant indoors since it’s cold outside?

Also, should I be adding fertilizer? This is my first time gardening (or trying my hand at it).

Best answer:

Answer by Sfc Army Dog
As long as it gets plenty of sun daily, it should be fine. Feed it once a week with a good liquid fertalizer such as Miracle grow and you should be happy with a lot of tomatoes. Water daily.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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  1. The trouble with having them inside is that you can’t just set them by the window- you will have to give them extra light, and that might be too much trouble for a beginner.

    I grew tomatoes in Berkeley, and though it is not as cold and foggy there, we did have our share of summer fog, and you might get something out of my experience.

    My cherry tomato plants grew on a trellis against a south-facing masonry wall, and they did splendidly. This kind of wall absorbs and stores heat. If you do not have such conditions, you may want to make a mini-greenhouse for it to collect the heat. Lean a square frame covered with plastic against wall and grow plant behind it. Leave at least one end of the triangle open for ventilation during the day. If you have a bush-type tomato (a compact determinate grower, rather than the indeterminate vining ones that I grew) then you might be able to make some type of frame around it from a cylinder of wire fencing or something, and drape plastic over it. Just make sure the frame has big enough spaces so you can put your hand through to pick the fruits!

    Tomatoes would love some fertilizer, and plenty of water, but not waterlogged. Since you’re a beginner, just buy any fertilizer for fruits and veggies, and follow the package directions. You might want to put it in a larger pot if you haven’t yet. A 3 to 5-gallon pot would be marvelous if you can.

    If you are even a bit conscientious, tomatoes are hard to completely ruin, so relax and enjoy them. And try growing some basil! It will thrive under the same conditions that you set up for your tomatoes, and it is very tolerant of a beginner’s care.

  2. It is not that cold. The strongest predictor of good growth is the amount of sun not the temperature. They grow good tomatoes on the coast in Washington state. If you mixed good compost into the pot before planting you don’t need much fertilizer. If you give it too much you get more leaves not more tomatoes. Here I grow tomatoes until the plants freeze at 32 degrees so leave it outside and pick the spot with the most hours of sun.

  3. Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS!! on growing your own plants. Tomatoes will grow in cool areas, as well as hot, and the one thing you need to be careful with is the amount of water you apply. Don’t drown it or root rot will occur. Yes take it inside when the outside air is cold, e.g. frost, snow, high winds. A little liquid feriliser will help but generally tomatoes survive pretty much on their own.
    Good luck.

  4. Temps below 50 or even 55 are a bit cool for tomatoes. They won’t set fruit below 60-65 even. After all they are tropical. Bringing them indoors might be warmer but you’ve lost the sun or brightness. They need that more. So leave them out unless night temps threaten to fall below 50. .

  5. Keep it inside and away from the winter chills and it will grow for years.

  6. You’ve got some pretty good answers here. Water properly-don’t overdo; avoid frost/snow, which is not a concern now in CA, etc, these are all good.
    Just one more thing to add. It would be very convenient to use liquid fertilizer since you live in a studio. Applying fertilizers in forms of pellets are fine. It’s just messy to me unless you have a backyard to play with it. Liquid fertilizers can be mixed with water and be sprayed onto the leaves. They can be absorbed much faster than the ones applied to the soil.
    Watch out for the NPK ratio in the fertilizer. If you want it to produce fruit for you, don’t give it too much N. Choose the ones that have all three in a balanced ratio(P & K can be a bit higher than N).

  7. It wouldn’t hurt it to bring it inside if it’s going to be particularly cool out. As to fertilizer, get Miracle Gro FOR TOMATOES, and mix up just enough to put 1 cup on the plant–I have 96 tomato plants (my husband thinks “garden” means “truck farm”) and they’re going absolutely nuts with it–my husband refers to it as Viagra for tomatoes.

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