Cordon tomatoes - Time to snip the top off and call it a season?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Aldo, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Aldo

    Aldo Super Gardener

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    My cordon tomatoes are doing well, but I am a bit worried that the trusses will not manage to mature, given they are outdoor.
    Shall I snip off the top, and perhaps some of the leaves, so to encourage the plant to develop existing trusses before temperature and sunlight hours drop too much (I am in London) ?
    Also, would it be a good idea to give them some additional fertilizer (molasses) and/or epsom salts?
    At the moment the red ones (aviditas) are approaching 7 feet and keep growing and making flowers. I also let one develop two cordons, which was a silly idea given it made lots of small green fruits which are slow to develop.
    Thanks for any advice!

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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Nice Toms Aldo:dbgrtmb:
       
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      • Aldo

        Aldo Super Gardener

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        Thanks Pete :)
        They are quite tasty, but perhaps a bit slow to ripen up.
        Hopefully, they will manage to mature a bit more over the next weeks.
        Next season I will try and plant them a bit earlier.
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        You have lots of time left Aldo, but only if the weather plays ball.
        I can remember once picking outdoor toms in November, but in recent years blight has been a big problem for me outdoors.
         
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        • CarolineL

          CarolineL Total Gardener

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          Hi @Aldo please could you tell me what the black one in the last photo is? They look great!
           
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          • Aldo

            Aldo Super Gardener

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            Thanks, I will wait then.
            I am crossing my fingers, regarding the early blight.
            On one hand, it is my first year growing tomatoes, the plants are theoretically "blight-resistant" and there are no neighbours growing tomatoes, as far as I know.
            But then, I read that the dreaded pest can travel miles with the wind, so, who knows..
             
          • Aldo

            Aldo Super Gardener

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            Hi Caroline, that variety is called Indigo Rose.
            I understand it was created by experimenting with cross pollination, and that apparently the first tomatoes might have been dark rather than red.
            It is supposedly high in certain kinds of anti-oxidants but there have not been studies actually confirming benefits.
            The fruits are green at the begininning but get dark when exposed to sunlight. If parts do not get much sunlight, they will stay green and then turn normal red when the fruit is ripe. With fully blackened ones it can be hard to determine when they are ripe, but they do actually change colour slightly when that happens.

            It is very pretty, as you say, and it makes for a good talking point with guests :)
            But it is not very productive or vigorous, and very slow ripening. Most of those tomatoes have been sitting there since June and only now a few are finally ripening.

            I got mine from Suttons, grafted, for a fiver, but I think you can also buy seeds:
            Tomato Grafted Indigo Rose (1) P10 at Suttons Seeds
             
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            • Dave W

              Dave W Total Gardener

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              I'd be tempted to stop them now so they swell and ripen. I'm starting to pick our outdoor baby plums when orange and pop them into trays in the GH to ripen in order to avoid the blight that has hit ours over the past three years. I subscribe to a blight warning site and there have been a few warnings over the last few weeks, but no sign of it on my toms yet !
               
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              • Aldo

                Aldo Super Gardener

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                Thanks, I was not aware that there were blight warning sites, I might subscribe to one just in case.
                How does that work?
                Users will report blight cases and if any are reported in your area, you get a warning?
                 
              • Dave W

                Dave W Total Gardener

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                Do an online search for Blightwatch and subscribe as an amateur grower.
                You'll get email alerts when there's a Hutton Period - when temperature and humidity are favourable for the growth of blight.
                 
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                • Aldo

                  Aldo Super Gardener

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                • CarolineL

                  CarolineL Total Gardener

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                  Thanks @Aldo. The only coloured one I have grown is the T&M Chocolate Cherry (I think), because the seed was half priced last year! It's not really chocolate colour but quite productive and a good flavour.
                   
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                  • Aldo

                    Aldo Super Gardener

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                    @CarolineL Thanks, I might give it a go next year, out of curiosity!
                     
                  • JWK

                    JWK Gardener

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                    I've stopped all my outdoor tomato plants now to encourage the exiting small fruit to swell and ripen before the weather turns against us.

                    Inside the greenhouse I'm taking a chance by leaving some plants to continue flowering - there is the chance of a long indian summer which would benefit protected plants inside a glasshouse.
                     
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                    • Aldo

                      Aldo Super Gardener

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                      Thanks John, I will stop mine too then, given they are all outdoors.

                      I do have several l have grown from cuttings, which are still small but about to fruit, so I'll take my chance with those, at least for a few more weeks. They are on a pretty small patch and not too tall, so perhaps I might have enough transparent sheets to make a little tent around them if the weather gets suddendly bad.
                       
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