Vegetables and Fruit forum: My Roma tomatoes are small but fruiting already

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Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Jun 25, 2016 6:52 AM CST
Hello! So I have 36 Mariana Roma tomato plants in the garden, transplanted from 2" plants. They are all about 8" high, and a few have fruits on them already, some an inch or two long already. These plants seem very small to be producing fruit, should I be picking off the blossoms until the plants are bigger and sturdier? I also have a red pepper plant doing the same thing. It's 10" tall and has 5 tiny peppers on it already. When I planted the tomatoes, I added a scoop of coffee grounds and crushed eggshells, and I fertilized them after about 2 weeks in the garden. Thanks for any help you can give me!
Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 25, 2016 9:36 AM CST
Hi Mizshelli, and welcome to garden.org. We need more information please, and a picture of the plants would be a great help also.

Please fill in your personal profile with your location so we will know something about your weather and climate. (just a zone doesn't cut it, it only tells us how cold it gets in your average winter, not how hot it is now, or humidity, altitude etc.) Your personal profile is found by clicking on the little person icon in the blue sidebar, upper left corner of the page.

You're right, those plants are much too small to be bearing fruit just yet. Sometimes plants under stress will produce fruit too soon like that, then die off.

Pictures! We need pictures!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Jun 27, 2016 8:14 AM CST
Hi, here are a couple of pictures of the plants. The Roma plants (about half of them) all have fruits on them already at varying stages of growth. They are all between 8"-10" tall. The pepper plant is about 12". I live in zone 6, and it's been very hot and humid here with little to no rain since May, so I've been watering the plants every 2-3 days in the mornings. What should I do?
Thumb of 2016-06-27/Mizshelli/6e2399
Thumb of 2016-06-27/Mizshelli/fef4f0

Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 27, 2016 8:33 AM CST
In hot weather, tomatoes should be watered deeply every day, Shelli. You really can't overwater them. They are demanding, hungry fast growers. They also need a good dose of timed release pelleted fertilizer, top dressed under the straw to get to the roots quickly and last through the growing season. A douse of soluble fert to jump start them growing would be a good idea, right away, too.

Those tomato plants should be 3ft. tall and 2ft. wide by now. You can get them growing, but having fruits on them already, they are showing their stress.

The pepper plant looks fine, but could certainly benefit from a lot more water and some fert, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Jun 27, 2016 9:44 AM CST
I actually watered them really well on a daily basis until last week, the Roma's have only been in the garden for about 3 weeks now. I bought them from the farm market down the street when they were about maybe 4" tall, not 2". They all have fertilizer on them under the straw too, including the peppers. I thought maybe the fertilizing was TOO good and that's why they produced tomatoes so early. Should I pick off the flowers and new fruit until the plants are bigger? My regular tomato plants (Better Boy and Big Beef) are about 2 1/2 feet tall now and just starting to flower, but they are much bushier than the Roma. I've never grown Roma before so I just don't know the growing habits. Please advise, and thank you!
Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 27, 2016 10:16 AM CST
Don't know what more to tell you, except that you definitely need to water every day unless it rains - not just a sprinkle, either. Deep watering or heavy rain. Tomatoes have roots that go downwards a long way. If you're just wetting the surface, they're not getting enough.

I would definitely try a boost of soluble fert, something like fish emulsion is good or a specific soluble fert for tomatoes. I've also been using alfalfa pellets as an amendment on all my plants for a while. You can buy a 50lb. bag at the feed store for about $20. Anything that needs a shot, I make alfalfa porridge by putting a couple of cups of pellets in my watering can (I have one without a strainer on the spout) let it sit for a couple of hours, stir it up and pour it on the plants.

Last year we also had a bed at our school garden that we had filled with some really lousy topsoil. The plants were not growing well or looking healthy, but we had two bags of worm castings donated to us, and I spread half a bag around those plants and watered it in. Boy, did they take off!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Jun 27, 2016 10:59 AM CST
Thank you, I will add another dose of fertilizer and keep watering good every day. Should I pick the tomatoes and blossoms off or leave them on?
Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jun 27, 2016 11:03 AM CST
The plants should be deep watered to encourage roots to go deep not shallow. I think they will start to grow now that you have given them some fertilizer.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jun 27, 2016 11:11 AM CST
Welcome! It's several years since I've grown Roma type tomatoes but my recollection is that the plants were relatively short. Looking at the pics below, check out the link, Roma appears to fruit low down on the plant. Your plant looks healthy, my inclination would be to let the fruits and flowers stay, but I've submitted a request for your question to be moved to the fruits and veggies forum so you can get some more opinions.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=roma+tomato+plants&client=saf...
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jun 27, 2016 11:27 AM CST
Yes, sorry meant to say also that I think the fruits and flowers can probably stay. Can't overstate the importance of deep watering, as Rita says they need the roots to go down deep. You really can't overwater a tomato plant in the summer, unless you're in the Pac. Northwest that is.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Jun 27, 2016 11:52 AM CST
[quote="sooby"] Welcome! It's several years since I've grown Roma type tomatoes but my recollection is that the plants were relatively short. Looking at the pics below, check out the link, Roma appears to fruit low down on the plant. Your plant looks healthy, my inclination would be to let the fruits and flowers stay, but I've submitted a request for your question to be moved to the fruits and veggies forum so you can get some more opinions.

]https://www.google.ca/search?q=roma+tomato+plants&client=saf...

I should have added that I don't think it would harm anything to leave the fruits.

Romas are Determinate so they flower and fruit relatively quickly.

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