I have heard of gardeners who manage to harvest their first ripe tomato by the Fourth of July. All I can say is these folks must have optimal conditions and superb techniques to achieve this feat. Either that or they’re lying.
I’m happy if any of my plants have visible tomatoes by the beginning of July.
My plants spend most of June just growing to the maximum size their pots allow. I encourage this by making sure they never dry out. I also remove any unwanted side-shoots that appear in the leaf axils. This gets tricky once the plants are a foot or two in height, because the stems inevitably bend a bit. A couple of mine managed to do some sneaky branching.
At some point the plants start blooming.
No one grows tomatoes for their flowers, but viewed closely, they are bright and cheery. Their purpose is to turn…
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