Tomato plant question

okay, be warned first i have a brown thumb and like zero gardening experience.

i planted a tomato plant like 2 weeks ago, it was on that came in like a peat pot and you just ripped the bottom off and planted the whole thing. to my great surprise, when i got home from housesitting today, it was HUGE and it looks like little buds or something were starting already.

i had to move the tie for the stake because it grew so much, but when doing that, i inadvertently broke the big new blossomey part of the stem right the heck off (trying to undo damp Sugar 'n Cream cotton ;)) like the top part from the main stem and it had two branches off of it… i am heartbroken. will that grow back or is my little plant done for?

Don’t panic Sean, tomatos are great survivors.

Are there any leaves below the break? If so, just keep caring for it. It’ll grow a branch from the point at which the leaf grows from the trunk–the branch will become the new top. In fact, vining (indeterminate) tomatos will grow a branch at every leaf junction–If not staked or grown up a fence or trellis they will become a tangled mass of sprawling vines. (My vines are grown on a 4 1/2’ fence, and the vines often keep growing to the point that they will drape over the back of the fence all the way back to the ground by Fall.)

If the break is below the leaves, it likely will die…but keep caring for it just in case. They’re tough plants.

What variety is it?

Tomatoes tend to be pretty hardy so I would give it a chance. As an aside - personally I never move my ties, just add new ones. Also, you can try rooting the part that broke in some nice sandy soil that you can keep well watered. I have done this several times after the dogs tear through the garden breaking off my tomatoes and peppers as they go.

I just want to point out that we had our first freezing snow. The ground is frozen solid and it was 17 degrees last night.

This is a cruel, cruel question.


also, try to root the part that broke off! Put it in some water, no leaves in there. Just the stem. Change the water every other day or so and watch to see if roots grow off the stem. Then transplant it into soil for 2 plants!

Topping a tomato plant (while not exactly the way it’s supposed to be done :rofl:) won’t kill the plant. It will continue to grow and be more bushy than it would have otherwise. Many people top them on purpose.

The tomato is basically a weed and you know how hard those are to kill.

Yummmm, home grown tomatos!
*runs off to rob BoyForPele’s tomato plants…:teehee:

thanks everyone!!! there are leaves below the break, essentially i just cut off all the beautiful new growth in the last 2 weeks that i was so tickled over :cry:

i didn’t think of trying to root it!!! i may be too late though, i threw it in the nearby garbage in a mini tantrum when it happened, but i will check when i get home.

i was trying so hard too!!! i’ve been pruning new growth to allow for bushing and it was looking SOOOOO nice… meh.

ingrid, it got down to a FRIGID 68 last night, but is supposed to get down to 51 tonight!!! (whips out the woolens :teehee:)

as for the type of tomato, i can’t remember already… i might have stuck the little card in there, but i am not sure, i will check later and get back to you. i know it was some kind of cherry tomato and i got it from home depot. they had a lovely display of all these little plants, veggies, and herbs that came in these peat pots for like $3. i got some chamomile as well and based on those 2 and a couple weeks passing, i can say i’m very pleased with that method so far. it said there would be “hundreds” of tomatoes. :roflhard:

Be on the lookout for tomato worms (seriously). They’re these big, green honkers that will eat your plants in an afternoon. They aren’t actually a worm but a caterpillar, they’re icky!:teehee: You have to pick them off with your bare hands because you can’t spray chemicals on your 'maters. Have fun. :ick:

if i were going to pick off caterpillars (ew), what would i do with them once picked off? i couldn’t possibly kill them, so where could i put them that they might stay away from my plants? i read about a bacteria called Bacilla thuringiensis that you can use that is safe for food plants, but that paralyzes their digestive system and they die of starvation which could take days… not willing to do that either…

it says that the moths these caterpillars turn into can be good for the ecosystem, so i think the best solution for me is to have my tomatos be caterpillar food. :wink: thanks for warning me, though, because i would’ve TOTALLY freaked out.

Sean said:
“ingrid, it got down to a FRIGID 68 last night, but is supposed to get down to 51 tonight!!! (whips out the woolens :teehee:)”

Get out of here!! We just DON’T need to know that right now! Horror!

It’s been raining non-stop for three days and it’s no sooner light than it’s dark. Growing tomatoes in November indeed! Tut! If you get a good crop, please be sure to send us sunshine-starved Brits some.

All the Best

I can’t help you, I didn’t have the heart to kill them, I just flung them into my neighbor’s yard and hoped they’d get lost and not find their way back to my plants. :roflhard: You have to check the plants everyday with my method of fling and recapture. I’ve used that thurigenis stuff on my yard when I had sod web worms. It’s harmless to plants and animals but still kills good buggies. I’m pretty much a natural farmer, my beauty berries are being eaten by the squirrels as I write this and my cannas are being chomped on by a huge lubber grasshopper. I keep flinging him but he’s smart enough to know his way back. Wish he’d take a hint. :teehee:

AHH - tomato worms - there is only one bug that is uglier and I forget it’s name. Tomato worms are partciularly fun when covered in 100’s of white eggs. Wear gloves when you pluck them off (take a moment to check out the chompers) and then fling it into the neighbors yard (mine actually get flung into the woods - but I live in the middle of nowhere)
Best of luck and I fully understand your gardening frustration. Prior to a husband and 2 dogs I had a huge veggie garden and beautiful flower beds.


Ugh! I am preparing myself to go home … and it is freakin’ 20 something degrees … and you may have heard … the part of Wisconsin I live in got about 8" of snow over the weekend.

I don’t know what I would do for 50 degree weather, but it would probably be drastic!

It was 86 here today, we have the AC on and I’m tired of it. It’s not the holiday season when you are wearing shorts and flipflops. Feel free to send some frigid weather our way or at least a little rain. :teehee:

i am SO with you stitchwitch. SUPPOSEDLY it will be 51 tonight, at least i can turn the A/C off and open the windows… we had that tiny little cold snap, which had me all excited to finish a sweater and then it got hot again! ARGH! (and now no finished sweater! :teehee:)

and i did look at the stick thingie, they are “Sweet 100 Hybrid Tomatoes” Here is the blip from the website

bonnie plants is the one i was babbling about in the peat pots. looks like kind of a fun site for gardening.

i am trying to envision my begloved hand picking and flinging caterpillars, and at this point, i am still speculating my tomato plant will become a happy home for wayward bugs. :slight_smile:

We had issues with hornworms on our tomatoes this year. I didn’t realize they were there until I saw a bird swoop down and grab one. And then I realized that a good chunk of the plant was missing. I cut off each piece that they were on (wasn’t much left) and put them out for the birds. I figured it would be a nice snack for them.

Got chickens? They’ll take care of it for you, and come back for seconds! Ducks too. Had a cat once that just loved the way june bugs crunched in her teeth, she’d probably have loved the way hornworms goosh when they’re chomped on. Come to think of it, a dog just might go for it…

If you want to grow butterflies, don’t sacrifice your tomato…grow dill and fennel–swallowtail butterflies in this area LOVE them.

my cat doesn’t even take care of the occasional bug or lizard in the apartment, unfortunately. :teehee: