Friday, August 24, 2012

The Crowded Stunted Tomatoes of 2012

I suppose this is what happens when your plans are messed up and the tomatoes just keep growing in the original container in one inch rockwool cubes. I've been keeping these twenty-one plants in this container since sometime in May I think and this is what happens to tomato plants that are crowded and fed hydroponics nutrients.
You do get tomatoes of course. Here are three and they are all about 3/4 of an ounce apiece. I've taken a whole five of these guys off the plants and there are more coming of course. Sliced up they actually look pretty good.
But of course they are tiny. You might be interested in what the roots look like. I've been putting nutrient onto the rockwool about once a day. The plants are healthy enough given their crowded conditions but the bottom line is that the tomatoes are very stunted. These were supposed to be three varieties of large tomatoes but the crowding clearly stunts their growth.
I'm going to keep them going. It's interesting just seeing what happens. Hydroponics is always an adventure and it's a great way to explore what happens with plants under various controlled conditions. This started out as a plan to grow big tomatoes but since we're moving it turned into an experiment in crowded conditions. The sliced tomatoes still tasted good with my morning omelet.


Limo Hire said...

Great looking produce! Take my hat off to you.

Ray Schneider said...

Well that's just silly. These are stunted dwarfed tomatoes, but they still tasted good. Considering there were 21 plants I would generally in an NFT system expect to get over 300#s of tomatoes and maybe more. So far I've gotten six and there are about three more coming and they are all an ounce or less.

Still it's fun to see what happens. I'm actually amazed at the roots because they are robust and look like the plant was trying desperately to find more opportunity to reduce the crowding.