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Why do my tomato plants grow tall without producing flowers?

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have a south facing cold greenhouse, however it does have trees to either side. I live in South Oxfordshire.

Over the years I have grown different varieties together in the greenhouse and always grow them from seed in a propagator - usually in normal potting compost. The seeds are started off in my conservatory.

I used to start them off in March/ April to plant out in early May and found the plants grew tall in the propagator and this continued when I planted them out (I use the ring culture method).
The result was the tomatoes grew by more than 2 feet even before the first flowers appeared so the plants were at the greenhouse roof before even 4 trusses were produced.

This year I delayed the planting out until mid June when we had pretty good and warm weather but the situation as been even worse with the plants shot up even more such that I have only two lots of flowers.

My mum had a greenhouse which was very shaded and she never seemed to have this problem. (She grew the plants in grow bags but did buy the plants from a wholesaler)

What am I doing wrong?



Not sure bolting is the word. Bolting usually means flowering and then running to seed, like an onion, which you wouldnt want to bolt.

2 Aug, 2009


Thanks - have amended the question

3 Aug, 2009


One idea is due to lack of light in general so the plants are stretching. This has happened to all mine and the nurseries as they got to around 3 inches, then stretched.
If they have been left in the propagator too long then they will also stretch as it would be very wamr in there.

They should come out of the propagator just as the seed leaves have are fully 'out' and the first true leaves are appearing and then potted up. Im not sure if you do this, but when transplanting seedlings into their pots, bury the stem leaving about one centimeter and the seed leaves above the soil. This allows for a better rooting and a sturdier plant.
Done this too hundreds at work with no problems.

2nd burial is when you plant them out, plant them a few inches, about 3 (but depends on the plants size) below the soil and firm gentle. This allows for the feeding roots to be in the soil and also once again help steady the plants.

3 Aug, 2009


I did that, burying the stem and breaking off the first two limbs to be buried and still no flowers. I placed a picture to show what they look like.

4 Aug, 2016

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