winner of the too-tall-tomato vine contest!!!

Tomatoes
29 Comments

tape measure measuring tomato plants
too tall tomatoes
I was really impressed with The Tiniest Tomato of the Year at May Dreams Gardens and at The Gardeners Anonymous Blog. Wow! I’ve always wanted to win a contest, so I’m entering myself in the Tallest Tomatoes Vines contest and am officially declaring myself the winner! It seems there has never been a contest before for tall tomato vines, but nevertheless, there is one now.

What clued me in to my unusually tall vines was when my neighbor stopped by. He looked over the garden fence and said “What’s with the tomato plants?” I hadn’t noticed how tall they were getting.

So on September 3 (Labor Day) I got out the ladder and measured my tomatoes. I recorded a full 9 feet! 112 inches! If you have tall tomato vines too, please send in your heights. Of course to win this contest, you will need to have measurements recorded on September 3rd. Yes, it’s a rigged contest. But I would still love to hear that others have outrageously tall vines too.

My winning vine is a New Girl tomato plant. I think the trick to growing tall plants is to plant them too close together. I have squeezed 20 plants into a space of about 7 x 5 feet. That’s 1.75 sq ft per plant. I faithfully remove all suckers until the plants are about 5 feet tall. They have very good soil with lots of compost and fertilizer and are watered regularly. The location has sun from about 10:30 am on.

My tomatoes usually continue to grow into October, so this plant may grow another foot or two taller.

(As a footnote, I notice that Wikipedia cites the following tomato information: The heaviest tomato ever was one of 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz), of the cultivar ‘Delicious’, grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986. The largest tomato plant grown was of the cultivar ‘Sungold’ and reached 19.8 m (65 ft) length, grown by Nutriculture Ltd (UK) of Mawdesley, Lancashire, UK, in 2000. These don’t count for my contest, so I still win.)

I think I’ll make a little button for my sidebar to say I have won this esteemed honor.

Solanum lycopersicum
photos of Kathy

29 Comments. Leave new

  • I like your sense of humor, and I agree completely.

    I’m also really impressed with the tomato plant! I think my tallest was around 7-8 ft.

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  • congrats on the award! what an honor! those are really tall tomatoes…

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  • None so tall here. The tallest of mine is yellow pear (cherry var.) … it is almost to the top of my 8 ft. fence, but it is so wide I have given up trying to harvest from most of it. That’s ok, the local squirrel does a pretty good job and has been leaving the other plants alone since I stopped picking from it.
    -S

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  • Congrats! You’ve truly reached the heights of achievement in tomato culture.

    As for largest tomatoe plant, I’m not surprised that a Sungold one that. My sungold plant out muscled the nearby tomatoes and is now smothering my cucumber vine. But I LOVE those sweet little gems….

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  • Yes. “..the heights of achievement..”!!! I love it.

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  • I’m glad to hear that others have tomato plants that are pretty tall too. Mine don’t seem to be way out of line.

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  • I have on a pot a 8 feet tall grape tomatoes, and I’m very proud of it!

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  • I’m impressed that you grew a tomato SOO tall in a pot! You must take really good care of it.

    Everything I put in pots this year has dried up because of neglect.

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  • and you produced 3 tomatoes?

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  • More than 3!! The plants started late, but ended up producing very well. Maybe 15 good sized tomatoes per plant, I would guess? But I’ve never really counted.

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  • my name is jim and i have a cherry tomato vine and iam am amazed it is 11/ 3 tall produces a lot of fruit

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  • Beautiful tomato plants….you mentioned your garden space is very shady. Did all of your tomatoes do well in your own space. I am growing few heirloom variety in my balcony where i only get about 3-4 hours of direct sunlight:-(

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  • If you grow your vines up strings like commercial growers you can easily grow them to 12-15m…it’s all about looping the vine back down to let it start growing up again.

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  • I grew one over 13 feet tall a few years ago, I never have been able to get one that big since, luckily I took some pitures.

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  • Wow! Tall tomatoes!

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  • Nice tomatoes! My tallest “Brandy Boy” topped out at just under 10 feet for my tallest one, and then about 8 1/2, 7 and 6. If I had one more plant, I would have sent in a photo to ATT wireless for them to use in one of their advertisements. Well done.

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  • 10 feet is really impressive! Good growing!

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  • I actually have 10-11 feet of tomatoe plants. They are planted in the back of our condo and ina planter box 13" x 48" x 16" . They get sun only in the morning around 11 am to 1pm california time. My neighbors started to do the same as mine. I am proud of my tomatoes.

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  • hi im nicole!! i love ur tomato plants!! i think its because u grow ur tomatos on the side of the house! i also do that..i have a plant right now thats also 9 feet tall!! here is my e mail! lil_snoppy1@yahoo.com im going to try to take a pic and send it to u with my camara!!

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  • I was on TV in Mid-August with my 10ft tall tomato plants (yellow plum, beefstake, roma and jubilee). All require a ladder to get top fruit. One plant is pushing 12 ft. I use bamboo stakes. Size of fruit is not stunted. Tall staking needed to prevent plant bending.

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  • Actually a Japanese Scientist simulated pre-flood conditions on the earth in a growing chamber, and grew a 30 foot tall tomato tree with 5,000 fruit hehe.

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  • Has anyone used milk to feed there tomatos…? Since they are nothing but calcium anyway I was wondering if it worked for size and overall growth of the vines…? Thanks,Ted Davis,Washington DC.

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  • I also wanted to add that this is a wonderful web site…! Kudos "Skippy" (and your mom…)The radish in the martini is a fantastic idea for color…I would never had thought of it…Thanks…Ted/DC.

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  • Not me on those milk fed tomatoes. Never heard of anyone doing this. You could be the first…

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  • Ted Davis/DC
    July 4, 2010 1:58 AM

    Hello Kathy…Ted here…I used the Carnation Evaporated Milk from the can mixed one can per gallon of water.I gave them a good soaking right when I planted them.As of today they measure in at 6' 3" tall…The largest I have ever grown and it is only July 3'rd.Happy gardening all…

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  • Some of my plants are now roughly 9 feet tall. My trellis only goes to 8 foot, but they're at least a foot taller or more than that currently, and still growing!

    Just using some miracle grow pellets I sprinkled out earlier in the season, as well as some manure and top soil mix, I mixed in. This is my first season of ever growing a garden too! It's amazing what these have done.

    Aaron (Nashville, TN)

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  • Hey Ted, down here in Centreville we use Gatorade instead of milk since everyone in D.C. knows plants need electrolites.

    My German Johnson tomato plant is now at 8ft tall, JUly 11th.

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  • Wow – those are well tended plants! This year mine are only 3 feet tall now 🙁 I just added some Garden Tone. Maybe they want Gatorade and Milk too!

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  • Neato! I had a monster cherry tomato plant grow about 7 feet. then I let the limbs go back down to the ground. Easily 14 feet. does that count? or does it have to be held up in the air?

    Reply

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