Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Blind Tomato Plants

 Over a number of years I have noticed an occasional problem with some tomato plants.  Every now and then they develop 3 or 4 leaves normally and then lose their growing point. There is no lead shoot to grow upwards.  This phenomenon is known as coming up BLIND.  It is still not known for sure what causes these blind tomato plants, there has been a little bit of research here. 
 Some of the research suggests that environmental factors are to blame, this might be lack of watering, temperature or being pot bound.  There is also certainly a genetic factor which determines which varieties are more prone to this problem.  I have certainly found this to be the case,  I have at least 6 plants which have suffered this blindness, all of which are a beefsteak variety called Quebec.  My own seed saved from a Canadian variety.  These genetic problems are also more common in beefsteak varieties. The 'determinate' or bush varieties are also more prone than the 'inteterminate' or cordon varieties.
 One possible solution is to look out for these side shoots and if the plant comes up blind, then allow any side shoots developing to grow.
 This 'indeterminate' variety here is Sungold. You can see that I have pinched out the side shoots and the normal, healthy growing point here is fine.
So this side shoot could be allowed to grow up on one of my blind plants.  I suspect many of you out there have also experienced these 'blind' plants?


At 9:57 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

If you cut out the sideshoots you can root them in water or compost, so you could make a new plant to replace the blind one. I have not had any that are truly blind, but sometimes I get one whose growing-point splits into a Y shape, making it impossible to tell which is the main shoot.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Kelli said...

I've never heard of blind tomato plants. Your plants look well on and hope you get a good crop. I've decided not to grow tomatoes this year as mine flopped in flavour last year.


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