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I hope you can help. We have 4 tomato plants in the vegetable garden and although they are well laden with fruit none of the tomatoes have gone red yet. We have two plants in pots on the deck and we have been picking tomatoes off them for 3 weeks now. The vegetable garden get good sun, is well watered and has good drainage.

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Hi Susan

Your tomatoes will ripen if they are getting 6 hours of good middle of the day sun each day – they will just be taking longer. The pots on the deck will have their own microclimate and will be warmer with the surface area of soil heating up faster in a raised compact area like a planter pot. You may find your pots on the deck are in more sunshine hours each day and even reflective heat off a house wall or fence can increase the temperature and light exposure enough to make the fruit ripen sooner. Even the deck itself will be helping with this process.

We have a long hot summer to go so I’m sure in the coming weeks you will be enjoying your harvest.

Happy gardening

Maria – Palmers national garden consultant

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