Intrigued by the flowering and fruit development (and general impatience while waiting for the fruit to start to form), our Gardening Angels have been keeping an eye on our Costoluto Fiorentino tomatoes which are growing in our Vivigrow and Quadgrow planters.
The seeds were sown into a Vitopod Heated Propagator during the first week of January, and planted up towards the end of March. Here are a couple of pictures outlining the different flowering stages and fruit development…
Stage 1: Shows the sepals opening to reveal the flower within. These remain part of the fruit after pollination and they form the calyx. If you see this stage early one morning, your flower should be moving onto stage 2 by the end of the day!
Stage 2: The flower is starting to open - the outer green layers are the sepals and the yellow flower shapes are the petals. The inner dome is made up of 2 parts - the dome shape is formed by the anther and filament, which are collectively called the stamen (male part), inside these is the stigma (female part). Tomato flowers are called perfect because the pollen falls off the stamen and sticks to the stigma, pollinating itself.
Stage 3: Once the flower is pollinated, it withers and falls off leaving the young fruit. It should take around 1-2 days for the flower to develop from stage 2 to stage 3.
Stage 4: Around 2 to 3 days later, the petals have fallen off the flower, leaving the withered remains of the stamen and stigma. At the centre of the sepals you can see the fruit starting to develop.
Stage 5: Shows the tomato fruit which has already been pollinated. These will continue to grow until they reach the size set by their genetic code at which point they will begin to ripen and turn red, and you can start to enjoy your fruit! It usually takes 2 weeks for the fruit to develop from stage 4 to stage 5.
If you have any questions about the varieties of tomato you are growing, or would like any further information, have a look at our complete tomato growing guide. You can also give our Gardening Angels a call on 0845 602 3774 or pop them an email email@example.com with any questions you might have.