First timer needs a little help....Please
I am completely new to gardening, so forgive me if I ask any silly questions.
This year as a project for me and the kids, we planted three tomato plants (two sungolds and one plum) in ground, not potted. We had a tough time getting them started. We even moved them twice, because weeks after plating the seedlings, we had no growth. We found a sunnier patch for them. After many weeks they started to grow like weeds. Our two sungolds are over 7 feet tall and combined have over 100 tomatoes growing. But I have some concerns and questions.
Concern - In the last three weeks we have seen rapid growth of the plants. It seems that the taller they get the more sun they get, due to a morning shadow cast by the house. As they get taller they are spending more time in the sun. But we have noticed that the newer growth is very green and "perky" but the lower older growth (below the tomato line) about 1 1/2 off the ground are lighter green and no "perky". There are still some darker green patches on the leaves. Is this something we need to worry about and or address?
1 - We have yet to yield any tomatoes form the plant. For sungolds, how long does it normally take to harvest from the time you first see the baby tomato and the leaves fall off? The very first one we noticed (two weeks ago) is almost completely light yellow now, it slowly changed form green to yellow, starting form the bottom
2 - Do I need to wait until they are completely orange before picking them?
3 - I have noticed that all our upper flowers that were growing face up have been snipped clean of and all side and downard facing ones on the same vine were left alone. Is this bird damage?
4 - Once picked and ripened, how long should the sungolds last?
5 - We are using Miarical Grow Tomato Plant Food once every 10 days, and about every 2 weeks or so I add coffee grinds and whatever else the kids have saved. To date we have added egg shells, banana peels, peels and corn husks. we normally dig a small trench between the plants and bury the stuff there. IS this too much?
Thank you in advance for you help
A small correction in my Concern section I state "There are still some darker green patches on the leaves". They do not have darker green pataches, instead they are a lighter green and the green is much darker around the veins of the leaf.