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tomato plants pruning?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Danno on June 26, 2006 12:24 PM
hey guys. . as i mentioned earlier my tomato plants are going haywire [Smile] I have the medium size cages going on, theyre 48" cages. These things are going hogwild! Can i prune any offgrowing new stalks that are forming? Take a look at these pictures, and you have to click the link to see the bigger picture to see them clearly (i have them highlighted in the picture). Thnx for help!

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by markr on June 26, 2006 12:49 PM
yeah take them off.
i always take off the side shoots, otherwise they just use up energy that could go to fruit and the main plant.

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Mark
by Danno on June 26, 2006 02:02 PM
what about where a branch off the main-stalk does a Y and has the branch itself going horizontal and has a shooter going vertical? Take the vert off too? That happens ALOT all over the plant. . i'd be hackin the plant away!
by Powderhunter on June 26, 2006 02:16 PM
From what I know you need to take off those new little shoots. I believe they're called suckers, and if they get big enough they do nothing but suck energy away from your plants ablility to produce a good amount of sizable fruit.

I've been pruning, or rather snapping off the suckers every 2 days or so. It's been around 100 here for over 2 weeks, and the Maters are loving it.
by markr on June 26, 2006 02:33 PM
the bit you need to take off is between the main stem and the leaf!
it looks like another little plant.

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Mark
by markr on June 26, 2006 02:36 PM
ive just had another look at you pic!
the bit thats in the oval and rectangle are side shoots!
they are the ones to snap or cut off.

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Mark
by Sorellina on June 26, 2006 03:06 PM
Ciao all,

There's a bit of debate amongst tomato growers re: to sucker or not to sucker...it all depends mainly on your space needs. Each one of those suckers will produce flowers and more fruit. I personally never take them off, but I have the space, so I don't need to. I grow LOTS of plants, but each plant produces tons until it dies, around here, November-ish. So...you have a choice to make. You could get yourself a pair of decent wire snips and take the cage off your plant, replace it with an 8' stake and let your plant take over the planet or you can take them off. And as an addendum to the 2nd choice, you can take them off, put them in a glass of water, wait for them to sprout roots, and grow yourself more plants ;o)

It's a fact, you don't need a lawn and you can't ever grow enough tomatoes ;o)

Cheers,
Julianna

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by johnCT on June 27, 2006 01:14 AM
Danno, you will surely stunt the plant, and fruit set, if you hack all of that foliage off at one time. Just pinch off all of the small suckers that form at the "V" of a main stem and a branch and maybe one of those large branches if you really want to prune. If I were you though, I would get a couple of large stakes and drive them in on both sides of that puny cage, tie the cage to the stakes and then start tying the plant to the stakes as it grows.

Take you medicine. We all learn that those pathetic cages are really meant for peppers and not tomatoes when we first start out. And it looks like you bought the smaller of the two sizes they come in. [Big Grin] I still have ten of those cages from a few years ago. Now I use them only for my peppers. They work great for them.

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John - Zone 6
by tkhooper on June 27, 2006 01:25 AM
I used the trench method this year and really like it. I don't have the stake vs cage problem at all. But it does require room. And the branches are all becoming fruit baring plants. It's really cool. I plan to do it again next year too. That is if I can keep enough of my finished compost back to do it. I ran out this year. But I do have a nice big pile going so maybe I'll have enough.

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by woodchuck on June 27, 2006 03:03 AM
tkhooper;

Can you expand on the 'trench method' please.
by peppereater on June 27, 2006 03:21 AM
Sounds like tk may be layering...bending the plant into a trench and covering the main stem with soil/compost. Side branches become new plants, essentially.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Danno on June 27, 2006 01:40 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sorellina:
It's a fact, you don't need a lawn and you can't ever grow enough tomatoes ;o)

But i love my lawn [gabby]
by johnCT on June 28, 2006 01:14 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Danno:
But i love my lawn [gabby]
UGH, turfgrass is nothing but trouble!! I am slowly getting rid of my 14K sq ft of lawn by creating planting beds.

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John - Zone 6
by woodchuck on June 28, 2006 03:28 AM
johnCT; I sometimes wish that's all the lawn I had. It would be in better condition.

Thanks for clearing up the trench method.
by weezie13 on June 28, 2006 12:43 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sorellina:
And as an addendum to the 2nd choice, you can take them off, put them in a glass of water, wait for them to sprout roots, and grow yourself more plants

It's a fact, you don't need a lawn and you can't ever grow enough tomatoes
Julianna

I have the same problem but with VOLUNTEER TOMATO PLANTS, HUNDREDS!!!!

quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
UGH, turfgrass is nothing but trouble!! I am slowly getting rid of my 14K sq ft of lawn by creating planting beds.
Awwwwwwwww man, you guys have noooooooo idea....
My husband says that if HE LET ME, he'd come home from work someday, and find the house "Smack~dab in the middle of a huge flower bed.. nothing but gardens around the house
and NO LAWNNNNNNNNN!" [grin]
[flower] [clappy] [grin] [flower] [clappy] [thumb] [Cool]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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