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Re: does one pinch tomatoes?


In my raised bed gardens, I try to keep to one stem...sometimes, when I
don't get around to pinching out the suckers, I end up with suckers that
are already putting out tomatoes so I leave them.  If the stem is fairly
long, I put a loop of it under some soil to make a new tomato plant with
its own root system.  I also get some volunteers in the fence row...usually
cherry tomatoes...I just let the plant do its own thing and harvest those
as "extras".  Frequently, they are the ones that last until the first
freeze as they are usually with other plants and are more protected.  

Bonnie Zone 7/7 ETN
Remember:  The River Raisin, The Alamo, The Maine, Pearl Harbor, 9/11


> [Original Message]
> From: Kitty <kmrsy@comcast.net>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Date: 4/29/2007 7:49:28 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] does one pinch tomatoes?
>
> Thanks Bonnie, very helpful advice.  I haven't grown tomatoes for about
10 
> yrs and as I recall, my problems were not trellising them well enough so
I 
> had this jumbled mess and I think I also had some problems with fruit 
> cracking.  do you think by suckers they might mean " tomato puts out
stems 
> all along the main stem that have to be maintained "?  So single stem is 
> actually better.  That would also help solve my "jumbled mess" issue.  I 
> used Tomatoes Alive fertilizers and they grew like crazy.
>
> I like your idea of hanging the plant inside at end of season.  I'm
looking 
> forward to these litlle tomatoes.
>
> So the answer is that you pinch the sideshoots, right?  Cuz I had been 
> thinking of pinching the terminal end to cause branching.  So I really 
> should do the opposite.  Thanks for your help.
>
> Kitty
> neIN, Zone 5
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Bonnie Holmes" <holmesbm@usit.net>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 3:08 PM
> Subject: RE: [CHAT] does one pinch tomatoes?
>
>
> >I always pinch the growth between the leaves on the side of the stem. 
This
> > keeps the major growth along one stem.  If you don't do this, the tomato
> > puts out stems all along the main stem that have to be maintained by the
> > plant so it uses more energy for stems and leaves instead of putting it
> > into fruit.
> >
> > At the end of the season, I pull up one or two tomato plants with lots
of
> > green fruit and hand it upside down in the garage.  The fruit gradually
> > ripens and can be picked from the plant.  I find the fruit has more
flavor
> > than when the fruits ripen off the stems.
> >
> > Also, thought you might find this helpful?
> >
> > In the May 2007 issue of Tennessee Gardener, Bob Westerfield, a
specialist
> > on tomatoes, wrote an article entitled "Water:  The Key to Healthy
> > Tomatoes".
> >
> > Here are some excerpts:
> > "Sunlight, fertilizer and water are the essentials to help ensure a
> > successful crop...By far, most of the problems I see are related to
> > moisture either directly or indirectly...A tomato is approximately 95%
> > water in content.
> >
> > Too much water can certainly injure a plant...causing root malfunctions 
> > and
> > possible onset of disease.  Too little moisture, especially at the time
of
> > fruiting, can lead to wilting, stress, and nutritional
deficiencies....as 
> > a
> > good example...the fairly common problem encountered by home gardeners
> > known as blossom end rot.  This is the disorder that causes the flower 
> > side
> > of the tomato to turn black, usually as it begins to mature....this is
> > caused by a deficiency in calcium causing the cell walls to break down.
> >
> > Simply adding calcium through sprays or dolomitic limestone may sound
like
> > the easy answer.  The truth of the matter is that this blossom end rot
> > disorder is actually more closely related to moisture stress than the
> > calcium deficiency.  As a tomato is maturing it has an even greater need
> > for moisture to form up the fruit...if the plant does not receive
adequate
> > moisture, it does not matter how much calcium is sitting in the soil.
> > Water management is the key to controlling blossom end rot.
> >
> > Certainly the soil type, whether they are in the ground or in raised
beds
> > or containers can make a big difference.  The best method is to closely
> > watch the plants...wait until you see a slight wilt in plants before
> > watering.  During hot summers this may mean watering two to three times
a
> > week...I have well-drained, heavily amended raised beds.  In heavier
clay
> > soils, you may only need to water once a week depending on rainfall.
> >
> > When you do water, above all, keep the foliage dry.  You will save 
> > yourself
> > a lot of disease problems if you will only water at the base of the
plant.
> > This can be accomplished by hand watering with a watering can or hose
want
> > at the base of the plant...or a combination of soaker hoses and drip
> > irrigation...this last method saves about 25% water.   Run your lines 
> > under
> > the mulch to reduce evaporation...use three sheets of newspaper around
> > plants to provide another moisture barrier and provide organic weed
> > control.
> >
> > Another way to water is to use gallon milk jugs.  Put several small
holes
> > in the bottom of the mild container and fill them up one to two times a
> > week.  You even can add liquid fertilizer to the water if your prefer.
> > Place them next to the plants and allow them to slowly drip down to the
> > root zone of your tomatoes.
> >
> > Provide enough water to wet the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.  It
also
> > helps to plant the tomato deep from the start.  Pinch off the bottom 
> > leaves
> > and plant them much deeper than the rootball
> >
> >
> > Bonnie Zone 7/7 ETN
> > Remember:  The River Raisin, The Alamo, The Maine, Pearl Harbor, 9/11
> >
> >
> >> [Original Message]
> >> From: Kitty <kmrsy@comcast.net>
> >> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> >> Date: 4/29/2007 3:05:28 PM
> >> Subject: [CHAT] does one pinch tomatoes?
> >>
> >> I'm not sure whether it's time to plant my Sweet Baby Girl tomato
plants
> > out
> >> yet but I think I will move them up a pot size.  I checked Crocket's
> > Victory
> >> Garden and he says that in the sprawling method, tomatoes do not get
> > pruned.
> >> But he only mentions pruning for other methods as "...[when] no pruning
> > is
> >> done, the crop matures later than with the single-stem methods. 
Pruning
> >> encourages early ripening at the expense of heavy yield."  But doesn't
an
> >> unpruned sprawling method indicate single-stem?  He does mention
removing
> >> suckers - is that term the same as suckers on shrubs?
> >>
> >> I do know to transplant them more deeply, up to their seed leaves to
> >> strengthen the stem, but I thought pinching the growing tip would not
> > only
> >> cause branching (which I assume to be a good thing) would also thicken
> > the
> >> base of the plant.
> >>
> >> Kitty
> >> neIN, Zone 5
> >>
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