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Tomato Stem broken- help?

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Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  BetsyC on 6/12/2012, 5:47 pm

One of my larger heirloom tomato plants suffered a broken side stem (a big one!) last night during heavy rain. It is still attached though- kind of. I am supporting it with a garden stake until I talk to my peeps here! Can a stem self heal or am I better off just removing it? There are several flower blossoms on it but not many- it is mostly leaves. Thank you!
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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 6/12/2012, 6:14 pm

Maybe. I know they graft tomatoes, so I suspect you might be able to get it to heal itself.

They make grafting clips, but something tells me that the old timers got by without clips. Probably just wrapped the area with some cloth to keep the 2 stems from moving around too much while they healed up.

Maybe, you ought to clean up the cut stems with a razor blade so they have a nice, smooth area to fuse?

I've never done it, but I know I'd give it a good effort before giving up and calling it impossible.

Good luck.

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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  camprn on 6/12/2012, 6:35 pm

@BetsyC wrote:One of my larger heirloom tomato plants suffered a broken side stem (a big one!) last night during heavy rain. It is still attached though- kind of. I am supporting it with a garden stake until I talk to my peeps here! Can a stem self heal or am I better off just removing it? There are several flower blossoms on it but not many- it is mostly leaves. Thank you!
If it was mine, I would cut the stem closer to the main plant with my garden shears or a scissors (I would not want to damage the plant any further but just pulling on the broken stem). Then stick the stem right in the ground with about 4"-6" of it underground. The main plant will continue to grow and... voila, the broken off stem will grow too. It will send out roots and you will have a new plant! Very Happy

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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  BetsyC on 6/12/2012, 7:09 pm

Two wonderful ideas- thank you! I am gonna go check it out tomorrow morning and if I notice that the part I was trying to heal is not better I am going to see if I can get the broken part to root.

See why I come here? You all are the best! cheers
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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  Josh on 6/12/2012, 7:41 pm

If you try to keep it on the main plant, try duck tape to hold it together till it heals, I did that with a very tall sunflower that fell over and broke the stem part way and it worked! I've had tomato stems that have broken and was just barely hanging on and as long as they were attached to the main plant they still produced and grew.
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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  mtottle on 6/13/2012, 12:47 am

I agree, as long as there is at least some part of the branch attached to the trunk, the branch will continue to grow. But it will partially heal itself if you line it up nicely. Don't try to make the wound nice by cutting, I've just lined it up and wrap a ziptie or two lightly around the stem, and it continued to thrive. Grafting tape will work too if you have it.
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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 6/13/2012, 7:29 am

@Josh wrote: try duck tape

The redneck mantra:

"If it is supposed to move and won't, use WD-40.
If it moves and ain't supposed to, use duct/duck tape"

Very Happy

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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  boog1 on 6/13/2012, 12:27 pm

I'd put a stake in the ground tie the branch to it and MOST definitely use camo colored duct tape to mend it
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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  BetsyC on 6/13/2012, 12:36 pm

I'm in Virginia; why didn't I think of duct tape and WD-40 before??? cyclops
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Re: Tomato Stem broken- help?

Post  Pepper on 6/13/2012, 3:31 pm

same trouble rain storm broke a main branch. I am trying Camprn's solution with the broken branch and the several limbs that had to go to make the 4-to-6 inches Laughing .

I really want this cherokee purple to make it.
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