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To all those tomato experts...

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To all those tomato experts...

Post  Windmere on 4/20/2013, 8:10 pm

It's a little late in the season for me to be asking this question.... but... Is there such a thing as an indeterminate bush tomato? I would love to have a more manageable tomato plant, but I would also like it to yield fruit all season long.

Does such a plant exist?

thinking

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  brainchasm on 4/20/2013, 8:51 pm

Tada!

http://parkseed.com/tomato-better-bush-improved-hybrid/p/05338/

Enjoy!

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  littlejo on 4/20/2013, 8:54 pm

I've never heard of one. Let us know if you find one!
Jo

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  yolos on 4/20/2013, 9:05 pm

I have never tried this, but Park has a Better Bush Improved Hybrid:

From Park on-line catalog:

http://parkseed.com/tomato-better-bush-improved-hybrid/p/05338/

68 days from setting out transplants. ISI (indeterminate short-internodes). If you're looking for an old-fashioned-flavored tomato with the juiciness and distinctive "tang" you remember from vine-fresh tomatoes of the past, Better Bush Improved Hybrid is the best choice. These big, luscious, 4-inch fruits grow very densely on indeterminate 4-foot plants, thanks to shorter internodes. The central stem rarely needs staking (except during those "bumper crop" times!), and this plant begins early in the season and just keeps going! Available only here at Park, this is a superbly garden-worthy variety with great yields of ultra-satisfying fruits. Resistant to Verticillium Wilt and Fusarium Wilt Race 1.

I have no idea what an "indeterminate short-internodes" means.

Everything else I saw on google said that a bush means determinate. So I don't know. Try entering indeterminate bush tomato in google and see what you get.


Last edited by yolos on 4/20/2013, 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  HOUSTONMOM on 4/20/2013, 9:26 pm

was just wondering once an indeterminate tomato reaches the top of a trellis if the top is cut off and the tree is aloud to branch out a bit by not pruning the suckers to control the plants space. will it continue to produce well or will that hurt it's production?

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Parks

Post  Windmere on 4/20/2013, 9:42 pm

Thanks for the info Yolos. I did search Google as you suggested, and it led me right to the Parks hybrid you found. I am really curious about this variety. I'll probably give this a try next year.

Thanks again.

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Amazon - Botanical Interests

Post  Windmere on 4/20/2013, 9:49 pm

I also found Better Bush seeds from Botanical Interests via an Amazon search. Pikes Nurseries also carry Botanical Interests, so that might work for some close to Pikes (save shipping and handling).

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  Turan on 4/20/2013, 11:44 pm

@HOUSTONMOM wrote:was just wondering once an indeterminate tomato reaches the top of a trellis if the top is cut off and the tree is aloud to branch out a bit by not pruning the suckers to control the plants space. will it continue to produce well or will that hurt it's production?

I am no expert. I don't prune until I need to push the plants to hurry up and stop thinking about growing and ripen fruit.
My understanding is that pruning pushes vine growth and limits the number of fruits but their size is bigger. I would rather have bushier shorter plants with more and smaller fruits.

Suckers will flower and set fruit if allowed to. Just might be a later set than the main stem.

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  camprn on 4/21/2013, 10:32 am

@Turan wrote:
@HOUSTONMOM wrote:was just wondering once an indeterminate tomato reaches the top of a trellis if the top is cut off and the tree is aloud to branch out a bit by not pruning the suckers to control the plants space. will it continue to produce well or will that hurt it's production?

I am no expert. I don't prune until I need to push the plants to hurry up and stop thinking about growing and ripen fruit.
My understanding is that pruning pushes vine growth and limits the number of fruits but their size is bigger. I would rather have bushier shorter plants with more and smaller fruits.

Suckers will flower and set fruit if allowed to. Just might be a later set than the main stem.
Just to be clear, there are many reasons to perform
pruning.

To prune or pinch the growing tips will make the plant put out lateral growth and/or put more energy into the fruit production.

If the desire is for bushier foliage and smaller fruit, it may be a better choice to grow a different variety of tomato, chosen for those specific traits.

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  Turan on 4/21/2013, 12:22 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Turan wrote:
I am no expert. I don't prune until I need to push the plants to hurry up and stop thinking about growing and ripen fruit.
My understanding is that pruning pushes vine growth and limits the number of fruits but their size is bigger. I would rather have bushier shorter plants with more and smaller fruits.

Suckers will flower and set fruit if allowed to. Just might be a later set than the main stem.
Just to be clear, there are many reasons to perform
pruning.

To prune or pinch the growing tips will make the plant put out lateral growth and/or put more energy into the fruit production.

If the desire is for bushier foliage and smaller fruit, it may be a better choice to grow a different variety of tomato, chosen for those specific traits.

Thanks, camprn, I was talking in a circle there it seems. But it was so clear in my head! Embarassed

I would point out that unpruned plant shape and fruit size is the norm for that variety. Pruning is pushing the variety into a different state in order to fit our needs in garden and larger fruit.

BUt back to the questions asked.....
My experience with pruning in midsummer to rush the ripening fruit is that they take time out from growing to ripen what they have set, and then do a growth spurt and flower again and set more fruit. If my season is long enough (and now building a greenhouse with real windows and doors that close and open!) that second burst of fruit can ripen.

My guess is that in Houston trying to force a bunch to ripen before summer temps get too high might work. Then maybe a little more pruning in time to stimulate growth for the fall. But we really need some one from the South to jump in.

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Someone from the south chime in

Post  Windmere on 4/21/2013, 3:38 pm

I would love if someone from the south would make a comment regarding how pruning affects tomatoes down my way.

Smile

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  yolos on 4/21/2013, 3:48 pm

@Windmere wrote:I would love if someone from the south would make a comment regarding how pruning affects tomatoes down my way.

Smile
I would also like to know. Last year I suckered the bottom two feet of my tomatoes trying to keep air movement so they would not get diseased. But they got diseased anyway so that did not help. This year I have 8 tomatoes in cages which I will not sucker. I am also planting 5 tomatoes and stringing them to an overhead trellis. These I am going to sucker and see what happens.

I worry about the sun cooking the ripening tomatoes. Last year every variety I planted split or cracked. Some say that is due to improper watering, others say it is the variety, others say it is the sun scalding them. As Windmere asked, anyone experienced with this in the south.

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/21/2013, 4:19 pm

I'm not in the south but we had a heat wave to beat the band last year with temps around 100 for 3 weeks. It was dreadful! I noticed that my toms stop producing so I covered them with burlap. I tied it to the trellis at each end and brought it over the top and down the south side. I left it loose at the bottom so the wind could blow thru. The whole box was all tomatoes:

I had no issues until the end of the season when powdery mildew hit but by then it was too late for it to do any damage. What a Face

The only time I've had splitting was with too much water on Sweet 100's.

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Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Post  Rahab222 on 3/10/2014, 5:04 am

Determinate tomatoes only grow to a certain size; usually 2' to 5' each.  I use the determinate tomatoes to plant in my 4' x 4' boxes (2 squares each for proper air circulation).  I can plant lettuce or other shallow rooted vegetables beneath them to make up for the extra space given to the tomato plants.

Examples of determinate tomatoes that I plant are:  BHN 602 (grows to 3' to 5'.  This was the winner of the 2012 Houston Rodeo tomato.  It makes a bush.)

BHN968 (a cherry tomato that is semi-determinate at 24" - 36".  Unlikely to spread out or outgrow a medium sized cage.)

Bush Champion (determinate at 24", compact plant, early yielding and good for large containers or small spaces.)

Bush Early Girl (determinate, very compact, one of most popular for home gardens.)

Bush Goliath (determinate, 3.5' plant, high sugar, disease resistant.)

Tycoon (determinate, 3' - 4', heat set ability, 2011 Houston Rodeo tomato.)

An Indeterminate tomato means it has no set boundaries in its growth.  Examples of indeterminate tomatoes are:

Early Goliath - 6', produces early and if you could only grow one tomato, this should be the one.

4th of July - produces in only 49 days.  I highly recommend this one for the south, due to the heat.

Beefmaster - resists cracking due to excess water, produces in 80 days.

Big Beef - nematode resistant, AAS Winner, large fruits for sandwiches, best for larger gardens.

Carmello - 6' to 8', good producer, sets 3-4 tomatoes together in a group.

Celebrity - semi-determinate, 6', disease resistant.

Juliet - cherry tomato, come in clusters, Roma, can baby through summer for fall tomatoes.

Sweet Chelsea - good size, keeps producing through summer, cherry, disease resistent.

Texas Wild - I HIGHLY recommend.  Only second year of development.  Small grape tomatoes.  Plant goes everywhere and you will see seedlings coming up from mother plant in fall.

Cherokee Purple - 6', heirloom, no cracking

I'm just SW of Houston on the Texas Gulf Coast.  You asked for a southern gardener, so here I am.  Good luck.

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Texas Wild Tomato

Post  Rahab222 on 3/10/2014, 5:17 am

I forgot to mention that if you see Texas Wild seedlings appear in your garden in the fall, you need to leave them where they are to grow.  I have transplanted several to give as gifts, but not one of them make it through the transplanting.  The seedlings I left in the garden grew just fine and produced fall tomatoes.  The birds LOVE these, so you'll have to check your plants everyday.

You can also pick your tomatoes when they are about 1/4 to 1/3 pink and let them continue to ripen in your window.  There will be not difference in the flavor.  However, the likely hood that a bird or critter will snatch them if you leave them much longer increases greatly; not to mention those darn stink bugs that show up as soon as the tomatoes start showing pink.

As for fruiting on all tomatoes, you need to plant them while the nighttime temperatures are between 50 - 75 degrees or they won't fruit properly.  Just be sure to keep your frost cloth nearby as the Gulf Coast won't see its last cold spell until Easter which is in April this year.  Like the rest of the country, we've had a relatively cold winter that is long lasting.

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Re: To all those tomato experts...

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