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Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

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Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 8/24/2013, 6:31 pm

Fortunately the tomatoes in question are my indigo rose tomatoes. (See Indigo Rose thread for why I say fortunately - they aren't that flavorful.) While I was away on vacation, the top stem got too top-heavy and has bent over. It's broken about 1/2 through the stem. So my question is, should I pick the tomatoes and let them ripen inside in a paper bag, or will they continue to ripen outside on the useless stem?
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  walshevak on 8/24/2013, 9:37 pm

Are the leaves still staying green and hanging on? The reason I ask is because I have some vines that bent/broke halfway also, but the stem/plant stayed alive and the tomatoes ripened just fine. If the leaves are dying then pick and ripen inside.

Kay

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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 8/24/2013, 9:52 pm

Still green. Good input, Walshevak, thanks!
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  southern gardener on 8/25/2013, 12:40 am

I second what Kay said. We have a huge Brandywine plant growing out front. It too, broke a main stem, but it's still going strong! If you look up the thread Loaded Brandywines, that's the same plant! I'd let yours go if the plant isn't wilting, they seem pretty resilient!
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  llama momma on 8/25/2013, 2:40 am

The following might help though I've haven't had a stem break but I've had branches tear away from the weight of heavy fruit and strong winds.  Twice this summer I took a thick piece of hay baling twine and tied/supported the branch to the trellis and tried to keep it at the same angle it was growing.  Been pleasantly surprised when it saved the branch both times and the tomatoes seemed to ripen at a normal pace.
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  landarch on 8/25/2013, 9:48 am

I have a great tomato plant still growing strong after a main stem is broken about 80% through.
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 8/25/2013, 9:53 am

SG, I am even more impressed by your Brandywines, knowing that it has a broken stem. You sure are doing something right!

LM, I did tie it up yesterday. It looked like it was just inviting trouble to leave it dangling. 

The garden, as most of you  know, is at work, and we are on vacation this week, so I'm actually at home. Since I probably won't be there again until tomorrow, seems like I made the right guesses.

But anyone else with success stories, please chime in. Although this is low on my list of valued plants, it's a great learning opportunity - especially since it is heart-ache free, regardless of the outcome!
 
Landarch, we were posting at the same time - thanks!
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/25/2013, 2:39 pm

I'm experimenting with this, too. We had hi winds yesterday here on the Cape and 2 over the top tomato stems and a few cucumber stems bent right in half. I tied them back up hoping to save the fruits, but there are hi winds in tomorrows forecast now, too. Rolling Eyes 

Wishing us luck.

CC
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 8/25/2013, 3:32 pm

Definitely crossing my fingers for you!
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  quiltbea on 8/25/2013, 8:47 pm

Most of my tomatoes (I planted 6) growing in the flower bed got so heavy at least one stem bent and broke about halfway thru.  In all cases, I've tied that heavy stem up to the main pole (they are planted beside my shepherd's crooks in the garden) and so far they are continuing to ripen and the leaves are staying green.
I'm crossing my fingers for everyone, including me, that we get ripe fruits.
I think I read somewhere as long as the plant can send nutrients and water thru the stem, cracked or not, the fruits will survive.
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  camprn on 8/25/2013, 9:05 pm

This topic clearly speaks to the maturing tomato plants and the requirement to manage them frequently and on proper support. I find myself in the garden every few days, tying up or adjusting sagging main stems and double checking fruit support. I have had to add taller poles to accommodate several plants because they are growing so tall and are becoming heavy with fruit.

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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 8/25/2013, 9:50 pm

You've got that right, Camprn.
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/25/2013, 11:12 pm

I'm not very experienced, but this year has taught me that you may not have any idea how much support your tomato vines need until what was vertical goes suddenly horizontal. I've had one plant stem after another lurch into the aisles while I was busy making other plans. Luckily only one stem broke off, but it was a plant I let grow lots of stems anyway. Really vigorous brandywine.

I think I will keep most tomato plants next year to one or two main stems. It's easier to keep track of them that way than when I let a tomato go all jungle on me, though the jungle is a lot of fun to see.
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  plantoid on 8/26/2013, 7:15 pm

27.08.2013
Martha , if the stem fails cut it free and hang it in a shed thick of stem uppermost and over the net few weeks cut the toms off as they ripen rather than strip it and ripen them all in one go unless that is the end result your after.

 Last year because of our lousy weather nothing tomato wise ripened very well so  I cut off all my green tom vines and hung them in the office ..... over the next three to five weeks we took off the ripe toms. ( made the office smell great as well )
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 8/27/2013, 9:32 pm

good to know, Plantoid, not just for these, but because my tomatoes are just now starting to ripen. Between you and Camp, I know have ways to try to ripen green ones that might run out of time.

Thanks!
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/28/2013, 11:59 am

Last January I finally pulled up my remaining Roma plants and stripped them of the remaining green fruit. The plants were beginning to have some kind of black rot so I wasn't able to bring the branches inside.

However, we picked every clean tomato and put them in our fridge. Every few days we would pick what we needed and ripen them in a south facing kitchen window. We had tomatoes almost to March if I remember correctly!
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 9/7/2013, 1:27 pm

@quiltbea wrote:...I read somewhere as long as the plant can send nutrients and water thru the stem, cracked or not, the fruits will survive.
Several plants I've been 1 or 2 stemming have bent and/or broken stems or branches. I carefully add support like bea, camprn, and marc describe, especially this season.
This one might earn me a "Tomato First Aid" certification.

A close look!

Another stem bandage...

  This plant is STILL holding and ripening fruit!hyper
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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  camprn on 9/7/2013, 1:31 pm

NICE! Well done with the first aid and field dressing!

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Re: Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha on 9/7/2013, 9:53 pm

Windsor Parker, that is awesome! Mine have been holding their own, but you are my inspiration for the future!
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