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Tomato branches vs suckers

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Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Thu 26 Feb 2015 - 22:19

I've looked for issues on this topic and can't find the right information for my question.  So I've determined it's either a non issue and I'm making it out to be a bigger deal than I should, or I'm the only one in the history of tomato growing that has ever had this happen.
OR
someone on this forum might can help me out  Very Happy
I started an Everglades tomato in November and it is the best (of the 3) I've ever grown a tomato plant.  It's the first time I've ever seen flowers, and I even noticed tonight a teeny tiny baby green tomato about half the size of a smiley face  Smile yay win!
Until recently it is by far the healthiest, most beautiful plant I've ever grown myself.  My issue is that I hadn't pruned any suckers until a couple of days ago.  It was small enough that I didn't think I needed to (until the branches/leaves started to look like they were dying).  But the issue isn't with the suckers.  It's the branches themselves.  When the suckers grow in, it's pushing the branches downward.  Or something.  The branches start growing downward.  So I left the suckers and cut off the branches!  
Something about leaves not supposed to touch the soil/ground.  
Something else about they were the ones that looked terrible so I chopped them off.
And I guess naturally the suckers being the new growth look healthier.
Did I kill my plant?
Should I start over?
Has anyone seen this before?
Thanks.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  sanderson on Fri 27 Feb 2015 - 0:06

bbroomm,  The lower leaves will naturally start fading as new taller growth occurs.  They will have finished their job.  If a sucker grows from a leaf branch juncture, that leaf branch will also fade.  There are excellent YouTube videos on pruning suckers, deciding which you want to keep and which you want to remove.  I Binged this tomato.  What a Face   It looks like you couldn't kill it if you tried.  So I wouldn't worry about it.  Your main problem may be deciding how far you want it to creep. Very Happy

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  camprn on Fri 27 Feb 2015 - 6:33

Please post a few photos of the plant.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Fri 27 Feb 2015 - 17:38

@sanderson wrote:There are excellent YouTube videos on pruning suckers, deciding which you want to keep and which you want to remove.  I Binged this tomato.  What a Face   It looks like you couldn't kill it if you tried.  So I wouldn't worry about it.  Your main problem may be deciding how far you want it to creep. Very Happy
I saw a bunch of those videos looking to find out why my branches grew downwards.  I read the pros and cons of keeping suckers and removing them.  But people never really talked about leaving the suckers and removing the branches, which is why I thought I may have messed up.
But yeah, that's one of the reasons I bought the seeds for this plant.  It didn't seem like I could kill it very easily.  Embarassed  I think I may be the only one that can kill this plant within 3 months.  I'll try again.  In a bigger pot.  With just one seed.
Here's a bunch of pictures.  Very Happy






ahh here it is the very first ever tomato i've ever grown!!!!!!!!!!!  its so cuuuuuuuuute.!!! cheers


Dead leaves, the baby tomato, and branches growing downward


Pretty sure I listed these backwards from the way I intended  Embarassed


Here's some pics of the death






Thanks again!

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  littlesapphire on Fri 27 Feb 2015 - 18:23

Hmmmm...  I'm no tomato expert, but those leaves are showing some signs of disease.  Anyone know what it is? 

As for the leaves growing downward, I think that's natural, or at least I've seen it happen before.  I think that as the plant starts making suckers, the leaf moves down a little to make room for the new growth. 

As for cutting off those yucky looking leaves, I think that was a very good move.  If they start looking diseased, cut them off and bag them (never put them in compost unless you know for sure it's going to get very hot).  Make sure to clean your scissors between plants so you don't spread the disease.  If it's nothing too serious, just removing the dead stuff should be enough to keep the plant healthy. 

I've also heard that some people cut off all the leaves of their tomato plants below the lowest fruit cluster.  I try to do this, but I don't always remember to.  It's supposed to keep the plant healthier, since the lower leaves are more prone to getting splashed by mud and getting diseased.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  camprn on Fri 27 Feb 2015 - 18:27

This is what I see.

First pic shows a bit of darkening on a leaf stem. Further pics show dark stems and leaves with dark spots and yellowing. This looks like blight to me.

The downward stems are actually leaf stems and fine.

The pic of the new sprout out of the stem, that is a sucker. Suckers grow out of the crotch between the main stem and a leaf stem.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Fri 27 Feb 2015 - 20:19

Thanks guys.
So basically I'm blowing this whole branch thing out of proportion.  But I should keep cutting off the diseased ones.
I don't have a compost pile cause I'm in an apartment.  My city also doesn't let us compost because of the water runoff leading to the everglades...something like that.
I did not know to clean my pruners tho.  I haven't been doing that.  Just going plant to plant trimming off dead/harvested stuffs.   pale
Thanks for the help!
As always!  Very Happy

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  AtlantaMarie on Sat 28 Feb 2015 - 7:16

BBroom, wipe the pruners down w/ bleach/water mix after every session & preferably after every cut.

On your (Healthy!) suckers that you remove - you can actually plant them and they should grow.  So more plants for free!

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Sat 28 Feb 2015 - 20:30

Today was a sad day for me as well when I got home from work.
Apparently while I was working, it rained at home.  A LOT.  The pond outside my patio almost overflowed, it did in some parts onto the sidewalk.  But the rain and I'm guessing combined wind nearly destroyed most of my patio garden.  I'm hoping this tomato will survive, but I'm sure my carrots are gonners.  Which is ironic because they were flooded last time I tried to grow them as well.  And is why I bought the huge umbrella that I failed to know I needed to use today.  Sad  A bunch of other things were flooded as well, even on the shelving.  I'm sure most will survive.  I just need it to get hot again tomorrow  tongue

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  meatburner on Sat 28 Feb 2015 - 21:38

Maybe you might consider raised beds.  Just a thought.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  sanderson on Sat 28 Feb 2015 - 22:22

Brroomm,  I forgot your garden consists of pots on the apartment patio, so I'm asking, is there any chance the mix at the bottom of the pot is soggy?  I had trays under my pots when I stated SFG in 2013 and almost killed the peppers, eggplant, a tomato until I realized the odor.  I know you removed the trays but the mix may be heavy (not enough perlite of large vermiculite to allow the soil to partially dry out at the bottom.  Just a thought.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  AtlantaMarie on Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 7:36

Oh, dear...  Please let us know how it turns out.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 17:04

@meatburner wrote:Maybe you might consider raised beds.  Just a thought.
I've considered them.  And I wish so much that I could have them.  But I live in a 1 bedroom apt so nothing of the yard is mine.  I have no space except a patio so I do what I can.

I don't think the soil was soggy, I actually think it didn't have enough water.  When I lifted it there wasn't much weight.  I remember from a Praxxus video that if it didn't weigh much I needed to add water.  So I added a lot of water until the plant was heavy.  
That was right before I started trimming branches, so it may not have had enough water.  Then the rain and winds came and it may have gotten too much.  I don't think my little baby tomato will survive.  I'm also pretty sure my carrots are toast.  But in my climate its' easy to start over I guess.  Just the time invested is lost.
I forget this forum is supposed to be for SFG only so I apologize for invading with my patio questions all the time.
I have another tho  Embarassed
I don't think my MM will be ready any time soon  Sad the fresh horse manure is taking a while to compost since I don't have  a 3' high pile I guess.
But my question is:  do you think that amending my bad Miracle Gro soil or putting unfinished 5compost mix with it will be good enough for planting new plants?  I've dumped my old soil when I gave up on a plant cause it was bad Miracle Gro.  But I'm getting desperate since my compost mix isn't going fast enough for me.  Mad  I know I'm being impatient and you guys with snow are the wrong ones to complain to, but...I'm anxious!
What I have done is when my worm compost tea bag was done, I opened it up and took the worm castings and added them on the tops of the pots.  Is that a good idea?
I have a photo of how high the water in the lake got, but I don't have one for you to compare it to to see how much rain we got yesterday. 
Sorry to be so whiney.
Thanks for your inputs.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  AtlantaMarie on Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 18:34

BBroom, you are NOT whiney! 

And many of us do all sorts of gardening, not just SFG.  But it's a big part of our gardens, that's for sure.

So ask away!

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 20:33

@AtlantaMarie wrote:BBroom, you are NOT whiney! 

And many of us do all sorts of gardening, not just SFG.  But it's a big part of our gardens, that's for sure.

So ask away!
Thank you...
but ... 
your avatar!! 
Sad

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  AtlantaMarie on Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 4:16

I hate the cold...  And I'm sure our friends in the north are SICK of all that snow.  I'm trying to give them hope...!

(That's my story & I'm sticking to it.) Laughing

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  sanderson on Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 11:35

Broom,  A lot of us also have buckets, pots, laundry baskets, cages, tote boxes, hanging planter, etc., along with our SFG boxes.  Don't toss the Miracle Grow, just amend with good compost that you can find.  The old stuff will continue to break down over the months/years and the new composts will feed the plants.  When I'm low on homemade compost, I supplement with Ecoscraps Compost and screened bagged chicken manure.  Plus a little worm casting.  Fresh horse manure takes months to compost.  Maybe you can find HM that has been sitting around for over 6-12 months and add a little of that.


Last edited by sanderson on Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 21:06; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct typo)

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 20:47

@sanderson wrote:Broom,  A lot of us also have buckets, pots, laundry baskets, cages, tote boxes, hanging planter, etc., along with our SFG boxes.  Don't toss the Miracle Grow, just amend with good compost that you can find.  The old stuff will continue to break down over the months/years and the new composts will feed the plants.  When I'm low on homemade compost, I supplement with Ecoscraps Compost and screened bagged chicken manure.  Plus a little worm casting.  Fresh horse manure takes months to compost.  Maybe you can find HM that has been sitting around for over 6-12 months and add a little of that.
Thank you.  This is exactly what I needed to hear!
<3

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  sanderson on Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 21:09

A few pepper and herb pots.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  littlesapphire on Tue 3 Mar 2015 - 7:15

Yep, I use pots, boxes, buckets, and anything else I can find to garden in along with my 7 SFG boxes Very Happy  I just can't help myself!  I like to think of it as my 1/10 acre farm!  I even have potted blueberry bushes, an SFG box full of strawberries, a couple raspberry brambles and super dwarf apple trees.  I would add even more if I knew my husband wouldn't get mad, lol.  He hates mowing around stuff.

So the fact that you're a pot gardener is ok with me.  Actually, I think it's really cool that you're doing the best you can with what you have.  Bloom where you're planted, right? 

As for the Miracle grow, I agree with Sanderson; don't toss it, just mix in some good finished compost if you can find it in the store.  It took my compost pile several years to get really productive (as in, it took me several years to figure out how to work it, lol), and now it puts out a nice batch of cold compost once a year.  Just be patient.  Things will work out in the end.  One thing I've learned about vegetable plants is that they really want to grow.  You may thing you've lost your tomato plants and your carrots, but I bet you that in a week or two, they'll show some bushy new growth and go on to give you a nice harvest.

Don't worry about whining, either.  We all do it, especially when we're new.  I sure did my fair share!  And I'm still whining, too.  Being able to share our ups and downs about gardening is good though.  You know that when you're sad about your tomato plants, you can come here and we'll be understanding about it, whereas a nongardener probably understand.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Wed 4 Mar 2015 - 11:46

Thank you, I feel much better.
AtlantaMarie, I thought of your avatar when I saw this...so sad.
https://www.facebook.com/b969fm/photos/a.269434009747778.72616.200814256609754/729021413789033/?type=1&theater

You mulch containers too?

I started mixing up my old Miracle gro yesterday.  Kicking myself for all I threw over the patio into the yard.  But I used about half old mg and half bagged compost I still had.  Some mushroom and some garden.  maybe today I'll mix it up with Black kow.  then when I was moistening it I used my worm tea.  Very Happy  Cause seriously, I can't use 5 gallons of it in 2 days.  I just don't have enough .  Sad

Here's my carrots: 

before the...flood isn't really the right word....Heavy rains, the soil was all the way to the line, and when I got home the water was all the way to the top overflowing.  I tried pouring out the water without losing the soil or carrots.  Three days worth of pouring I guess...and four days after the rains this is what it still looked like.  I think its four, maybe three.
Back to it!
Thanks for the encouragement!

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  sanderson on Wed 4 Mar 2015 - 12:10

Did you drill large holes in the bottom?

Funny snowman.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Wed 4 Mar 2015 - 17:29

@sanderson wrote:Did you drill large holes in the bottom?

Funny snowman.
I did not.
This is an old pot I had already laying around.  It is one of those with a small separator on the bottom to hold the water so it doesn't get too waterlogged.  Unfortunately with all the rain we had that day it was too much for the little guy to handle.
I'll give them a few more days and see how they hold up.  If I don't get carrots, i'll at least have more soil to plant other things now =)

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  Triciasgarden on Wed 4 Mar 2015 - 18:24

This forum is one of the most friendly sites you will every find and we have all had problems that we have needed help with! Sometimes we also need a shoulder to lean on when something bad happens.

I agree with the others that your plants may surprise you and come back. I have had my carrots lay down like that when I watered carelessly. I would recommend that you gently lift the seedlings up off the potting mix with a pencil or something else small so that when the mix starts to dry, they don't get stuck permanently.

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Re: Tomato branches vs suckers

Post  bbroomm on Wed 4 Mar 2015 - 19:22

@Triciasgarden wrote:This forum is one of the most friendly sites you will every find and we have all had problems that we have needed help with!  Sometimes we also need a shoulder to lean on when something bad happens.

I agree with the others that your plants may surprise you and come back.  I have had my carrots lay down like that when I watered carelessly.  I would recommend that you gently lift the seedlings up off the potting mix with a pencil or something else small so that when the mix starts to dry, they don't get stuck permanently.
Thanks!
And that's a great idea I hadn't thought of that either.
So thanks again.  I'm going to go do that now.

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