Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» 2017 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC
by Turan Today at 1:22 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals Today at 12:56 pm

» Pallet Wacking
by Cajun Cappy Today at 12:45 pm

» EWWWWW.........bugs and stuff...good or not so good?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 9:13 am

» An excellent read for those with Diabetes
by CapeCoddess Today at 6:44 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in April 2017?
by Kelejan Today at 12:26 am

» Geezer's 17
by Turan Today at 12:22 am

» Has anyone tried 13 per square?
by Turan Today at 12:04 am

» Get Moving!
by StrongAsMeat Yesterday at 10:20 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by StrongAsMeat Yesterday at 10:14 pm

» Butterflies
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 4:36 pm

» Mel's Mix shows it is worth its weight in gold
by TNGeezer Yesterday at 4:06 pm

» Reading Material?
by TNGeezer Yesterday at 3:56 pm

» Hello from Chino, CA (Zone 10a)
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:00 pm

» Podding Radishes, Anyone?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 2:48 pm

» First of the Season
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 2:37 pm

» N & C Midwest: April 2017!
by recoush Yesterday at 2:36 pm

» who has chickens
by RC3291 Yesterday at 2:00 pm

» April Avatar: Show Yourself!
by llama momma Yesterday at 1:22 pm

» Please comment on the plant layout for 2017
by greenthumbtobe Yesterday at 12:26 pm

» Healthy Meals
by RoOsTeR Yesterday at 11:21 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 10:24 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:12 am

» Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 9:44 am

» New England April 2017
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 9:27 am

» Potato Harvest 2017
by RC3291 Yesterday at 9:03 am

» What's in the bottom of your raised bed?
by RC3291 Yesterday at 8:57 am

» Spider Mites?
by yolos 4/21/2017, 10:50 pm

» Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans
by Greenbeard 4/21/2017, 4:10 pm

» Box Coatings
by ChasingAnnie 4/21/2017, 12:57 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  NowWeAreFour on 4/11/2015, 7:19 pm

I don't know if I read this somewhere or came up with it myself, but I wanted to run it by more experienced gardeners and see what you think. 

We don't get a huge amount of sun in our yard. We plant a lot of plants, so we get enough yield to keep us satisfied and fairly well fed from April to October, but it can be a fight to keep things thriving. Our tomato plants tend to get crazy tall rather than nice and bushy, and eventually, about 2/3 of the way through the season, at least a few will tip over and start dragging their cages and other plants around. 

I was wondering if, when they get to a certain point, I cut them off at the top, their energy would end up diverted into lateral growth/fruiting? I do pinch off the suckers religiously already. What do you think? Is there anything else I can do to help my leggy plants thrive and grow more efficiently?

Thanks!
avatar
NowWeAreFour

Posts : 25
Join date : 2012-04-02
Location : Zone 6A--Central NJ

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  quiltbea on 4/11/2015, 7:58 pm

Yes, you can lop off the tops of tall tomato plants.  When they reach the top of their cages, its a good idea to cut them off and allow the plant to give its energy to ripening and growing the tomatoes already on the vine and also for more lateral growth.
Whether lack of sunshine will hamper this effect, I can't say.
avatar
quiltbea

Female Posts : 4629
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 75
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  Turan on 4/11/2015, 8:20 pm

What about not pinching out the suckers so they can make bushy lateral growth?  When you pinch the suckers on a main stem you are urging the plant to grow taller, which is fine for a vertical trellis with crowded foot print, but seems opposite of what you want.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Belgrade, MT
Click for weather forecast
avatar
Turan

Female Posts : 2074
Join date : 2012-03-29
Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  Elizabeth on 4/11/2015, 9:06 pm

Are you growing determinate or indeterminate tomatoes?

I grow indeterminate varieties.  My DH welded re-bar frames.  The legs fit in the corners of a box and I hang twine from the cross member to train my tomatoes on. 

I opt for indeterminate tomatoes because:

1 - when grown vertically, suckers pinched, they require much less garden space than determinate varieties.  I usually grow 3 plants on one frame.  4' across the box and 1' from the side of the box.  I could actually grow 4 plants in the same space.  Determinate varieties require much more space. Usually about 3' x 3' per plant.

2 - determinate varieties produce large amounts at one time then quit.  Indeterminate varieties produce less fruit at one time but produce over a much longer period of time.

Food for thought.
avatar
Elizabeth

Female Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-11-25
Age : 64
Location : Lafayette, LA zone 9b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  NowWeAreFour on 4/12/2015, 9:12 am

Well, I'm so glad I asked! Your replies prompted me to do a little research, and it sounds like I should not be pruning the suckers off most of my plants. I never even thought about the determinate vs. indeterminate issue, but I hadn't realized it mattered, and it certainly does. 

http://faq.gardenweb.com/discussions/2766765/what-is-the-difference-between-determinate-and-indeterminate-tomatoes

I'll definitely be taking a new approach this summer. Thank you all!
avatar
NowWeAreFour

Posts : 25
Join date : 2012-04-02
Location : Zone 6A--Central NJ

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  CitizenKate on 4/12/2015, 7:53 pm

Yep, what Elizabeth said.  I grow both determinate and indeterminate.  In my garden, the indeterminates get their suckers pinched, the determinates are just allowed to sprawl out.  Keeping dead/dying leaves/branches pruned off also encourages new growth.  I do top my plants when they get to the top of their cages, mainly because it can be a real mess if they get so high they fall over.  Usually whatever fruits I get up that high don't turn out all that great anyway, so might as well let the plant focus its energy on the established fruits.
avatar
CitizenKate

Posts : 665
Join date : 2015-03-20
Location : Northeast KS, USA; Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  Elizabeth on 4/13/2015, 12:44 pm

BTW - pinched suckers can be rooted for later planting.  Fill a nursery pot, 1 gallon or larger, with MM.  Strip all but the top cluster of leaves from the sucker.  Bury the entire sucker stem in the soil leaving just the top cluster of leaves and an inch or 2 of stem above the mix. Keep evenly moist.  Lots of new starts FREE.
avatar
Elizabeth

Female Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-11-25
Age : 64
Location : Lafayette, LA zone 9b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  CitizenKate on 4/13/2015, 1:14 pm

good idea Like!
avatar
CitizenKate

Posts : 665
Join date : 2015-03-20
Location : Northeast KS, USA; Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  Windmere on 4/13/2015, 1:29 pm

@Elizabeth wrote:BTW - pinched suckers can be rooted for later planting.  Fill a nursery pot, 1 gallon or larger, with MM.  Strip all but the top cluster of leaves from the sucker.  Bury the entire sucker stem in the soil leaving just the top cluster of leaves and an inch or 2 of stem above the mix. Keep evenly moist.  Lots of new starts FREE.
Very good point Elizabeth.  I gave a friend my last "extra" tomato plant last year and he got tons of extra ones by rooting pinched suckers.  This is also a good tip if you happen to lose some of the plants you've raised from seed.  All is not lost... just multiply your stock this way.
avatar
Windmere

Male Posts : 1425
Join date : 2013-02-26
Age : 48
Location : Fayetteville, GA - Zone 7B - 8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Tomato plant idea--is this crazy?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum