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Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/6/2010, 10:59 am

Since this didn't get many hits and no responses, I'm trying again under a different title. I did an internet search, but found nothing about pruning multiple large suckers from tomatoes. Here's my original post:
The first tomatoes I put in were in walls o water and are now huge. I failed to properly prune the suckers at the base of the plants and some have 4 or 5 over a foot long, some already fruiting. I'm fast running out of space on the trellis. I've cut one large sucker off per plant, but am concerned about cutting too many large suckers from a plant for fear of shocking the plant. I know that is possible with trees--don't know about tomatoes. So, what advice can you give me?

I've thought of not pruning the fruiting ones, but perhaps top them above the cluster to keep them from growing any more. OR perhaps pruning just one sucker per plant, wait a week to 10 days and prune the other so as not to shock the plant. ARGGHHHH!!!! Why do I do this to myself.

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Post  Bec on 5/6/2010, 11:21 am

I wish I could help you but I don't know the answer. Your plan sounds like a good one though. Just wanted you to know why I hadn't replied before. And I'll watch for responses so I can learn from your mistake before I make the same one.

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Re: Question

Post  martha on 5/6/2010, 11:53 am

I know you said you did an internet search - so you might have already seen this article, but I had just yesterday bookmarked it because it is the best one I have found so far.

I hope this helps!



http://www.growing-tomato.com/Pruning_Tomatoes_A_Guide_to_Pruning_Tomato_Plants.html
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Re: Question

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/6/2010, 1:58 pm

@martha wrote:I know you said you did an internet search - so you might have already seen this article, but I had just yesterday bookmarked it because it is the best one I have found so far.

I hope this helps!



[url=http://www.growing-tomato.com/Pruning_Tomatoes_A_Guide_to_Pruning_Tomato_Plants.html
http://www.growing-tomato.com/Pruning_Tomatoes_A_Guide_to_Pruning_Tomato_Plants.html[/quote[/url]]

It's not that I don't know how to prune tomatoes, but not sure whether to take off large suckers that have started fruiting. Don't want to hurt the plant. The above article is good, but I'm way past the "pinch the sucker" off stage -- more like clip it off with garden shears. But thanks for posting.

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Post  Chopper on 5/6/2010, 2:36 pm

Why don't you try this: Do the whole needed bit of pruning on just one tomato. watch it for a week and see how it looks. Since no one has a definitive answer, it is time to go to the lab. Let us know what your observations are.

And, btw, I do not think pruning just above the fruit will harm the plant. But that is just gut.

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Re: Question

Post  miinva on 5/6/2010, 2:44 pm

I'm no expert, but last year we whacked at least six suckers off a red grape tomato plant long after it was fruiting and the plant didn't seem to care in the least. Maybe you could take a couple off of one of them and see how it goes? I even rooted a couple of the cuttings Smile

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Re: Question

Post  Megan on 5/6/2010, 7:11 pm

Yikes, now I am scared. That article specifically mentioned one of my tomato varieties as a candidate for pruning. Guess I will have to learn on the fly!
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Re: Question

Post  camprn on 5/6/2010, 7:25 pm

I would probably look at the blossoms and think to my self,,, 'oooooooh early fruit' ... then snip the sucker and start thinking about upper plant support. I may even stick the sucker in the ground to see if it will root... The plant wants to make fruit and seed, and so it will... just my $0.02.
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Re: Question

Post  martha on 5/6/2010, 9:58 pm

sorry, Belfry bat, I didn't mean to miss the important details!

I like the combination of your idea and Shock's - prune above the fruit, and not on all the plants.
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