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Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

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Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  MelissaG on 7/16/2010, 12:41 am

So, I knew I didn't do it the recommended way but I did it anyway. I was trying to avoid spending more money on my boxes this year so I planted tomatoes without proper support. AND the first place I bought from couldn't give me good info on vining/non-vining plants. I've since found a better source. So I'm not even totally sure if the first ones I planted are the right kind. So...now that my tomato plants are completely out of control is there anything I can do? I've been pruning the suckers and have tried to support them with just stakes. Should I try to cut some of the branches off or just leave them? I'm okay with this being just a year for learning but don't want it to be a total loss. They are actually growing well and already bearing fruit!
Thanks for your help!

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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  Chopper on 7/16/2010, 12:45 am

FWIW I just did a severe pruning on mine and they seem none the worse for wear. My only rule was to not cut off branches with tomatoes or flowers on them. I feel a lot less overwhelmed with them at a manageable level now.

Chopper

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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  MelissaG on 7/16/2010, 2:47 am

Thanks so much for replying! Maybe that's what I should do....they are taking some of the sunlight from a few plants around. Thanks again!

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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  silverbug on 7/16/2010, 6:50 am

Hi Melissa, I'm in your neck of the woods! I kind of have the opposite problem, and I pruned them incorrectly or something. I ended up with two main branches on my plants. I have no idea what I'm doing. I've been growing tomatoes for years, but the pruning thing is weird to me, and for whatever reason, type of plants, etc...I kind of don't get it. I get it, but obviously, not correctly. Soooo, one of my plants is stunted and bushy, only just now sort of getting with the program enough to send out some flowers, but I dont' think he's planning on getting any bigger. The others are slowing getting taller, but they're NOT what they should be by this time. If I were you, I'd prune what I could, leaving potential tomatoes where you can.

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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  Chopper on 7/16/2010, 5:03 pm

As a caveat, when I severely pruned mine - I have been pruning suckers all along - they already had set most of their fruit and still seemed to be producing flowers. I do not know how it would have worked with a tomato that had yet to set.

Chopper

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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  Megan on 7/16/2010, 7:36 pm

I accidentally broke a main branch on one of my tomato plants. (Silly me, I was trying to position it on the trellis.) Not broken all the way through, but cracked it. I tied it up with a piece of nylon stocking, supported it, and am hoping/praying it will grow back together again. It's been a day (two?) now and the broken part seems normal still.

My biggest tomato plant... I've tried to pinch every sucker I see, but some must have gotten away from me. I may yet have to prune it back, so I feel for you!
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Megan's broken stem

Post  Furbalsmom on 7/16/2010, 7:54 pm

Megan, I had a friend "Help" me weed my garden (I did not use Mel's Mix this year, but an exisiting garden area inherited from prior residents) She accidently managed to lean her hand directly on the central stem of an heirloom tomato plant. GAAAAAAA! The stem broke, but it did not break off. It just laid there on the ground looking so pitiful. I staked the stem, built the soil/mix up around the broken area, and it never wilted and now is producing flowers.
I think tying the affected area of yours with a nylon stocking should be just the thing along with providing the support you indicated. Good Luck!
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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  Megan on 7/16/2010, 8:01 pm

Thank you for the encouragement, Furbalsmom. I hope so too. It is a flowering branch on my Gold Medal (heirloom) striped tomato, can't wait to try some!
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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  Furbalsmom on 7/16/2010, 8:25 pm

Yummmmm, Best of Luck with your Gold Medal striped heirloom tomato. Wish I could come taste it when it ripens.
We miss Manassas, Sterling, Shenandoah Valley, and Falls Church, VA. Moved away 16 yrs ago. Very hard growing tomatoes here on the Oregon Coast. Cold and Wet Spring, no real sun until June Ground was too cool until mid June. Everything had to be planted so late, my first Patio type Tomato in a 5 gal container is almost ready to pick. (1 cherry tomato, how pitiful)


Last edited by Furbalsmom on 7/16/2010, 8:27 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  Megan on 7/16/2010, 9:33 pm

Thanks very much! Smile

Hmm... we seem to have traded places, somehow. I grew up in New England, but I spent years out on the west coast, including Oregon. I still have family in Oregon, all also transplanted from East coast, too. One family member in the Portland area had a very frustrating gardening spring this year, though usually they get a great harvest. I have been here in Manassas for 10 years now. And I have all of two green tomatoes right now, so you are ahead of me! Very Happy
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Re: Newbie with out of control tomato plants.....

Post  MelissaG on 7/17/2010, 3:14 am

Thanks everyone..I think I need to prune at least a little and tie things up better. I actually broke one of my heirlooms almost down to the ground (what is it with the heirlooms?!). My mom said if some of the leaves were on it would probably grow back. There were no leaves but lo and behold it grew back beautifully!! Smaller than the rest but it looks good!

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