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Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

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Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  duhh on 2/13/2011, 6:59 pm

I pruned my yellow pear tomato plants today. They were crazy bushy. I hope I didn't kill them! Having trouble adding pics on here right now, so I posted pics on my blog @

http://duhhworld.blogspot.com/

Do you think they will survive their "haircut/buzzcut?"

I suggest keeping up on your pruning and pinching off suckers so you don't have to go through this. It was so hard to cut off big beautiful healthy branches. It had to be done, I couldn't see where the fruit was or tell which plant was which!
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  miinva on 2/13/2011, 9:14 pm

I bet they'll survive, tomatoes are tougher than they look! Smile

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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  acara on 2/14/2011, 6:46 am

Doesn't look excessive at all ...I think you'll be fine
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  duhh on 2/16/2011, 12:00 pm

Now that I can post pics again here they are so you don't have to be directed off the sfg site:


Before pruning




After pruning.


I guess it doesn't look at dramatic as I first though. I did cut away about 50 % of the plant, but it's been a couple days now and they didn't seem to notice. At least no my pepper plants can get some sun!
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  acara on 2/16/2011, 8:43 pm

I'm a "compulsive-cutter" by nature, to the point that my family does not allow me to touch anything in the yard (other than my tomatoes), without supervision.

At a minimum, I cut my tomatoes before transplanting, remove first buds, trim for suckers & disease daily and "top them" at the top of trellis/cage .... plus any maintance "thinning" that I feel necessary (if it's not load-bearing, doesn't grow vertical on the support & doesn't bear fruit .... it gets clipped).

You should be fine with the occasional "cut-back" ....at least as far as the tom's are concerned.
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  duhh on 4/5/2011, 2:46 am

Here is an update on my toms. Didn't hurt them at all! I have prunned them at least another 3 times trying to keep them less bushy. They have lots and lots of fruit on them. Thats me back there. I'm 5'8



My next thought is to allow a new branch to come up from the bottom and as soon as the toms all ripen off of one of the taller branches, I'm going to chop it off. Just to see how it goes. They are getting way to big. This is the bed I planted before I read the whole book and regret not having the right trellis set up. All my newly planted beds are set up way better with 8ft trellis.
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  acara on 4/5/2011, 10:03 am

Yep ... once you "top off" the plant and get through your first harvest, you can start playing the "where do I want fruit" game with indeterminate toms.

I usually let a few selective suckers towards bottom/middle live, and train them out/up.

If yr using cages, I would start at the first ring from the bottom and go up to about 1' from the top. I also direct the new growth to the outside edges of the cage/trellis.

Normally by the second round of fruit, I can have the tomatos where I can see them all, access them easily as the develop and harvest them without a lot of reaching/bending.

The second wave typically bears beter/larger fruit for me too, since roots are established & there isn''t as much of a battle between plant growth and fruit development.
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I did it again!

Post  duhh on 5/29/2011, 7:22 pm

I keep doing it (pruning) and doing it.. This time it is the most! The vines go so heavy the stings began breaking so I trimmed everything up and switched from twine to 550 cord. (something I had on hand)
Here is what they looked like on Wednesday.


Here is what they look like after I go through today! (sunday)



Still lots of toms. I knocked off and cut off tons of green toms, wich was hard to do, but needed to be done.
I now plan to let 1 or two new branches to come up and when the old ones run out of fruit, I will cut the whole thing off. Some branches are easily over 10 ft long!
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  boffer on 5/29/2011, 8:46 pm

@acara wrote:Yep ... once you "top off" the plant and get through your first harvest, you can start playing the "where do I want fruit" game with indeterminate toms.

I usually let a few selective suckers towards bottom/middle live, and train them out/up.

If yr using cages, I would start at the first ring from the bottom and go up to about 1' from the top. I also direct the new growth to the outside edges of the cage/trellis.

Normally by the second round of fruit, I can have the tomatos where I can see them all, access them easily as the develop and harvest them without a lot of reaching/bending.

The second wave typically bears beter/larger fruit for me too, since roots are established & there isn''t as much of a battle between plant growth and fruit development.

I'm only 3,000 miles away and don't understand a word of what you are saying. One of us must be on a different planet! thinking I'm still putting cloches on my toms at night. Second wave? Hrrmmph!
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  shannon1 on 5/30/2011, 1:55 am

@acara wrote:I'm a "compulsive-cutter" by nature, to the point that my family does not allow me to touch anything in the yard (other than my tomatoes), without supervision.

At a minimum, I cut my tomatoes before transplanting, remove first buds, trim for suckers & disease daily and "top them" at the top of trellis/cage .... plus any maintance "thinning" that I feel necessary (if it's not load-bearing, doesn't grow vertical on the support & doesn't bear fruit .... it gets clipped).

You should be fine with the occasional "cut-back" ....at least as far as the tom's are concerned.
My neighbor friend says she is going to hide my snippers.
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  herblover on 5/30/2011, 10:30 am

@boffer wrote:
@acara wrote:Yep ... once you "top off" the plant and get through your first harvest, you can start playing the "where do I want fruit" game with indeterminate toms.

I usually let a few selective suckers towards bottom/middle live, and train them out/up.

If yr using cages, I would start at the first ring from the bottom and go up to about 1' from the top. I also direct the new growth to the outside edges of the cage/trellis.

Normally by the second round of fruit, I can have the tomatos where I can see them all, access them easily as the develop and harvest them without a lot of reaching/bending.

The second wave typically bears beter/larger fruit for me too, since roots are established & there isn''t as much of a battle between plant growth and fruit development.

I'm only 3,000 miles away and don't understand a word of what you are saying. One of us must be on a different planet! I'm still putting cloches on my toms at night. Second wave? Hrrmmph!

I just planted mine two days ago! Not even time for a flower yet!
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  duhh on 5/30/2011, 12:34 pm

I'll admit, I am amazingly blessed to live where I do it may be getting into the 100's, but these overly prunned plants are from Oct 2010. I was able to over winter them even though they got frosted at least 3 times! They are troopers, and so I want to see how long I can keep them going. I want to see if I can nurse them though the summer heat. sunny
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  martha on 5/30/2011, 9:58 pm

Boffer, I'll meet you in Arizona....tomato plants that were being pruned 7 months ago and are still going....
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  boffer on 5/30/2011, 10:19 pm

You're on! Wait a sec...don't they also get the sci-fi movie bugs? Hmmm...tomato hornworms vs endless tomatoes...
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  martha on 5/30/2011, 10:23 pm

Ah, well, just another case of the tomato is always redder.....
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  Tril on 5/31/2011, 7:19 am

I have Tomato Envy.
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Re: Tomato pruning... I may have gone a little crazy...

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/31/2011, 10:42 am

I'm with you, Tril, just a few flowers to date on our tomatoes. Maybe I should have run a heating coil into the bottom of the tomato bed like Boffer. Sigh.

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