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Clarification on pruning toms

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Clarification on pruning toms

Post  jymarino on 5/10/2011, 12:23 pm

I just went out and my tom is not playing nice with my sugar peas or my basil so it is definitely time to prune. I don't want to prune too much though. I took a few of what I believe are suckers off, and will be taking off the bottom branches later. Do I just pick one other good branch to keep or should I keep more? And here I was worried that the silly plant wouldn't grow in 6 inches of soil. Embarassed

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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  killjug on 5/10/2011, 1:18 pm

Unless my toms have more than one main branch when I get them, I prune them to have only one main branch. When it get super hot here and they start looking bad I prune the plant back and let it make 2 main stems when it starts growing again in the fall.

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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  Blackrose on 5/10/2011, 1:55 pm

Here are a couple of really good videos on how to prune tomatoes:

http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/how-to-prune-tomatoes/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8&feature=related

I forget right now who posted them previously, but I'm sure I saw them on the forum here somewhere.
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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  peanut0915 on 5/10/2011, 2:39 pm

This will be my first year attempting to vine and prune my tomatoes, and I am TERRIFIED that I will mess it up. I watched those great videos, but I'm still not sure how to tell the difference between a sucker and what you need to leave to grow (besides the blooms of course). I haven't even planted my tomatoes yet but am thinking ahead. I am also going to try the horizontal method, but again, I'm really intimidated by these new (to me) methods. At least I finally looked up the difference between determinate and indeterminate! Good luck!
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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  quiltbea on 5/10/2011, 3:05 pm

The sucker is usually much smaller than the branching stem and its in between the vee of the main stem and a leafy branch. Just pinch it out of the vee.

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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/10/2011, 3:17 pm

@Blackrose wrote:Here are a couple of really good videos on how to prune tomatoes:

http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/how-to-prune-tomatoes/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8&feature=related

I forget right now who posted them previously, but I'm sure I saw them on the forum here somewhere.

Blackrose thank you for those videos, I forgot where they were and couldnt find them, I especially like the one in the green house. I found the one from an earlier post and cant remember who posted it either and thought I would put it in.
Its the fellow from Growing your greens visiting a SFG farmer and his tomatoes




I like all the videos they helped me Smile I am pruning and I see so many blossoms now and the tomatoes are there formed too !!
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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  Blackrose on 5/10/2011, 4:13 pm

Thank you for that video Ha-v-v! I've never seen that one before. I like how he refers to the spot between the main stem and a branch as the armpit. Laughing
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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  duhh on 5/10/2011, 4:40 pm

I too was afraid of pruning my toms.. not anymore! I have cut back my toms drastically countless times and they come back stronger than ever. If you snip off the end of a indeterminate tom, you can allow a sucker to grow and become the main stem. They find a way to grow!

I recently took some of my huge tomato plants and cut all but the fruiting branches.( I have them under shade cloth so hoping they wont get scalded in the sun) Also topped it off so it would continue growing up.This caused the plant to focus of ripening the fruit instead of creating more plant. When all the fruit ripens, I will then cut the whole branch off and allow a new one to grow up from the bottom.
6 inches is enough soil! some of my plants (overwintered) are 10 feet tall now! and I have picked over 200 yellow pear tomatoes in the past 2 weeks from 4 plants and there is still plenty growing!

I encourage pruning., I didn't prune my plant like I should have from the first and it's hard to bring yourself to cut them back when they are full and beautiful, but once I started doing it I found the plant on the inside didn't look to well because they couldn't get and air/ sunlight and the leaves are yellowed or dried up
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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/10/2011, 5:44 pm

@jymarino wrote:I just went out and my tom is not playing nice with my sugar peas or my basil so it is definitely time to prune. I don't want to prune too much though.

I'm not sure I understand? Do you mean it's growing too fast? If so, why do we want to slow tomatoes down? They take long enough to fruit, imo. Seems to me we just let them run and next year make adjustments as to what works well next to what. I still consider myself a "beginner." I don't dream of stopping something that is growing really well. And, I don't pretend to think I can micromanage neighboring plants and get the maxx out of all of them. The strongest will survive. That's just the way it is. Next year, I make sure the "loser" gets a home far away from the dominator, and I try something else underneath the dominator....like lettuce, spinach, or radishes.

Another thing to add: It's ALWAYS about the roots! If you have a good sized root system, you should be able to cut back a tomato more than you feel is safe and still do no damage.
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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  gingeandhales on 5/10/2011, 5:52 pm

Can you prune Cucumbers the same way?

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Re: Clarification on pruning toms

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/10/2011, 6:14 pm

@Blackrose wrote:Thank you for that video Ha-v-v! I've never seen that one before. I like how he refers to the spot between the main stem and a branch as the armpit. Laughing

Blackrose you are welcome!! I liked the fellow's way of sharing, he did a nice clear job. I was even more impressed with it being SFG of course Smile

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