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Tomato Confusion

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Tomato Confusion

Post  Tbites on 6/23/2011, 8:49 am

Good morning,

My tomatoes are growing and to my delight, 3 of the plants are making fruit bounce

But... they're starting to look a little crowded and I'm starting to wonder if I'm not pruning enough. I've been removing the suckers diligently and read many threads here on pruning. (One of the plants is a little over 2 feet tall and I've removed the bottom 10" of branches, I intend to do the same once these other plants reach that height. )

I watched this video on pruning tomatoes. It all made sense. But then I go to my box to look for the secondary stem to remove and my brain goes back to confused. For some reason, my main stems seem to thin out and split where they bloom. I'm a very visual learner so I'm hoping someone can take a look at these and point me in the right direction.
[img][/img]

[img][/img]

M= Main stem, but should I remove A, B, or C in these respective pics ?

My apologies if I'm asking for hand holding here... but perhaps these details will help other newbies too.
Thanks for your help.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  camprn on 6/23/2011, 9:01 am

hmm... I would wait a few days more, let the plant grow some and it will revel it's intentions. You will more than likely feel more confident and make a good decision then. Right now the plant does need all the foliage it can get for good fruit production. If you cut in error it may set you back more than a week or two. Patience Grasshoppah! Wink
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  quiltbea on 6/23/2011, 9:05 am

It looks to me like 'B' is the one growing in the vee of the branches.
Remove that one.

Just look for the upright greenery growing out of the vee. That's the sucker.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  camprn on 6/23/2011, 9:09 am

Bea, that's what I thought when I first glanced at the photo, but after studying it for a few minutes, it appears that the stem marked M has exclusively blossoms, and I thought perhaps it is just a vigorous fruiting stem. I don't see any terminal growth on stem M, thus the suggestion of waiting to see if it will produce a growing end. Maybe I am missing something that is out of the picture. Shocked
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Tbites on 6/23/2011, 9:23 am

thanks

I will trust the Yoda, keep my hands off and we'll see what happens a week from now. Is there such a thing as a tomato plant with NO secondary stem ?

Youngling
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/23/2011, 9:47 am

If you leave this alone, in a week it will send up a shoot from a crook somewhere. I did this accidentally the other day, trying to weave a plant around a string. Twice. Sad

I learned to loosen the string first.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  quiltbea on 6/23/2011, 9:59 am

camprn.....I think you're right. I wasn't looking at anything but the forming of the branches.
The M looks like its a fruiting branch and NOT the main stem.
I agree with you, its a 'wait and see' because if necessary, you can always allow another branch to be the main stem if the main was accidently lopped off earlier.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Tbites on 6/23/2011, 10:11 am

I must've been typing because I missed quiltbea's first post and camprn's second. Now that I look at the second pic I see it's not obvious... the B is a branch coming out directly from the stem. It's not coming out of a vee like the suckers do.

Here I thought the key to identifying the main stem was that it's the one with blossoms on it, but you're saying it's not. thinking

Will wait a week. And I think if anyone is missing something here, it's most likely me tongue
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  quiltbea on 6/23/2011, 10:54 am

The main stem is like the trunk of a tree. All branches come from that one. All branches, including the blossoming branches grow out from the main stem/trunk.

That blossoming branch marked "M" may well be a sucker that's producing. 'B' may be the main stem. Its difficult to actually see the workings on that plant without seeing it in person.

Yes, wait and see.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Mamachibi on 6/23/2011, 12:54 pm

Is this an heirloom tomato? From what I understand (and I could be COMPLETELY wrong) some heirlooms develop multiple main branches.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Goosegirl on 6/23/2011, 1:12 pm

Ah, I am just waiting for mine to get big enough to HAVE some confusion!
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  etherati on 6/23/2011, 1:57 pm

@Mamachibi wrote:Is this an heirloom tomato? From what I understand (and I could be COMPLETELY wrong) some heirlooms develop multiple main branches.

No idea if it's 'normal', but my brandywine bifurcated neatly into two main stems in much the same way. Neither was a sucker; they both just split off of the main vine.

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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/23/2011, 8:48 pm

One of my Julia Child tomatoes also divided itself into two growing "heads" without the sucker usually present. Perhaps heirlooms have this talent which contributes to their survival in an artificial genertic-splicing world. (According to TomatoFest (from which I obtained seed), Julia is an heirloom without a name, but dedicated to Julia Child by TomatoFest owner/grower Gary Ibsen.)

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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Tbites on 6/24/2011, 6:37 am

@ Goosegirl... Your time will come Wink

@ Heirloomers... Interesting comments.... so I went and double checked the markers... all it says... One of these is a Beefsteak and the other is a Fantastic. I read online that there are Beefsteak hybrids and Beefsteak heirlooms. Though I highly doubt these are heirlooms since they're both HomeDepot transplants and HD tells me they were purchased from a local producer.

It's now raining and raining right into next week... further enforcing me to wait
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So I waited a week.... pic heavy

Post  Tbites on 7/1/2011, 12:16 pm

So... I waited a week to see what would happen, it rained quite a bit last wknd and it seems most of the plants loved it and grew bounce

But... these 2 plants haven't "revealed" much. Thought I'd post a couple more pics to make things clearer.... for the experts here. This is my normal beefsteak plant... growing UP [img][/img]

In comparison, from left to right is Early Girl (late transplant) but quickly catching up in height to the beefsteak and fantastic. [img][/img]

The pic below is the split Beefsteak for more accurate comparison , I don't think I was confused as to the main stem. [img][/img]

I notice some of the bottom branches are quite fat... perhaps their "hoarding" energy away from the main stem ? I had to twist one these branches to attach it to the trellis because while quite full... it was curving down and touching the soil.

For those of you whose plants bifurcated.... what was the growth pattern ? And did you change how much or how little you pruned ?

Thanks for your help and HAPPY CANADA DAY !

P.S. I pasted the thumbnail code to take up less space on the post... if it doesn't take you to a larger pic please let me know.
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Tbites on 7/3/2011, 9:45 am

Bump please
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Denese on 7/3/2011, 10:37 am

I can't see any in the photos, but is there any new growth anywhere on the plants, anywhere at all?
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  Tbites on 7/3/2011, 11:27 am

Thanks Denese...

That's what I mean, all other plants have grown but these 2 aren't growing up... they just have tomatoes getting bigger so perhaps if I cut one of the fat branches that would encourage them to grow UP ? If I had the guts, I'd just go ahead and snip but being a "reborn plant killer" I don't trust myself to do that yet !

Some people posted in the thread earlier that their heirlooms this did... but I have no idea what the growth pattern would be then. Hopefully they'll pop in here ....
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Re: Tomato Confusion

Post  camprn on 7/3/2011, 11:31 am

I see new growth in thumbnail #1, at the top of the plant. In the other pics, if you have been pruning, perhaps you took the growing tips off by accident, or perhaps they are actually determinate tomato plants. Just my $0.02. the plants look great ! Very Happy
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Update

Post  Tbites on 8/9/2011, 2:06 pm

In the event someone else's plants has the main stem split so weirdly... just HAD to post an update. I came back from holidays to this.



The 2 middle plants that bifurcated are fantastic and beefsteak... which came from the same shelf as the beefsteak to the far right. Didn't know beefsteak also existed as determinates ??

Either way, they never got any taller but their tomatoes seem to be ripening (and fattening up) faster than most of my other plants. I'm just ecstatic it wasn't a loss.
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