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Post  GWN on 5/9/2012, 7:10 pm

I have about 15 beautiful tomato plants that are growing in large pots in my greenhouse, hoping to put outside in the next few days
I just noticed that several of them now have the starts of flowers on them.
Last year I remember something about removing the first few flowers will make the plant stronger, any thoughts???

It IS a very hard thing to do Smile
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/9/2012, 7:47 pm

Are they indeterminate or determinate tomatoes? I'm sure that makes a difference Smile
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Post  GWN on 5/9/2012, 8:03 pm

They are indeterminate..
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Post  laufenberga on 5/9/2012, 9:40 pm

I am interested in the answer as well. I have both determinate and one variety of indeterminate. I've never done indeter. before.
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Post  Turan on 5/10/2012, 1:07 am

I never can stand to take them off and I don't think it has ever mattered. But I use cages and prune minimally so I am not stressing the plant with all that healing cuts also.
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Post  acara on 5/10/2012, 7:03 am

Stunting, single vine technique and culling/pinching first tier blooms are typicall things show-growers do to increase the size (and some think quality) of the tom's, by focusing the plants resources on a limited number of fruit.

There isn't reallly a "need" to do it .... unless your just obsessive about things like that tongue

The plant will do just fine if you just let it bush, or just trim suckers.

Just make sure if you do it, you only do it to indeterminate types......
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Post  RoOsTeR on 5/10/2012, 7:53 am

@acara wrote:Stunting, single vine technique and culling/pinching first tier blooms are typicall things show-growers do to increase the size (and some think quality) of the tom's, by focusing the plants resources on a limited number of fruit.

There isn't reallly a "need" to do it .... unless your just obsessive about things like that tongue

The plant will do just fine if you just let it bush, or just trim suckers.

Just make sure if you do it, you only do it to indeterminate types......

Thanks acara! I guess I've always been told to do just like Gwn mentioned. Pinch of the early blooms to focus the growth on the young plant. Your saying this really isn't the case?

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Post  TN_GARDENER on 5/10/2012, 9:14 am

You say you have 15 plants? Here's an idea: Have a little fun this year. Prune some & don't prune the others, then compare your results at the end of the season.
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/10/2012, 9:44 am

@TN_GARDENER wrote:You say you have 15 plants? Here's an idea: Have a little fun this year. Prune some & don't prune the others, then compare your results at the end of the season.

+1! I think this would be a great experiment!
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Post  quiltbea on 5/10/2012, 10:07 am

I've heard about pinching off the blossoms before transplanting them so the plant can concentrate of growing strong roots. I've never tried it because I've never had blossoms on mine.

Then again, Luke on MIGardener whose youtubes to which I subscribe has plants with tiny tomatoes on them sometimes when he transplants them and he seems to feel its ok. He grown over a hundred at a time. Even John of GrowingYourGreens was thrilled to buy a transplant this week that had little tomatoes on it. He said it was a head start.

I agree with TN Gard....experiment. Try some with and some without and see if there's any noticable difference.
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Post  GWN on 5/10/2012, 10:20 am

Last year I also snipped off the lower leaves as the plant grew, following the suggestions of Eliot Coleman. My plan was to lay the plant along the ground as it reached the top of my trellis.
But it froze before that, but may try again this year.
After you harvest the fruit from the bottom you cut off the leaves.
any thoughts on that?
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/10/2012, 10:22 am

I remove a lot of leaves from my tomatoes as they grow, but I don't really target any ones in particular. But now that I think about it, the bottom ones are usually the first to go because they start getting yellow/bug eaten first. So maybe it would be prudent to remove them before they get to that state!
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Post  acara on 5/10/2012, 10:29 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:
@acara wrote:Stunting, single vine technique and culling/pinching first tier blooms are typicall things show-growers do to increase the size (and some think quality) of the tom's, by focusing the plants resources on a limited number of fruit.

There isn't reallly a "need" to do it .... unless your just obsessive about things like that tongue

The plant will do just fine if you just let it bush, or just trim suckers.

Just make sure if you do it, you only do it to indeterminate types......

Thanks acara! I guess I've always been told to do just like Gwn mentioned. Pinch of the early blooms to focus the growth on the young plant. Your saying this really isn't the case?



Oh no ... just the opposite, I'm absolutely fanatical about it & do it religiously. I also trim everything of the plant except for three focal tiers and don't let the plant keep blossum until I'm sure the plant/roots are fully developed.

However, growing 4lb+ perfect tomatoes is not everyones goal in SFG/gardening, and I don't want people thinking there is only one "correct" way to grow something.

I'm not a big fan of shoving techniques down peoples throats & consider almost every growing technique valid, in certain situations.

It's great to educate yourself and consider other ways of growing, but ultimately... if your enjoying being out gardening, then your doing it right Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Post  Lavender Debs on 5/10/2012, 10:37 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:
@acara wrote:Stunting, single vine technique and culling/pinching first tier blooms are typicall things show-growers do to increase the size (and some think quality) of the tom's, by focusing the plants resources on a limited number of fruit.

There isn't reallly a "need" to do it .... unless your just obsessive about things like that

The plant will do just fine if you just let it bush, or just trim suckers.

Just make sure if you do it, you only do it to indeterminate types......

Thanks acara! I guess I've always been told to do just like Gwn mentioned. Pinch of the early blooms to focus the growth on the young plant. Your saying this really isn't the case?


I agree with the many who say EXPERIMENT. Acara is in Florida where tomatoes seem happy no matter what. You are in a different zone. (I just saw her next awesome post). I have no idea what it is like to grow a tomato in your zone Roo, in the PNW we do WHAT EVER IT TAKES. The thought of pinching early blossoms frightens me; they may be my only chance at any fruit in my chilly area. EXPERIMENT

Debs....looking forward to a weekend without la nina
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Post  GWN on 5/10/2012, 10:43 am

I grew the large 2+ lb tomatoes last year and the stalks were huge, more like trunks, I wondered for awhile whether they were too large.

I kept the underneath part of plant clean, getting rid of all of those lower leaves.
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Post  acara on 5/10/2012, 10:45 am

Here is the the other extreme .... triple transplant, 80% buried start, collared, stunted, single vine, tiered focal growth;






tomato blossoms remove, or.. 102_2923






End game is to end up with a single, monster tomato, at each tier (3 max per vine). Again, just one of the many techniques out there & not necessarily for everyone..... but it's what I consider "fun" gardening.
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Post  Turan on 5/10/2012, 11:24 am

My strategy is to get fruit, and vine ripened if at all possible. Before the green house I was limited to various early ripening determinates that taste almost as good as store bought Rolling Eyes Now I can grow mid season indeterminates and have them ripen in the fall. ooooooo they taste SOOOOOOO goood. A vine with blossoms or fruit on it at transplanting is a head start. I don't prune much early in the summer, how much depends a lot on the varieties character. Then on August first I prune all stems with out fruit setting on them and depending on my mood will do a root pruning as well.

I wonder now if I would get earlier fruit if I pruned heavier..... pruning shocks the plant so it hurries with that reproduction process of ripening fruit. Or at least that is my theory. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm tomato blossoms remove, or.. 601593
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Post  Lavender Debs on 5/10/2012, 12:33 pm

@GWN wrote:I grew the large 2+ lb tomatoes last year and the stalks were huge, more like trunks, I wondered for awhile whether they were too large.

I kept the underneath part of plant clean, getting rid of all of those lower leaves.

Thanks for that GWN!!
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