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Post  javaaddict Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:10 am

I am trying to single vine trellis my tomatoes. For the most part, I've been successful. (I think. lol) I've been pulling off the suckers between the main branch and the existing shoots, taking the top of the "Y" basically. There are two MONSTER plants though that are huge - I can't tell even where to prune them. I removed an independent vine from the very bottom of each of these plants, it was huge and starting to look like it was going to flower. They have equal growth coming out of the top, one in 3 directions and one in 4!!!!! I've watched some youtube videos but they are smart and prune them long before they have my issue. How do I decide where to cut them? Can I at this point without killing them? Any advice is welcome. I'm hoping there's a simple answer to this...
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Post  quiltbea Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:47 am

Are you removing the growth BETWEEN the Y? It sounds like you're removing the producing branch instead, but then maybe I'm not reading you right.

In any case, if I understand you correctly, you have more than one leader on your tomato.......a few strong branches that are growing taller than the rest.

I saw a video on having the dilemma of having 2 leaders and the idea was that any branch you choose in that situation can be your new leader, so just make your decision and remove the others. But I would not remove more than a few branches or suckers at any one time so as not to shock the plant too badly.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
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Post  javaaddict Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:56 am

Yes, I'm removing the little guy that starts growing in between the main branch and the one that sticks out almost at a perpendicular from the main branch. It's usually very little and obvious, but not so much with these two big ones.

It's good to know I won't completely stunt it if I prune, that the left over one will take over as the main vine. I'll work on it over the next few days and see if I can gain control again. These are my black krim heirlooms that I grew from seed, so it's shocking to me to see them doing so well. I figured it would just be a good try this first year to grow them and that I'd end up buying plants anyway. haha
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Post  quiltbea Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:10 am

I'm going to have to get some Black Krim seeds next year. I hear good things about it. I'm growing Black Plum for the first time.
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Post  Hasselback Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:19 pm

I've had the same dilemma before. You can save yourself significant emotional duress by pruning early and often. It's easier to prune if you're not taking down HUGE healthy pieces of plant.

Good luck.

G.
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Post  floyd1440 Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:35 pm

@Hasselback wrote:I've had the same dilemma before. You can save yourself significant emotional duress by pruning early and often. It's easier to prune if you're not taking down HUGE healthy pieces of plant.

Good luck.

G.

I have the same issue with a few of my tomatoes as well. Most of them are single stem but two of them have two stems now and it is difficult to determine which stem is the main one.

Will take some pics tomorrow and perhaps someone could provide some ideas of were to prune of if I should just let it go........
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Post  kinggarbear Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:47 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Are you removing the growth BETWEEN the Y? It sounds like you're removing the producing branch instead, but then maybe I'm not reading you right.

In any case, if I understand you correctly, you have more than one leader on your tomato.......a few strong branches that are growing taller than the rest.

I saw a video on having the dilemma of having 2 leaders and the idea was that any branch you choose in that situation can be your new leader, so just make your decision and remove the others. But I would not remove more than a few branches or suckers at any one time so as not to shock the plant too badly.

Good luck and let us know what happens.



You can also pinch off the apical tip of a secondary leader, if ther are flowers on it, and terminate further growth. That will allow the flowers to fruit out, but stop the leader aspect of that branch.

Also, suckers root readily. If you snip off a large sucker and have a space for another tomato plant, just stick it in the ground & keep it well watered... it will root, and because this "Clone" is the same age as the parent plant it will start producing flowers rather quickly.
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Post  FamilyGardening Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:44 pm

glad for this thread Very Happy

this is our first year growing heirlooms and all of our tomatoes we started from seed....

we want to try single stem as well....but most of the plants have more then two main growing stems....Shocked first time to ever see tomatoes grow like that.....we have been taking off the suckers.....but not sure what to do with the two or three main stems.....we will take some pic's too and share.....see what you all think....is it a heirloom thing or what?

hugs

rose
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Post  FamilyGardening Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:12 pm

here are a quick snap of a few of our tom's with the problem of more then one main stem.....i know a few look like the suckers that have grown, but the problem is the sucker looking main stem has just as many if not more blooms What a Face

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0523

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0524

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0525

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0526

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0527

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0528

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0529

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0530

single vine trellising tomatoes Dscf0531

hugs

rose
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Post  acara Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:40 am

If your leads are that big; I wouldnt go chopping them off.

Single vine technique is one of those things that you need to start the plant with & continue through the life of the plant.

Going back and applying the technique "retro" is just going to stress & expose the plant to disease/bugs at all the trim sites & I don't know hat you would gain anything.

No need to risk what sounds like a healthy and produtive vine.
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Post  javaaddict Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:09 am

The weird thing is that I've done nothing different with these two monster plants than I have any of the others. Everybody is single stem pruned except those 2. I swear they are mutants - grew like crazy one night while I was alseep and now I can't regain control affraid I don't even know how to post pics of them, I tried but it looks like a jungle. lol
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Post  Squat_Johnson Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:57 am

Tie them to something solid. They can get very top heavy with mult. stems. Good Luck!
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Post  landarch Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:11 pm

it looks like you may have missed pinching out a middle and now it ir rather big...this happened to me and went ahead and removed it to preserve the oriinal vine.

I do have one plant that I have pinched all middle stems out of and one of the remaining side stems forked again (I don't think they are supposed to do that)...I plan to just remove that stem to keep the integrity of the main vine.
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Post  floyd1440 Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:44 pm

Three of mine had two stems and i decide that this might decrease the size of my tomatoes down the road so I found the one that didn't have a flowering set on it and removed it.

Down to a single stem again but will keep and eye to see how it grows.
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Post  acara Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:54 pm

@javaaddict wrote:The weird thing is that I've done nothing different with these two monster plants than I have any of the others. Everybody is single stem pruned except those 2. I swear they are mutants - grew like crazy one night while I was alseep and now I can't regain control affraid I don't even know how to post pics of them, I tried but it looks like a jungle. lol

It happens ... not to worry Wink
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Post  gwennifer Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:29 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:glad for this thread Very Happy

this is our first year growing heirlooms and all of our tomatoes we started from seed....

we want to try single stem as well....but most of the plants have more then two main growing stems....Shocked first time to ever see tomatoes grow like that.....we have been taking off the suckers.....but not sure what to do with the two or three main stems.....we will take some pic's too and share.....see what you all think....is it a heirloom thing or what?

hugs

rose

Yay for this thread! Rose - it's my first time growing an heirloom too and I was also wondering if it was an heirloom thing! Both my brandywines forked right off the bat. I cut one of the forks off each, but I was wondering if it was a mistake since it didn't seem like a sucker to me. Now I know I wasn't crazy or inexperienced.
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