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Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? Toplef10Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? I22gcj10Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? 14dhcg10

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Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

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camprn
quiltbea
CapeCoddess
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llama momma
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martha
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Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? Empty Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside?

Post  martha 8/24/2013, 6:31 pm

Fortunately the tomatoes in question are my indigo rose tomatoes. (See Indigo Rose thread for why I say fortunately - they aren't that flavorful.) While I was away on vacation, the top stem got too top-heavy and has bent over. It's broken about 1/2 through the stem. So my question is, should I pick the tomatoes and let them ripen inside in a paper bag, or will they continue to ripen outside on the useless stem?
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Post  walshevak 8/24/2013, 9:37 pm

Are the leaves still staying green and hanging on? The reason I ask is because I have some vines that bent/broke halfway also, but the stem/plant stayed alive and the tomatoes ripened just fine. If the leaves are dying then pick and ripen inside.

Kay

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Post  martha 8/24/2013, 9:52 pm

Still green. Good input, Walshevak, thanks!
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Post  southern gardener 8/25/2013, 12:40 am

I second what Kay said. We have a huge Brandywine plant growing out front. It too, broke a main stem, but it's still going strong! If you look up the thread Loaded Brandywines, that's the same plant! I'd let yours go if the plant isn't wilting, they seem pretty resilient!
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Post  llama momma 8/25/2013, 2:40 am

The following might help though I've haven't had a stem break but I've had branches tear away from the weight of heavy fruit and strong winds.  Twice this summer I took a thick piece of hay baling twine and tied/supported the branch to the trellis and tried to keep it at the same angle it was growing.  Been pleasantly surprised when it saved the branch both times and the tomatoes seemed to ripen at a normal pace.
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Post  landarch 8/25/2013, 9:48 am

I have a great tomato plant still growing strong after a main stem is broken about 80% through.
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Post  martha 8/25/2013, 9:53 am

SG, I am even more impressed by your Brandywines, knowing that it has a broken stem. You sure are doing something right!

LM, I did tie it up yesterday. It looked like it was just inviting trouble to leave it dangling. 

The garden, as most of you  know, is at work, and we are on vacation this week, so I'm actually at home. Since I probably won't be there again until tomorrow, seems like I made the right guesses.

But anyone else with success stories, please chime in. Although this is low on my list of valued plants, it's a great learning opportunity - especially since it is heart-ache free, regardless of the outcome!
 
Landarch, we were posting at the same time - thanks!
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/25/2013, 2:39 pm

I'm experimenting with this, too. We had hi winds yesterday here on the Cape and 2 over the top tomato stems and a few cucumber stems bent right in half. I tied them back up hoping to save the fruits, but there are hi winds in tomorrows forecast now, too. Rolling Eyes 

Wishing us luck.

CC
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Post  martha 8/25/2013, 3:32 pm

Definitely crossing my fingers for you!
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Post  quiltbea 8/25/2013, 8:47 pm

Most of my tomatoes (I planted 6) growing in the flower bed got so heavy at least one stem bent and broke about halfway thru.  In all cases, I've tied that heavy stem up to the main pole (they are planted beside my shepherd's crooks in the garden) and so far they are continuing to ripen and the leaves are staying green.
I'm crossing my fingers for everyone, including me, that we get ripe fruits.
I think I read somewhere as long as the plant can send nutrients and water thru the stem, cracked or not, the fruits will survive.
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Post  camprn 8/25/2013, 9:05 pm

This topic clearly speaks to the maturing tomato plants and the requirement to manage them frequently and on proper support. I find myself in the garden every few days, tying up or adjusting sagging main stems and double checking fruit support. I have had to add taller poles to accommodate several plants because they are growing so tall and are becoming heavy with fruit.

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Post  martha 8/25/2013, 9:50 pm

You've got that right, Camprn.
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/25/2013, 11:12 pm

I'm not very experienced, but this year has taught me that you may not have any idea how much support your tomato vines need until what was vertical goes suddenly horizontal. I've had one plant stem after another lurch into the aisles while I was busy making other plans. Luckily only one stem broke off, but it was a plant I let grow lots of stems anyway. Really vigorous brandywine.

I think I will keep most tomato plants next year to one or two main stems. It's easier to keep track of them that way than when I let a tomato go all jungle on me, though the jungle is a lot of fun to see.
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Post  plantoid 8/26/2013, 7:15 pm

27.08.2013
Martha , if the stem fails cut it free and hang it in a shed thick of stem uppermost and over the net few weeks cut the toms off as they ripen rather than strip it and ripen them all in one go unless that is the end result your after.

 Last year because of our lousy weather nothing tomato wise ripened very well so  I cut off all my green tom vines and hung them in the office ..... over the next three to five weeks we took off the ripe toms. ( made the office smell great as well )
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Post  martha 8/27/2013, 9:32 pm

good to know, Plantoid, not just for these, but because my tomatoes are just now starting to ripen. Between you and Camp, I know have ways to try to ripen green ones that might run out of time.

Thanks!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 8/28/2013, 11:59 am

Last January I finally pulled up my remaining Roma plants and stripped them of the remaining green fruit. The plants were beginning to have some kind of black rot so I wasn't able to bring the branches inside.

However, we picked every clean tomato and put them in our fridge. Every few days we would pick what we needed and ripen them in a south facing kitchen window. We had tomatoes almost to March if I remember correctly!
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Post  Windsor.Parker 9/7/2013, 1:27 pm

quiltbea wrote:...I read somewhere as long as the plant can send nutrients and water thru the stem, cracked or not, the fruits will survive.
Several plants I've been 1 or 2 stemming have bent and/or broken stems or branches. I carefully add support like bea, camprn, and marc describe, especially this season.
This one might earn me a "Tomato First Aid" certification.
Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? Wounde10
A close look!
Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? Wounde12
Another stem bandage...
Damaged tomato stem: ripen tomatoes on vine or inside? Wounde13
  This plant is STILL holding and ripening fruit!hyper
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Post  camprn 9/7/2013, 1:31 pm

NICE! Well done with the first aid and field dressing!

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Post  martha 9/7/2013, 9:53 pm

Windsor Parker, that is awesome! Mine have been holding their own, but you are my inspiration for the future!
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