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Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? Toplef10Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? 1zd3ho10

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Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? Toplef10Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? I22gcj10Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? 14dhcg10

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Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch?

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Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? Empty Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch?

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/8/2024, 6:06 pm

Howdy folks,

Looking forward to getting my tomatoes into the garden bed tomorrow, finally!  Just wondering what you folks do with side shoots of bush tomatoes (these are Romas).  I've read advice on both sides of the debate and not sure what to do.  Last season (my first with tomatoes) I pinched them all and in a sense I think perhaps that's a good idea here, owing to our humid climate, but very interested in the collected wisdom here.
thanks
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Post  OhioGardener 1/8/2024, 6:55 pm

If it is a determinate tomato, it is okay to pinch out the suckers below the first flower cluster, but do not take out any suckers above that. And, it seems to work well if the last sucker just below the first flower cluster is allowed to remain on the plant.  However, I have found with the Tumbling Tom Tomato that I grow in hanging baskets that they do not like any pruning at all. If I pinch out suckers, they simply quit growing.

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Post  sanderson 1/9/2024, 6:43 pm

Just as a general rule, determinates are not pruned of suckers unless they are blocking the aisle, you can't find Fluffy, or you think the humidity requires it.  Determinates basically produce a whole bunch at one time.  That said, my Romas are indeterminates and grow up to 8' tall.  Those I limit to the main stem and maybe 3 sucker daughter stems.
Bush tomato side shoots, to pinch or not to pinch? Tomato53

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/9/2024, 6:51 pm

OhioGardener wrote:If it is a determinate tomato, it is okay to pinch out the suckers below the first flower cluster, but do not take out any suckers above that. And, it seems to work well if the last sucker just below the first flower cluster is allowed to remain on the plant.  However, I have found with the Tumbling Tom Tomato that I grow in hanging baskets that they do not like any pruning at all. If I pinch out suckers, they simply quit growing.
Shocked That's a pretty extreme response to a small change!

sanderson wrote:That said, my Romas are indeterminates and grow up to 8' tall.
Well, goodness, now you're making me wonder.  The packet says they don't need staking, which is why I bought it, but I did need to support them in the end and they just kept getting taller and taller until I finally cut off the tops since they were going to get higher than the teepees I'd made.  Also, they produced over more than 2 months (which I was very happy about since the number of toms was not that great).  So maybe they're an indeterminate Roma???

Since this is only my first season with decent compost, I think I'll follow OG's rule and see what happens.  Thank you both as always Smile
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