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imtoobusy

do you prune your indeterminate tomatoes?

19 years ago

I want to know how many market farmers prune and if you do, what method do you use? I pruned diligently last year and had a meager harvest, this year I haven't touched them and they seem as if they are going to be much more prolific--if I don't lose all the tomatoes to the jungle that is the tomato patch...

Comments (14)

  • 19 years ago

    I prune to a single stem untill the plants are 4' tall for better boy and "4th of july" then i let them go wild to 7' and top them. I plant at 8" spacing on rows 30" apart. I get good tomatoes, nearly all the first tomatoes are 1st quality. my yields int the first 7 weeks of harvest are 2 tomatoes per plant. This is all in an unheated, power vented greenhouse [a hing tunnel with auto ventilation]

    I find this gives the best yield of number one tomatoes.

    Mark

  • 19 years ago

    We don't normally prune our indeterminates, and that is all we grow. This year we have around half in cages and half supported with what was intended to be a modified Florida weave, but that is not working out so good and we anticipate a complete disaster by this time next month! Our lesson learned is that not pruning indeterminates works best with cages...strong tall cages.

  • 19 years ago

    we don't prune either and use mostly homemade cages

  • 19 years ago

    I am also using a florida weave on 2 of my heirloom types and using cattle panel trellises on the cherry, slicing and paste tomatoes. I am actually starting to use a modified florida weave with the cattle panels-- I am weaving twine in and out of the panels on either side. The uprights for both methods are 1/2" rebar. On the ends I have 2 bars that I put up to provide additional support "A" frame style so the wind (hopefully) wont bend the whole shebang over when the vines get to the top.

    I am thinking about pruning off some of the leaves so that I can see what is going on in there. They are getting very thick!

  • 19 years ago

    I only prune the suckers which stick outside the cages or escape Florida weave. Yesterday I stuck the cuttings to create plants for my late crop, which yielded very strong plants last year. I think pruning is most effective/necessary when tying to a single stake.

  • 18 years ago

    Jay
    How do you propagate tomtoes by cutings ? Is there any particular size cutting etc. Do you just stick it in the soil? I wanted late tomatoes for a hoophouse and this may be the best way this time of year to get some plants .
    GL

  • 18 years ago

    I take cuttings from suckers or whatever gets outside the cages. they are 5-6" long with generally 2 leaves. I prune off any flowers and about 1/2 the length of any leaves, except the growing tips. This restricts the leaf surface area so that the unrooted cuttings don't have to support their transpiration.

    I use powdered rooting hormone and stick the cuttings in a fairly light potting soil, in 2" square cell flats, though I suppose a tray would work. The media needs to be both well drained and moisture retentive, so I've used diferent mixtures of sand, compost, peat and perlite. The trick seems to be not too much water, yet enough to prevent wilting. I've tried putting 6" sticks around the edge of the flats then covering the whole thing with clear plastic bags to build a mini-greenhouse, but have done it with no cover as well. They must be kept in shade at first, maybe a week or 2, then gradually hardened in more sun once I pull a few cuttings and see rooting making progress. Eventually they get the moment of truth with full sun and increased fertility. Never let them go dry until you see roots out the bottom or they develop a root ball, then begin hardening them off further by letting them go dry till they wilt then reviving them with plenty of water. I find this last step protection against transplant shock. My results have been about 75% survival but have improved with better care in moisture control, not too wet, not too dry, good drainage.

    Cutting-grown tomatoes are from mature plants, so you may find them beginning to flower in the cels, pinch the blossoms off. The maturity of the plants and planting in heat rather than cool spring soil makes the plants grow very fast once transplanted, they are precocious and fruit quickly.

    One risk you are taking by cuttings rather than seed is introducing whatever disease may be present in the parent, but for me this hasn't been a problem- yet, "results may vary", so steer clear of taking stock from any obviously diseased plants.

    Good luck,
    Jay

  • 18 years ago

    I don't think you need the rooting hormone for tomato cuttings. I had 100% success by just sticking 2-4" suckers in cell packs as if transplanting seedlings. It took me about a half hour to plant 200 suckers that I would normally just drop by the plants. The biggest problem I noticed is that the young plants will bloom even at that size and so need to have blossoms removed. The other problem is that I have 150 spare plants that I hate to throw away especially since they are from a variety, "Trust" that I pay $256/M for seed.

  • 18 years ago

    I too have 100% success without using rooting hormone. I don't think it's necessary. Tomatoes are extremely easy to propagate. This is a great way to carry over tomato plants to a hoophouse for fall production.
    Glenda

  • 16 years ago

    If you grow tomato plants and dont know what type they are how can you tell at an early stage if they are indeterminate or determinate. plus I have some tomatos that have self seeded in the garden and they are short and stumpy and very thick type growth pattern, can you tell me what you think they are.

  • 16 years ago

    Yes, prune to one vine till they reach the top of the support trellis, about 4 1/2 feet, then let them drape over and grow

  • 13 years ago

    No,I don't prune them. I cut them off when they get 7 or 8 feet tall. I use concrete reinforcement wire cages. I cut 6 foot pieces and fasten them together into a round shape. I hold them upright by pushing re bar into the soil and tying The cage to the stake. It works good for me. Orley

  • 13 years ago

    I agree you must have good tall cages to not prune. I prune the suckers off at the bottom/ start and then let some higher up go. I remove leaves at the bottom and mulch well to prevent disease.

  • 13 years ago

    i pruned one year and got a bad harvest and thought it was way too much work so now all i do is take off the suckers before the plants start to flower and i get better yields.

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