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Tomato Suckers

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Tomato Suckers

Postby dj_backq » Jul 22, 2008 6:04 pm

There's alot of controversy these days about removing suckers, new organic books on the market state that you should not remove the three first suckers of any small or cherry type tomatoes. Most books also state that you shouldn't remove them from any determinate varieties.

So I decided to experiment and will post my results here in september. I have planted a total of 30 tom plants in total. Part of the experiment, I planted two rows of 5 cherry type, side by side. One has had all the suckers removed and the other I left intact and untouched. These were the same size when planted, have had the same watering and fish emulsion and none have been affected by pests yet (knock on wood).

For now, I have twice as much flowers and baby toms on the untouched one. Maybe they will not be able to rippen on the plant like the pruned one, but I will see. I also did the same thing with two rows of normal size toms, the unprunned ones do not have many flowers on the suckers.

My theory is that most of the books on the market have been written with the mindset of mass-production with unlimited acrage (same non-sens model the modern agricultural industry is based on). New organic books aim at the maximization of quarefootage and quality, that might explain the difference in the point of view regarding suckers.

What for my results, coming this fall to a forum near you!
Andre


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Postby Mervyn » Jul 22, 2008 6:12 pm

I personally think it's very important to remove them, my reasoning has nothing to do with quicker blooming, more or less yields, but what it does produce is a more orderly plant, which is easier to handle, less likely to crowd out neighbours, and since there is less crowded foliage, better air circulation which is better for the plant as well.

I'd rather the plant grow tall than wide any day :)
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Postby butterfly » Jul 22, 2008 6:12 pm

thanks

I have never pinched them off before but after hearing so many people that do this, I thought I should
Cheers Butterfly




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Postby butterfly » Jul 22, 2008 6:25 pm

Mervyn wrote:I personally think it's very important to remove them, my reasoning has nothing to do with quicker blooming, more or less yields, but what it does produce is a more orderly plant, which is easier to handle, less likely to crowd out neighbours, and since there is less crowded foliage, better air circulation which is better for the plant as well.

I'd rather the plant grow tall than wide any day :)


Hi Mervyn

When I plant the wee plants I plant them about 16 inches apart to give them lots of room

There sure is lots of blossums and little toms. These are beefsteak. There are 8 plants

So they should be taller than this? They are about 4 1/2 feet tall

So pinching ghem makes them grow taller with stronger stocks. Thanks


Image
Cheers Butterfly




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Postby (old_user)earwig » Jul 23, 2008 6:46 am

I will be watching for your results in September.

I don't prune and am quite happy with my results.

I think it has nothing to do with production, it is all in what one likes in the appearance of the plant and if the grower has always done it that way.

Much the same idea on if you should ponounce tomato tuh-mey-toh or tuh-mah-toh.

Just one of those things that has no right or wrong, just a different way of growing.
Betty
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Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu
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Postby joan w » Jul 23, 2008 7:35 am

The judicious removing of suckers and thinning of leaves
allows more air and the sun to better reach the fruit.

Have you ever had a tomatoe that seems to take forever to ripen?

Perhaps it's not getting enough sun.
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Postby Ron Evers » Jul 23, 2008 9:23 am

In all my years of gardening I have pinched out the suckers but this year I have let the plants grow as they please. My rows are 36" apart & the plants 30" apart in the rows. They are now intertwined in an almost solid mass & some over 6' tall.


Tom plants not pruned:

Image


However, I did transplant some wild growing toms into the row of failed carrots & I will keep them suckered to see the results. The first one in the row is not suckered but the others are.


Wild toms:

Image
Ron.

The wood is clear between the knots.
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Postby butterfly » Jul 23, 2008 10:20 am

wow Ron !!!

Those are quite the tom plants

Thanks Betty

I will decide what I will do

and yes Joan, I;ve had toms that took for ever to rripen and i my zone, I often need to pick them gree by Sept and put them in bags in a cpboard to get them to ripen

Once Sept comes, we get frost

But my toms seems to be developing earlier this year. Don't know why, they normally don't bloom or have little ones til well into Aug

thanks
Cheers Butterfly




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Postby isabelbrinck » Jul 23, 2008 2:09 pm

It's amazing the difference you can see in Ron's photo!
Isabel
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Postby butterfly » Jul 23, 2008 3:10 pm

Ron started his inside early too so that makes a difference

a good head start
Cheers Butterfly




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