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Thread: Alternative tomato pruning?

  1. #9
    veggiechicken's Avatar
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    Interesting but I'd like to see what happened next!
    I'm wondering about bush tomatoes and how many leaves they make before a fruiting truss. With an unnamed plant, I usually let the side shoots grow and turn them into bush toms (because I'm too lazy to nip out the sideshoots)' If sideshoots produce more trusses than the main stem, why not grow all bush toms?
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  2. #10
    Thelma Sanders is offline Gardening Guru
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    Bush tomatoes only grow one truss at the top of the stem, but they grow more stems.

    Cordon plants keep growing trusses as they grow longer, but they still want to grow more sideshoots! It's crazy. I suppose in the end if you let all the suckers grow you'd have a crazy tall bush til it collapsed under it's own weight

    I tried quite a few varieties last year and I remember a few of them were making a fruit truss after every leaf, so were shorter but with more fruit. Unfortunately they didn't have that 'perfect' tomato taste lol
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    So on the plus side, not only do you increase the yield but also all the tips that are cut out can be rooted & grown on as you could do with armpits.
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    Some thoughts I've had then:

    -I've left cordons to grow rampant before (I only learned about suckers and cordon/bush types this year - hence finding that video) and had lots of tomatoes from it, but none that ripened in time. I think tomatoes enjoy growing in bushes as perennials(sp?), but in the UK they're controlled because our seasons are shorter.

    -I think suckers produce two leaves, truss, three leaves truss, three leaves truss etc. so only the first truss forms early

    -I think it will only work on vigorous/aggressive toms, as it will take a lot of energy from the plant with this method

    -stressing the plant in this way should make the toms taste better in theory: James Wong suggests spraying tomatoes in aspirin water as the chemical is a similar to the hormone released by tomatoes when stressed (thus making more fruits that are sweeter)

    Tomatoes - James Wong | Official Site

    If anyone has any Willow prunings they could experiment with making a tea from them and spray this onto some other of their tomatoes instead of pruning them this way. It's the same principal as the JW link but Willow contains natural salicylic acid (actually where it gets its name) so it would be organic (I'm not comfortable spraying aspirin on my toms..willow tea is more palatable, though I don't have any willow available to me)

    You might be wasting tomato plants here, I might be wasting tomato plants here, but the potential results are exciting and I want to try it!!!
    Scarlet likes this.

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