To Divide or Not to Divide. . . .

RustyApril 12, 2012

Seems like all the tomato and pepper plants

I've bought this year

Have more than one plant in the container.

This has been true for the little 4-paks,

As well as the larger plants in 3" pots.

Would you divide them?

Or plant them as one plant?

I'm afraid the roots would be very damaged

in the separation process.

This morning, I bought a Cherokee Purple tomato

In a 6" mache pot,

That is actually 2 plants,

So close together as to be almost Siamese twins.

What would you do? ? ?

Rusty

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lakedeyes

I had the same issue with Husky Cherry Red . Rather than divide I planted as one and so far they are doing well in 5 gallon double bucket swc . Will see if they get root bound and very thirsty later - hope not . Have a blessed growing season .

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:23PM
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robeb_gw

If this worries you, why not just snip off one of the plants at it's base?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:45PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

Three weeks ago I was given a pot with Costeluto tomatoes. Two big (about six inch) plants, with the stems entering the soil half an inch apart.

I chopped off one near the soil line, and sunk it deep in moist potting soil. It drooped a bit for a day or two, and then perked back up. I now have two big Costeluto's in the garden. About equal size, more than a foot tall.

So the answer is YES, snip one of them off, but plant it! I've had a number of experiences like this with different varieties. Tomatoes, especially young ones or suckers, are very hard to kill.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:18PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

toos themm both out

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:58AM
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riceloft(5b / NE Ohio)

While this year I'm starting my own seedlings for the first time and won't have any "doubles" like this...

In years past I hunted down these "bonus" plants at the local nursery. I've had great success separating them out by the roots. Out of 4 last year, only 1 plant struggled and it still ended up being a good producer, though it ended up shorter than the rest.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:49AM
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Rusty

"If this worries you,. . . . ."

It doesn't, I was just wondering what everyone else does.

"toos themm both out"

Why? ?

Actually, I kinda feel like I've gotten a 'bonus'.
Double plants kind of make up for the high prices.

So far, I've planted them (in the ground)
As one plant.
I was kind of thinking of trying to root
One of the Cherokee Purples.
But am hesitant to do it.
Last fall I tried to root a number of cuttings
From a variety of tomato plants.
NONE of them took.
So I sort of hate to chance losing one of the CPs.
It is, by the way, the only one of its variety
I've found this year.

Rusty

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:12PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

"Last fall I tried to root a number of cuttings From a variety of tomato plants. NONE of them took."

Re-rooting a small main stem is VERY different than trying to root a random cutting from farther up. I to have not had a lot of success with the latter.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:56PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

In years past I hunted down these "bonus" plants at the local nursery. I've had great success separating them out by the roots.
I too have always separated them just fine. I always make sure the soil they are in is soaked well before separating them.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:27PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

I separate and try to grow all plants i had to purchase , if you dont want / have room for them then snip 'em off
..pretty easy decision really

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:22AM
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annie205

Two things.... First when I buy vegetable plants I now look for double or triple within the pot. Split them gently by loosening the soil when planting. My neighbor and I share many plants this way. Second... I am a pincher with my indeterminate tomatoes. I have pinched a couple of 3 inch growths from between the main stem and branch, stuck it in a pot, watched them wilt and then watched them revive!! Wish I would have tried this in years past. As someone mentioned, doesn't work for all types....but it is worth a try:).

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:39AM
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ljpother(3a)

The dense planting method is planting multiple seeds (5-10) in one pot. After the seeds get their first true leaves, they are separated and potted up.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Rusty

Thanks for the comments, folks.

For my part, I think I will continue to plant as one plant.

I was mainly just wondering what most of you did.
Or how you thought the yield might have been affected
By either separating or planting together.

My gardening space is very limited,
So I only put in one or two
of each variety that I want to grow.
Not much way I can compare production outcome
of different planting methods.

Rusty

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:55AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Years ago, when I was still buying my tomato plants, I would look for the double too. I had great success with them by just taking a knife and slicing through the soil between them. If I recall correctly, they didn't even wilt. but I had repotted them indoors since we had a few weeks before they went out into the garden.

Betsy

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Since you've decided you want to keep the "bonus" plant, I would recommend that you separate the two and not grow them together. If they are too close (less than at least a foot apart) they will compete for food, sun and water. The yield of each plant will be lower and the chance for disease will be much higher because of poor air circulation.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:07AM
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