Good pictures of pruning tomatoes?

frdnicholas(Albuquerque NM)April 26, 2008

I have indeterminate tomatoes and am trying to learn how to prune them. I have gotten as far as pinching off any growth between branches which I think are what "suckers" are. Is that right? I am wondering if anyone has a good website or pictures of whatelse pruning looks like. I am a visual learner, so pictures would be worth about a thousand words. In the past, I have let my tomatoes outgrow their cages, but I am thinking that might actual yield less fruit. I tried a search on this topic, but forgive me, I got a little frustrated going through the 180 hits on the subject. I would be most gratful for any help.

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dave1mn2(5b-6a)

Try this and of course the FAQ at the top of this forum's page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruining

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:02PM
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aninocentangel

I've included a link to a page on pruning that I like. The illustrations show two methods of pruning the suckers, simple and missouri, which is for larger suckers. Since you mention growing tomatoes in the past, I probably don't need to caution you not to prune off the stems that grow out of the main stem, as that's where they flower and fruit, but to only remove the growth that appears in the crotch between the branches and the main stem. Ah well, I did anyway ;)
Hope it helps

Here is a link that might be useful: tomato pruning article

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:02PM
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aninocentangel

I see we linked to the same article. LOL!!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:04PM
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atascosa_tx(8b)

great minds do think alike..:)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:07PM
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frdnicholas(Albuquerque NM)

Thank you so much. That tomato pruning article was exactly what I needed. I have put it in my favorites so I can revisit it through the growing season. Of course, when you say the pruning is for "larger suckers", I hope you were referring to the tomato plant!(Sorry, even being out of New York for over 30 years can't remove the stain.)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:34PM
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anthony_toronto

That's the link I was going to post. I use a pruning method similar to the Missouri pruning shown on the link (I usually allow a few more leaves to grow on the suckers before pinching off the growing tips).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:10PM
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aninocentangel

"Of course, when you say the pruning is for "larger suckers", I hope you were referring to the tomato plant!(Sorry, even being out of New York for over 30 years can't remove the stain.)"

SNORT!! heheheh I had to edit what I was originally going to post because of a stain that I retain, only mine's from the the gutter! :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 8:00AM
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kdawg

Keep in mind, if you prune, if anything the tomatoes will grow taller.You don't mention what type of cage you're using, but pruning may solve your horizontal support problem and create a vertical one. My plants, pruned to a single main stem, easily outgrow their 6 ft supports.

Also, there are lots of opinions on pruning, but generally speaking, I think it's fair to say that pruning will result in less fruit per plant, but potentially more fruit per planted square foot, because the plants take up so much less horizontal space so you can plant much more densely.

IMHO: if you have serious space restraints like me, prune like mad and go vertical, but if you don't, consider letting them sprawl some.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 10:18AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

And please keep in mind that indeterminate tomato plants don't HAVE to be pruned. It is purely optional but is not required in any way as some would have you believe.

Many tomato growers never do any pruning (myself included) as I use CRW cages. It all depends on your gardening situation and personal preferences. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 12:33PM
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mickyfinn6777(UK)

Despite what some people might try to tell you, fully pruned and side shooted tomatoes do produce the heaviest crops-(if done properly) on only -indeterminate varieties.

And also the largest tomatoes mostly, virtually all commercial tomato growers in Europe grow tomatoes this way-simply because it produces the heaviest crops on very tidy plants- they would not use this method if it was not the best for sheer tonnage of tomatoes produced, using this method one can go as high as 8 to fifteen trusses if you wish, but most people normally stop at five or six,

Please believe most strongly all that you read in the pruning articles links, as it is quite true and all surplus leaves and side shoots do only take the strength out of the main stem and fruit production and it slows them down a lot, everything they say in the articles is true.

But you may still get people who are die hards and will try to tell you that un-pruned and fully caged tomatoes produce the heaviest crops- it is just not true, despite evidence they may try and provide to the contrary, and quote from various scientific laboratory tests on certain varieties etc, there is absolutely no point in spending your time and money feeding leaves and side shoots to form a giant sprawling untidy mess of a tomato plant that you cant control at all, about six foot high and four feet wide or more,
Some people might try to tell you that they have tried both methods and didn't hardly notice any difference between the two at the end of the season, just not true,-if done properly tomatoes that have been fully side shooted and pruned should be a single column stem at least 3/4 of an inch thick at the base, five to seven trusses absolutely hung in large bunches all along the stem from floor to ceiling, sometimes the bunches are so large they are overlapping onto the bunch below, and the whole plant should be no more that two foot wide in most cases.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 1:47AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

people who are die hards and will try to tell you that un-pruned and fully caged tomatoes produce the heaviest crops- it is just not true,...

Perhaps your growing conditions are very different in the UK mickeyfinn? It's always best to keep that possibility in mind when criticizing others.

Indeed, the approach you describe has been suggested and discussed here quite often in the past (under the title 'organic magic') and repeatedly critiqued.

I'm glad it works for you but different growing conditions require different approaches to the pruning question. The sun exposure and climate are quite different here. Using anything even close to your approach in this southern part of the US results in nothing but rotten, sunburned tomatoes. So this "die hard", who has tried both pruning and not pruning will take a pass on your suggestion.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:23AM
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frdnicholas(Albuquerque NM)

What is a "truss"?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 5:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

A 'truss' is the stem of blooms/tomatoes. It may have 1 tomato or 15 depending on the variety.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 9:14PM
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mickyfinn6777(UK)

Digdirt-Dave, I would like to draw your attention to the following documents on pruning, devised by your very own USA AVRDC.

http://www.avrdc.org/lc/tomato/publications.html

scroll down to (Cultural Practices) and click on -pruning and staking tomatoes (PDF)

including info on sunburn & prevention by pruning,-all will be revealed the USA way.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:06AM
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mickyfinn6777(UK)

Correction to the above post by me,The AVRDC is not based in the USA as I first thought, it is in fact the world vegetable centre, and covers the whole world, but the principles still apply to the USA growing methods, as part of it is run by American and Asian scientists and horticulturists who devise the best methods in practice to grow various crops worldwide- and this information is widely accepted as being correct-from their vast experiance worldwide.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:28AM
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