Help! Flowers forming on seedlings, pinch out?

sharonrossyMay 2, 2014

I know I read this somewhere, but I need some advice. On some of my seedlings, almost 5 weeks old, I saw the beginning of flower clusters. They are in 4" pots and I have been careful about not over fertilizing - I have only fertilized twice, very weak dose. The plants are about 4-5" high and so far I have found the flower clusters on Sun Sugar only. This plant is also starting to form suckers which I am not sure about leaving or pinching.
Dave, Carolyn, anyone.... Should I remove the flower clusters. I won't be able to plant out before the 24th of May at the earliest. I started seed on March 23, but only transplanted into the pots around April 10th. They are in a cool room, good lighting and overhead lighting as well.
Thanks, advice needed!
Sharon

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes remove the blooms. They are too young to support them even if they did set fruit - which is very unlikely anyway - and it is too long until they can be planted out. There is no point to adding additional stress to the plants.

No need to remove the suckers that are developing.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:14PM
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sharonrossy

Thanks Dave. My heirlooms are all doing fine, some slower than others, but I was surprised when I checked and saw the cluster. Good to know I can leave the suckers on. Someone somewhere mentioned pinching out the middle leaves to create a sturdier stalk. But I had never heard of that before.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 8:18PM
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barrie2m_

First you have made an excellent choice with Sunsugar. It is a superior producer and taste is phenominal. But it makes little difference for cherry tomatoes whether you remove flower clusters or not. I'd make more of an issue or removing at least the lower suckers since those branches will interfer with transplanting and will likely lay on the ground at some point.

I'm moving hundreds of propagated cherry tomato plants and just about all of them have blossoms. My own waste-high plants should be producing ripe fruit in a few weeks. If you want earlier production from yor plants (which comes from developed blossoms) you need to keep from destroying the source. In 2 months that vigorous Sunsugar plant will be 6 ft. tall and then you'll wonder what to do with all those tomatoes.

Other than due to propagation from cuttings plants may flower earlier if the roots were stressed during early growth. If you're going to wait over 3 weeks to plant you may still need to pot up one more time if the plants outgrow the pot. But the issues you raise make less difference.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:19PM
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sharonrossy

I know, I thought about that fact about potting up the sun sugars to a bigger pot. I might be forced to. I love Sun Sugar. I enjoy it more than sun gold. I guess going to 6" pots would be ok. I'll see how it goes over the next week. And it's true, I'll be planting deep, so the lower leaves and suckers will go anyways. Interestingly enough, the other cherries that I am growing, Risentraube, Amy's Apricot and even Black Cherry have been much slower growing. And my heirlooms are getting tall but no flowers forming.
Thanks,Sharon

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:25AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I would also remove any and all the buds that appear before plant out and maybe for two week after that . According to some plant scientists, this will direct more energy to root developments.

Having said that, I left one of my sungolds alone when it grew buds after plant out and now it has a cluster of bloom. The plant is growing tall as well. So I will find out the effect of this early fruiting.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 8:18AM
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sharonrossy

At this stage, when I get to finally plant out, depending on the variety, if buds form right after planting, I probably will leave them on. Not sure what to do. I know it is recommended to remove them so the plant can use it's energy into growing strong. If it's the cherries, I think I might let them go.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:25AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I would also remove any and all the buds that appear before plant out and maybe for two week after that . According to some plant scientists, this will direct more energy to root developments.

&&&&&&

Once all buds and blossoms have been removed that's it, no more will appear until about two weeks later.

And I've posted about the blossom cycle here many times, and that two week interval is the blossom cycle.

And yes, those two weeks do keep plants in the vegetative stage of new roots, stems and foliage formation, which gives them a chance to mature before the plants go into the sexual cycle of bud and blossom formation.

So yes, a diversion of energy compounds from photosynthesis to the vegetative phase, to the sexual stage of the plants.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Joe1982

One of my tomato plants seems stopped growing. It got 2 fruits and has been 14" tall for weeks, I put plenty of chicken manure there. It gets water sprayed from my neighbor everyday. Shall I add more fertilizer or move it to a drier spot?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Joe1982

One of my tomato plants seems stopped growing. It got 2 fruits and has been 14" tall for weeks, I put plenty of chicken manure there. It gets water sprayed from my neighbor everyday. Shall I add more fertilizer or move it to a drier spot?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 2:20AM
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sharonrossy

Hi Joe,
Is your plant in full sun, too much sun, too much water? It's hard too know unless you have other plants in the same growing conditions and compare how they are doing. Can you give more information?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:28PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Or better yet, start your own thread rather than tack it on to an unrelated discussion and include much more information at the same time. Chicken manure and daily watering are not normally recommended because of the damage done to the roots so that may be your problem.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:31PM
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nanelle_gw(9/Sunset 14)

Bookmarking.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Joe1982

Sharonie and David,
Thank you! It is the first time I planted tomato. You are right: there is full sun for it. So it could be the root is not building up properly. I added some bone meal and make the soil very lose around it. See if this helps. Should I take the two small tomatoes off the plant? (This was what I originally thought when I saw your discussion here)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:38AM
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