Grow Tomatoes NOT Foliage!

seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)May 25, 2014

From time to time I watch Youtube videos on gardening.
A lot of times these amateurs come out and lecture on how to do this to do that, how to plant ..etc. BUT rarely they show results.

So I was there today again. I watched this video called :

" Grow Tomatoes NOT Foliage! "

It is not just about pruning alone. He talks about many aspects and caring for tomato plants. PLUS, more importantly he has produced results that one cannot deny and dispute. I am not saying that it is THE BEST but it is very good.

Now that we are in the beginning of growing season, lets hear about your way of doing it to produce results.
If possible, post some pictures of your past success.

Here is a link that might be useful: growing tomatoes

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lucille(Houston)

I don't prune, the foliage helps produce tomatoes. My plants are loaded with tomatoes.
I attribute this year's bumper crop to providing better soil (raised beds/containers) and removing a couple of trees that had established themselves at the fence line, allowing in more light.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:11AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

That is great.
Can you post some pictures showing your plants with fruits?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:50AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Just another U-Tube video of one person's opinion. Although unlike most of them, he doesn't talk at all - just music and pics of the same 2-3 plants over and over.

Have to wonder why he is leaving all those ripe and even over-ripe fruit on the plants all at the same time? His subtitles say "for demonstration purposes only". Any plant's production can look impressive in a pic if you never pick any of the fruit. Just ask the Topsey Turvey video makers who leave all the ripe fruit on the plant to sell their pot hangers to the gullible public.

But the goal for most growers is the actual fruit, not pictures of fruit on a vine.

And using no mulch in CA? No mention of soil quality either - just Miracle Grow and a couple of other fertilizers.

After growing them all I don't personally care for any of the 4 varieties he uses and don't agree with the argument of using "local varieties only" as that would be far too limiting for most growers. But then only 1 of the varieties he lists are actually local to his location.

Preventative pest spraying ever 15 days? No thank you. Why kill all the beneficials? Fungicide spraying would have been better so he wouldn't have had to strip off all that foliage. The one background plant could sure use some foliage cleaning.

It is not just about pruning alone. He talks about many aspects and caring for tomato plants.

Where? He doesn't mention pruning at all, has multiple stems on all his plants and only the leaf branches have been removed either by cutting them off or removing diseased branches as you can see where they were stripped from the stems. And the only other aspects of caring for tomatoes his 5 flash cards mention is fertilizer use, bug spraying, and a bowl of water for birds.

I have seen better and more informative videos.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 10:42AM
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sheltieche

hmm, maybe the link is wrong. I am seeing what Dave is saying, bunch of cute pics and lots of music

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:25PM
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KovarGarden(8b)

Foliage is important for the proper growth of the plant. Spray a fungicidal preventative every so often and your good. I need the foliage to put some shade on my maters too! And..why is all of that wonderful fruit still on the vine?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:58PM
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lucille(Houston)

Maybe it is tied on with string?
I saw an article one time about videos and advertising and food. It is amazing what they do to make edible stuff look tasty in ads (and for the big advertisers, what those ads cost).

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 3:53PM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

I think I pretty much believe the guy. I think I can see where he was harvesting, but agree that he could harvest much more.

Still, there is more than one way to skin the cat, dutch buckets to the right of us, hugelkultur to the left of us.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 11:13AM
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FrancoiseFromAix

Thank god I had a phone conversation with a customer while watching this so boring video or else I would have fallen asleep hypnotized as I was seeing over and over again the same old tomatoes close far close far again this one again that one and take another close look at this one in case you missed it 5 seconds ago !

I pity the guy whose only pleasure is to contemplate the same 3 tomatoes again and again, and he thinks it's so exciting that he puts them on the internet for the whole world to admire !

And poor guy doesn't even get to taste them because he wants them to look good and over covered with ripe fruits !

Or else he works for a big corporation selling all the products he wants us to use ?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 11:42AM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

Francoise, you should definitely post a video of you watching that video!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 11:53AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

OK. Thank you all for your participation and comments.
I personally think that the video producer does NOT have the most TRAFFIC STOPPER garden but certainly has shown some tangible positive results. Obviously , in preparation to making the video he has stopped harvesting for a while but to suggest that he might have attached tomatoes from another source with strings to his vines, is not a good argument.
About pruning and reducing foliage, that is not just cutting off all side branches. It can also be reducing them in number, and trimming off lots of leaves, new growth .

Anyway, if you have something better (or similar) to show (your own or somebody else's ) please share with us. and lets here the cons and the pros about it. We hear a lot of talks(discussions) often. Nothing wrong with that. I do it myself too. But a picture and short clip can speak volumes.

Right now in my own garden, there is very little worthwhile to be shown, except a little fellow in the picture below.

Have a productive garden !

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 4:07PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I never learned anything about growing tomatoes from a video, I learned by experience.

Videos have been linked to at several places where I read and sometimes post, and it's always one person's view of what's being shown.

At another site a video was put up of Tom Wagner, breeder of many well known varieties, holding a class for some others. When some folks started asking questions about some of what was shown I pointed out, for instance, that Tom does single descent seed saving, saving seeds from only one fruit for his breeding projects, and then folks understood why he spent so much time, plucking single fruits off the vine and saying he would or would not use those individual fruits.

As is oft said, experience is the best teacher, and I agree with that sentiment. ( smile)

Carolyn, who does value the many message sites, well some of them, ahem, on the net now, but think of all those who raise tomatoes that don't have computers, don't have someone to learn from, and just do it as to growing tomatoes. ( smile)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 5:50PM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

That video made me a bit sad. Those poor tomato plants looked so unwell. Full of tomatoes, yes, some even on the ground. I would much rather see a healthy plant with a few tomatoes than sad sickly looking plants with tomatoes rotting on the vines.

Seysonn, Your tomato plant looks nice and healthy, why would you wish to follow the advise of some ones who clearly doesn't know that they are doing something wrong.

Good Gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:34PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I never learned anything about growing tomatoes from a video, I learned by experience.

Videos have been linked to at several places where I read and sometimes post, and it's always one person's view of what's being shown.

%%%%%%%%%%%%

True, ultimately we learn by experience when it comes to matters like growing vegetables and plants.
Then , if producing a video is one person's view , so is writing an article or post. BUT that is fine, ME THINKS. I personally benefit from others' views. That is not to say that I fully agree with them. Sometimes one needs to read what is between the lines.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 4:45AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Then , if producing a video is one person's view , so is writing an article or post.

That is true except when the person posting either has the credentials or provides the supporting documentation to support their position. When the post or article or video is controversial or denies what is common knowledge or common practice the credentials and/or documentation becomes even more important.

Unfortunately far too many new or inexperienced gardeners take what they read and/or see on the net as truth, as gospel, without evaluating the source of the info or doing further research. Contrary to popular belief, everything on the web is not true.

That is why it is so important to post responsibly, to avoid being just another source of misleading information whenever possible, and to make sure the claims made in the info can at least be supported by the known common practice standards.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 10:08AM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

We should also be aware (self-aware) that the internet is great for spawning social groups which rapidly adopt group beliefs. Permiculturalists reinforce each other on hugelkultur and tree guilds. Hydroponics groups follow their own trends. Followers of a particular garden book may trust very shallow "raised" beds. Trust in a particular potting soil recipe may become a cultural value.

I think a lot of these things work, and across "cultures" provide healthy food for many.

But there are many ways to skin the cat.

This post was edited by johns.coastal.patio on Wed, May 28, 14 at 11:25

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:24AM
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djkj(9b)

Well said johns.coastal.patio

seysonn, Thanks for the video link. This season, want to try some tomato varieties which are not very sweet. If you have any suggestions do share!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:15AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

We should also be aware (self-aware) that the internet is great for spawning social groups which rapidly adopt group beliefs
%%%%%%%%%%

That is very true, john. I am very well aware( and self-aware)
Start with Mel's method, Ed's Hole, Eden's Chips, ..Traditionalists.
We have a lot of those people around here too. One of their arguments goes like this " Many thousands of gardeners do it this way .." or " It is a common practice ..."

Having said that, everybody is free to believe and do what he/she wants. We can also peacefully discuss things without getting excited and taking it as personal. The good thing here is that nobody can make anybody to do anything. As in the old tradition of "FORUM" going back to Roman civilization we just share opinions.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 2:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Ahhh, now see there you go quoting me again. And out of context again too. You could easily have made your point without the finger-pointing.

While John makes a very good point and I agree with him completely, there is such a thing as standards of practice, something so well-tested and proven that all can use when the unique and untried fails, as it so often does. Standards of common practice exist in all aspects of life, not just in tomato growing.

So while common practice standards certainly don't claim to be the onlyway to do something, the fact that they have proven repeatedly to work for so many in all types of situations; that they are "common", grants them far more legitimate standing than any off-the-wall approach can have.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:40PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I did not "quote " you.

Then read also my last paragraph again:

"Having said that, everybody is free to believe and do what he/she wants. We can also peacefully discuss things without getting excited and taking it as personal. The good thing here is that nobody can make anybody to do anything. As in the old tradition of "FORUM" going back to Roman civilization we just share opinions"
Good Day !

This post was edited by seysonn on Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 18:20

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:44PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Of course you did.

We have a lot of those people around here too. One of their arguments goes like this " Many thousands of gardeners do it this way .." or " It is a common practice ..."

And most everyone else knows it.

We can also peacefully discuss things without getting excited and taking it as personal.

Of course we could but it would be a whole lot easier without all your little personal dings and digs and finger pointing. As others have pointed out to you before they are unnecessary and reflect poorly on you.

So why not just stick to the subject under discussion rather than nitpicking at others.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:22PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I said " We have a lot of those people around here too.."

Are "..a lot of people..."? I think you are just one person.
As I said and you have shown in above post, You are sensitive about your way and ideas .. and YOU take things personal.
I am FREE to do my dings, little "dings " and I only point to the subject not persons. If you happened to be the one who says, writes it then it is another matter. The fact that you call my comments "dings" explains a lot.

And more often than not you are the one who comes after what I say and start the debate. That is fine with me. I might be controversial and not to be in the mainstream from tome to time but I am entitled to my opinions here per the rules of the forum.
In the word of Harry S. Trueman, if you cannot stand the heat , get out of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 7:12PM
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djkj(9b)

Dave and seysonn, I don't think any of you were trying to point at each other. You both are great posters and I like to read your posts, so lets all say Cheers!! and let peace prevail!

Coming back to my tomato-related question, can you provide advice on tomato varieties which are not sweet..maybe a little sour?

This post was edited by djkj on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 0:10

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:09AM
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vinemaple

a little sour...tangy...hmmm

Tigerella comes to mind. Canning types like Old Brooks. Nepal is not too sweet and a damn fine tomato. For cherries I would say Gardeners Delight, an heirloom, has some tang to it. Ceylon(or "bag of seeds") is definitely sour. Azoychka? Green Zebra...

When the description in a catalog says citrussy that may be your fruit.

Good luck with your quest for sour grapes!

Vine, who needs to go to bed so she can get off farm tomorrow for the Snake River raft trip sans stress!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 2:46AM
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djkj(9b)

Thanks for the suggestions, vinemaple

The reason I am looking for slightly sour ones is because I make clear tomato soup - water, tomatoes, salt, garlic and cilantro - and the "too sweet" ones are not as good as the "not too sweet" or sour ones.

And thanks for the tip on "citrussy ". Have a great day!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:47PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I also like tangy/acidic tomatoes to some extent, especially in salads and slicing. Most people use vinegar/lime/lemon in their salad dressings. So if tomato itself is tangy, that is so much better and you can eliminate adding acids to it. It is also a plus in canning. You can also ad a dash of sugar to hide the acid taste.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 4:19PM
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djkj(9b)

Yes seysonn - agree with you. Rather than adding vinegar/lime/lemon, growing tangy varieties may be better. I think most of the cherry varieties are sweet right?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 3:33PM
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hudson___wy

The plants on the video appeared to be determinate varieties and did not appear healthy - nor did the production of the plants appear to be increased from plants with foliage - IMO.

I do think there is a time to trim foliage though - that would be when the leaves/foliage are touching the ground to prevent disease and as the indeterminate varieties grow - produce and are harvested - the lower leaves of the plant wilt and appear to be a burden to the plant - I prefer to trim this foliage. The following photos are an example of what I am talking about.

Here the plant is producing well on the lower part of the plants and only the lower foliage that touches the soil has been removed.

In this photo we have harvested the tomatoes in the previous photo and the leaves are wilting - we like to remove the foliage where the tomatoes have been harvested only.

Unlike the plants in the video - these same plants as the previous photos look healthy with the lower plant foliage removed and continue to produce with the adequate healthy foliage that still remains on the plant - IMO. I don't think production has increased but this is a good way to prune foliage to the benefit of the plant and ripening fruit - IMO.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 2:28AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Way to go , Hudson.

Lower leave branches often serve no good purposes. Once they were useful but their time has expired. That is why so often the plants themselves abort them. Outside in the garden, the lower leaves are mostly shaded and make little or no contribution to photosynthesis and may provide a haven for diseases. So as time goes on I keep trimming lower leaves . Hera is a ML at this time. still I keep most of the lower leaves. But you can see they are off the ground.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 7:39AM
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djkj(9b)

Great job, Hudson - those tomatoes look awesome!

From the YouTube video comments, the plants are Early Girl and Big Boy - both indeterminate varieties.

Yes I like the idea of removing foliage as the plant grows - keeps the area clean. Thanks Hudson and seysonn for sharing some wonderful pics.

I am growing ML for the first time this year, do let us know how they are performing!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 2:44PM
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aphidsquish

Just watched this video and I can't say I'm impressed. I know I'm a newbie and all, but I kept cringing when I looked at all those diseased leaves. My plants stalled production until I got the fungus gnat/early blight problem under control. He has tomatoes for sure, but those plants look unhappy. :-(

I have no knowledge of the high nitrogen then low nitrogen regime for fertilizing. Is there anything to that?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:43PM
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ryseryse_2004

My problem, I think is that I have too much nitrogen in the soil and I don't know what to do about that. I plant my tomatoes, peppers and other veggies in the same plot each year and each year I get tons of lush green foliage with tomatoes coming in late August.

Don't know how you remove nitrogen from the soil. I just thought if I keep planting things there, eventually it would deplete. BTW, the area has never been fertilized with anything at all.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Weicker(6a PA)

RyseRyse, has a soil test confirmed that high Nitrogen is the culprit? I would get it tested before making any amendments.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:51PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Nitrogen can be TOO high but temporarily. Nitrogen fertilizers (nitrates, sulfates, etc) are readily water soluble and by frequent watering they can disappear or at least should be reduced to tolerable limit. For this reason I believe in fertilizing with liquid ferts 1/4 to 1/3 recm'd. strength and instead apply it more often. This way, also as time goes by I can read my plants lips and adjust to their needs. Only early in the season (before planting) I apply some granular type when preparing the beds.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:45AM
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djkj(9b)

Yes the high nitrogen to start and low nitrogen when flowering does work for my tomatoes. Basically you are channeling the plant energy in the right direction.It's up to you, whether you want nice bushy lush green tomato plants with few fruit or less leaves with a lot of fruit. I always go for the latter. I am not selling supermarket groceries, so for me, diseased or even no leaves, some leaves eaten by insects etc do not matter as much as tomato production.

My neighbor has 6 ft tall tomato plants that are nice and healthy, no diseases but hardly have fruit on them. You can make your plants look really good but with no tomatoes, its a lot of time and money wasted in my opinion.

As for the tomatoes in the video, a plant with diseases usually does not produces THAT many tomatoes and that too fruits with no signs of diseases in my humble opinion.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:53AM
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LKZZ(7b)

Thank you seysonn for thinking of us.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:14PM
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djkj(9b)

seysonn - Yes I agree with the Nitrogen being available temporarily.. The problem might arise for some people if there is a high nitrogen source (like manure) which remains most of the time. I think IMHO its a better idea to use water soluble Nitrogen fertilizers and then switch to slow release tomato fertilizers (they have less Nitrogen) for the last 3-4 months of growing.

By the way the slow release tomato fertilizers also work great for containers. Most people experience BER in containers, however I haven't had one by using slow release tomato ferts. They also contain Calcium which may account for it. Also in containers, keeping the plants steadily watered (via drip etc) may also play a role.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:15PM
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