Cherry Tomato taking over other tomato plants

misfithousewifeAugust 6, 2012

I planted 4 tomato plants in my raised garden bed, and being a total newbie, I probably planted them too close. The varieties I planted are sungold cherry tomato, isis candy, beefsteak, and Jaune flamme. All 4 plants are producing wonderfully, but the sungold has taken over all the others. They are caged in square wooden trellis cages but the sungold has gone over the tops of all the other three plants. I feel it has stunted the beefsteak as there are no new flowers on that particular plant yet still lots of green fruit.

I have already tied it up a couple times and frankly I don't know how to tie it up anymore.. it is just vining out all over the place and all the vines have clusters and tons of flowers so I can't bear to just cut it down.

I guess my question is this. Is there a way to tame this monster of a plant? If I cut them off will it stop producing new ones? And is it possible that it is preventing the other plants from producing as well as they could? The isis has fruit but a tiny fraction of what the sungold has and the Jaune flamme is producing heavily as well. Thanks so much in advance from a real noob.

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rich_oh_gw McIntyre(z5OH)

You can cut it back to keep it within its own cage, and pinch out the side shoots as they develop.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:38PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

First, you cannot ever expect the same amount of production from the other varieties. Sungold will always out-produce the others 10 fold. But it is not "stunting" them, more likely just shading them and gobbling up soil nutrients.

You can trim it back if you wish but yes you will lose production as a result so the choice is yours. How much loss all depends on how much trimming you do.

If you decide to just don't get carried away and do it gradually over several days time or you can shut it down completely.

And of course next year...better spacing, yes? :)


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Thanks for the great advice. I think I may trim it back a little to relieve pressure on my beefsteak. And yes.. definitely better spacing next year :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I did the same thing, except my Sungolds shaded out my cucumbers and bush beans. I'm letting them sprawl over the edge of the 16" tall raised bed, as well as climb up their trellis. They make tasty sauce, though! (Food-process them, cook them down, use food strainer/mill to remove seeds and skins. Can/freeze.)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:36PM
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What are temperatures like where you are? If it's hot that could also be a contributing factor in the lack of production from the others. In my experience, cherries tend to disregard heat moreso than beefsteaks, which typically do not produce well in heat.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Congrats on having the amount of growth you have for a newbie. Many new growers don't have that kind of success starting out. Yes, you'll probably need to trim that sucker back some, cherries can get way out of hand. Heat can slow down beefsteaks and such but with proper watering can do just fine. We have had temps in the 90's since June in an unusually hot year where I am, but our beefsteaks and others are producing extremely well. Cutting back your cherries may help if they are shading.

We all learn every year. I've been doing tomatoes for many years, but I always have more to learn and improvements I can make. You will to, and it sounds like you have a great start!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Here is a pic of my raised bed. You can see there are three trellises on this side but there are only 2 plants per side. We stuck another trellis in to help support that sungold early on. This morning I moved all those straggly sungold ones from the tops of the beefsteak which is the plant on the right.

I couldn't bear to cut any as its still early on here and I should be getting tomatoes for another 2 months and that sungold plant is literally COVERED.

I am really pleased with how well my tomatoes have done this year and I am really enjoying the Jaune Flamme ones.. sooo sweet.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 4:10PM
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that looks good my sungold has taken over my container it is really too big and smothering the cherokee tomato plant but it is so good I can't think about cutting it back lol

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:09PM
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My sweet 100's & juliet's did the same.
I have 12 raised beds & am going to put my tomatoes plants 36 inches on center next year,
This is so I can get between them to pick everyone of those sweet berries.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:19PM
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are the sweet 100 as sweet as sungolds jolj

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:29PM
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I haven't grown sungold, but the cherry I grew when I lived in Z7 (Sweet 100s I think), and that monster grew up the 6 foot cage, then down the other side of the 6 foot cage, and then 6 feet out along the line before I said ENOUGH and just cut off the vine. Cherry tomatoes can be voracious little suckers!

I'll have to try sungold next year though. My son would love it. I grew yellow pear this year, but its really suffering disease pressure.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Lynne Reno

I have a gardener's delight that has taken over half of my yard lol, I've never seen anything like it

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:19PM
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jolj - I am going to do the same thing next year.. plant them down the center or maybe stagger them a little.. I am having a heck of a time getting in the middle of the jungle.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Yeah, that's a *bit* close!

Looks like you may have some excessive foliage from high nitrogen. Wouldn't hurt to cut some greenery away to allow some air in there, and make things a bit more accessible. Cutting back the sungolds may be a start.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:10PM
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here is a close up of the excess foliage.. I just cant bear to dut it down. We have quite a bit of growing time left, the temps have been close to 100 and every last vine on this plant has several clusters of tomatoes.. I guess this year I will do my best to pick them all and learn from my mistake.. I just can't bring myself to cut them off.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:12PM
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It's ok for them to hang downward. Just do what you can to keep them off the ground and allow air through.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:03PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I don't think you made a mistake. Put some brown cardboard on the ground under those branches and cover it with a bag of pine mulch to make it pretty.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:08PM
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