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organic tomato magic

Posted by jason_2007 6a (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 16, 07 at 2:32

hello all, i was thinking of buying this book, it seems almost too good to be true and the company is based in canada but after reading the website from top to bottom and with the guarantee they offer i am really considering it as i could use all the help and tips etc i can get, this book sounds like the ultimate bible for novice tomato growers,please check out the link and let me know if i should trust this company or is it just another snake oil type of thing?

Here is a link that might be useful: organic tomato magic


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: organic tomato magic

Save your money. I am an organic grower. Organic gardenenig is rewarding in more ways than one. For me it's the ONLY way. Some of these assertions i just read at that site are plain WRONG. All you need to know to grow organically great tomatoes is online and is FREE.

Start here: http://www.organicgardening.com/


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RE: organic tomato magic

or is it just another snake oil type of thing?

******

Yes it is!!!!

It's been posted here several times before and folks have picked it to pieces concerning all the wrong information.

This time I'm not going to even bother to start doing that.

Carolyn


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RE: organic tomato magic

Probably nuff said already, but there are spelling errors etc on the front page which should give a clue. Also, if I caught someone cutting all the leaves (which are needed for photosynthesis) off my tomatoes, I think that I would be looking for my shotgun and some rock salt to pepper their arse with. To state that to remove all the leaves makes the plant better is a totally ludicrous statement in my opinion. If that were so, someone would probably be selling horn worms in boxes of thousands like they do lady bugs and lacewings etc. It might be good for a laugh though.

Unfortunately, the guy probably makes some money every year off the gullible and unknowing, or those so desperate for some way to beat their neighbors that they might try something stupid like that.

Are there any among us who are willing to step up and tell us what their experiences were with this ?? ":^)
Bill P.


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RE: organic tomato magic

thanks for all the good advice everyone,i should have picked up on the spelling errors on the website and i will not be purchasing this book.


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RE: organic tomato magic

I would think that within the first page worth of data, most people's BS meters would start going off.

"....ONE ARMED FARMER...."

that says it all.

...so, by the logic of this "magic book" I should be able to cut off my daughters arms and she'd grow healthier, faster, and more successful..?

Bah!


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RE: organic tomato magic

Two comments:
1) You can get the 'book' free (i.e. the pdf version) by going to Google and searching for "organic tomato magic". You'll see the PDF about 4-5 down.
2) There is some truth to to what is in the book. I recall going into a commercial greenhouse in northern Mississippi one time and they were growing tomatoes hydroponically. And they were taking 'some leaves off' (from the bottom). The tomato plant 'vines" were like 20 feet long and the tomatoes looked darn good. So ???


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RE: organic tomato magic

"plant 'vines" were like 20 feet long and the tomatoes looked darn good. So ???"

So go pull all the leaves off your plants and keep a pictorial record and show us your great harvest this summer and fall! ":^)

When I see your unedited and unaltered pictures of a great crop, I might begin to believe it.
Bill P.


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RE: organic tomato magic

the more i read about this subject the more interested i get.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Well allrighty then. Why don't we just have a contest of those believers who are willing to strip their leaves off their tomato plants and keep pictorial documention to enter at the end of August. It should not be too hard to judge the result to pick a weiner - er winner. ":^)

Did I mention that I am going to have some ocean front property and a couple of bridges to put on the market before long, probably before your crops come in though.

Keep us posted on how things are going and growing.
Bill P.


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RE: organic tomato magic

What a load of organic composted horse manure that book is! (Just my humble opinion, of course)!

Elaine


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RE: organic tomato magic

I had to stop reading about 1/2 way thru the web page due to a severe dry heave.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Hello there,
I'm the author of the web-site in question.

My website has been chewed up all over the web lately so I do not mind your flaming comments.

My grandfather did indeed grow tomatoes this way, and it is very common commercial tomato gardening practice in Europe. Although, it is very tedious and labour intensive when you are pruning 100s of plants daily, so this has gone a little out of practice and most farmers don't even know about it.

You may have misunderstood the web-site however, so I will probably re-write it to make more sense and be less "hypey." I am not saying to cut ALL your leaves off. Only the ones which are underneath the first flower branch.

When the tomato grows, it will first have some stems/brances without flowers, this is good, at this time photosynthesis is working at full blast and the plant is a giant sugar factory. When the Ittomato flowers begin to appear, you must be trimming the leaves constantly and only leaving the top layers (above the flower branch/stem) This is enough, and, it usually makes the plant produce more flower branches as than leaf branches.

This metaphor is a ways off, but it works a little on the same principle as when you cut your grass only once a month, you'll see it grows back slowly. If you cut your grass every 3 days, you'll see that grass growing faster and faster... same with facial hair :) hehe.

If you leave a tomato plant un-pruned, or poorly pruned it will grow very quickly, almost doubling in size every other week, the leaves will get out of control, sure, the plant will have plenty of sugar, but it will just not produce enough fruit as most of the energy will be sustaining the giant "leaf tree" you have.

Onlookers might say "wow you've got lots of tomatoes", but they are not seeing what could be there.

This technique isn't something I invented, it's been around for a long time. Most gardeners are just unaware of it, and if you explain it, it sounds like blasphemy.

Without a doubt this post will probably open me up to more flaming comments and ridicule, so bring it on :)

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Grow Tomatoes Blog


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Hang on a moment, Mr Postawski. You say very clearly on your website to leave no more than three small leaves on each plant. The story of your grandfather's that you quote equally clearly says that he cut off ALL the leaves. You're back-pedalling furiously if you pretend that means only the leaves below the first trusses.

My late mother was taken in by this nonsense a few years ago. We'd helped her to grow some very healthy Ailsa Craig tomato plants, and she was looking forward to the delicious harvest of tomatoes. It looked like a good crop, too. Then one weekend we paid our normal visit to find that she'd stripped the leaves off the plants. She'd "seen them do it on the television".

The plants didn't die, but went into arrested development. The half-formed tomatoes stayed green, and didn't get any bigger.

It was a cruel trick to play on an old lady, in my opinion.


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Wait a second.... isn't it pretty common knowledge that staked tomatoes, which must be pruned, have a reduced yield compared to unpruned caged tomatoes? Unless the trick is in the type of pruning, it seems to me that this comparison is being made by thousands of gardeners every year.


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Wait a second.... isn't it pretty common knowledge that staked tomatoes, which must be pruned, have a increased yield compared to unpruned caged tomatoes? There would be no point in pruning them otherwise. Vegetable yield is always per square foot not per plant. Caged tomatoes are difficult to prune. My grandmother grew her tomatoes staked 50 years ago and vigorously pruned them (Not down to 3 leaves) always keeping enough leaves for a shade canopy. Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is probably very different from growng outside. You would certainly need more canopy leaves outside. There is significantly more disease around too. She never ever watered the surface of the soil or yused fertilizer. For every four tomatoes there would be a whole dug where garbage was put that could be filled if water was needed. this is topped with weeds etc. I have yet to eat any tomatoes that tasted nearly as good. Somewhere I have a pic of my tomatoes. There is a canopy withe a lot of tomatoes near the main stem and few leaves under the canopy.


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sounds like this has become an attention grabber!

I pinch off bottom leaves,spotted leaves, yellow leaves,and I pinch of suckers just because of the short growing season here, I found leaving suckers took energy for the plant to produce more branches etc, and less tomatoes. But no way to cut off all the leaves but 3? Try it on a few, always good to try something to satisfy your curiousity..You may loose a couple of plants, you will learn something.
I pulled all the leaves off a plant in error this season, it was in with a batch of plants and I did not notice I was pulling spoted leaves off the same plant. I thought it was a goner, and it was the only orange Russian I had..it was a long stem, no leaves..now it is growing leaves, and healthy ones too. I don't think you need to buy this book to experiment yourself..

Martha/zucchini


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No thanks, I'm keeping the leaves on my plant, my 2 cents lol :P


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RE: organic tomato magic

Pruning tomatoes is an old and well known growing method, just look at the tomato plants in "Crockett's Victory Garden" by the late Jim Crockett. His were bare stems heavy with tomatoes most of the way up the plant, with a heavy growth of leaves near the top of the plant. There are different schools of thought on how to grow tomatoes.

Postawski's book has some good information in it and is a good read in my opinion. Sure there is some stuff in his book I would not do to my tomatoes, but I find a lot more outlandish and cockamamie ideas in the organic gardening forum of Gardenweb than are in Postawski's little book about growing tomatoes.


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"... but I find a lot more outlandish and cockamamie ideas in the organic gardening forum of Gardenweb than are in Postawski's little book about growing tomatoes." [Kubotabx]

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Indeed, brother.

Like applying New Skin liquid bandage to the radial cracks on a tomato. Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! That one took the cake.

Bill


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So, make an Experiment

I really WOULD like to suggest that anyone who is interested in this technique try it out on some of their tomatoes. If you have 4 identical tomato plants (same type) then prune the leaves off 2 of them, taking ALL the leaves below the first flower cluster, and leave the leaves on the others.

Let us know in the fall about what you find.

I personally NEVER prune my tomatoes, unless I have to. Of course, I DO live in a desert, so I don't need to worry about moisture build-up around the bottom of the plant, that might cause disease, or things like that.

Which, or course, brings up another point: Different techniques MIGHT work better in different TYPES of tomatoes, and different climates and conditions.

Greenhouse growing is probably more similar to some of the tropical growing conditions (but with controlled watering and a lot less bugs). Various temperate climates, and dry western vs humid eastern climates might require other techniques.

Still, I'd like to hear about them, but I don't think you can trust it when someone says they ALWAYS do things a certain way with ALL their plants. How do they know that is the best way, unless they compare it side to side with other plants (of the same varieties) under identical conditions.


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RE: organic tomato magic

By the way if any of you are looking for the book "Crockett's Victory Garden" the author's full name was James Underwood Crockett.


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I just stumbled onto this site. I do grow tomatoes, several varieties and mostly in pots. I use both stakes and cages depending on the size of the pot and the type of the tomato. Generally, I trim the lower branches-"because my grandmother did". She said it helped with air circulation. This was in Moses Lake, a dry area in Washington state. However, now I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, considerably more rain and cooler. I have to watch for white flies and spots. I do trim the suckers, especially towards the top of plant and if the branches/leaves seem to be not letting enough circulation. I do not believe there is an 'always do this/don't do that' when it comes to plants - there are too many variables, even in similar locations...I learned a lot here but the tone does seem to be rather 'mean spirited.' Maybe we need to be more willing to try other folks methods or at least listen before crucifying them!


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RE: organic tomato magic

Fine -- I'll bite.

Somebody has to step up and test this. It's one thing to have a healthy skepticism but another thing to just sit on the sidelines and scoff.

Same tomato cultivar, two plants planted on the same day 5 weeks ago, side by side in the same row, one trimmed up to the flowers the other is not.

I trimmed them 4 days ago.

2 Beefmaster tomato plants -- side by side in the same bed.

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Beefmaster 1 is trimmed to the first set of flowers like in Postawski's "Organic Tomato Magic" and trimmed to a single stem. I will trim the remaining bottom leaf when the plant touches the trellis -- it is there for balance.

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Beefmaster 2 trimmed the bottom leaves only multiple stems and trim new suckers only not foliage

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Beefmaster 1 has a single stem

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Beefmaster 2 has 4 stems

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Beefmaster 1 -- Blossoms opening and 22 blossoms in 1 layer

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(top view)

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Beefmaster 1 -- second tier of blossoms forming already 3 blossoms

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there is also another 2nd tier cluster looks just like the first

Beefmaster 2 -- 8 blossoms on main stem 1st tier, none open yet

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Beefmaster 2 also has 3 smaller first tier clusters on the other stems

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That's Beefmaster variety

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The trimmed Beefmaster 1 has far and away more blossoms and the blossoms are further along in development. It also is forming 2nd tier blossoms.

Remember I just trimmed them like this 4 days ago.


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RE: organic tomato magic

OK, I decided to read the web page. The tabloid headlines are just stylistic, so I ignored them. The "organic" claims are meaningless (organic is more about sustainability than production).

I stopped when I got to "If my grandfather can grow 12 tonnes of organic tomatoes with 2 mid sized greenhouses"...

Well, at least that was a measurable claim. So I did some very rough calculations. I assumed that 1 lb of tomato would be about a 4 inch cube (for simplicity) or 64 cu inches. There are 1728 cu inches in a cu ft, or 27 pounds. 12 tons (US) means there were (conveniently) 1728 cu yards of tomatoes. 1728 cu yards means that the tomatoes would fill a container 12' wide, 12' long, and 12' high!

And, if I haven't slipped on my math, that is 46,656 one pound tomatoes... From 2 greenhouses (granted "mid-sized greenhouse" is not defined)?

I'd have to see proof of 46,656 one-pound tomatoes... ;)


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RE: organic tomato magic

and if I can manage it I will keep track of the yield of these 2 plants throughout the season


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RE: organic tomato magic

OK lets try the math and test Postawski's claim on paper.

1 ton = 2,000 pounds

12 tons = 24,000 pounds = 24,000 one-pound tomatoes, or 12,000 per greenhouse. Not sure where you got the 46,656 figure, I come up with 24,000 pounds.

In his book Postawski says his grandfather grew 30-40 pounds of tomatoes per plant, which would require 300-400 tomatoes plants in each greenhouse. They were trained up ropes and each plant was about 10 feet tall. It would not be out of line for a 10 foot tall tomato plant would yield 30-40 pounds of tomatoes per plant. A bit on the high end but not outrageous for a commercial grower.

Here's a quote on how many tomatoes will fit in a greenhouse, from Texas A&M University ag extension.

"The number of plants needed will depend on row and plant spacing. A recommended plant spacing in soil is 18 inches between plants and about 36 inches between rows. This spacing allows approximately 4.5 square feet per plant. One may grow as close as 3 feet per plant. In an average 30'x100' greenhouse using the recommended plant spacing and beginning the first row three feet away from the side, approximately 540 plants will be required (9,680 plants/acre). "

So far I don't see anything too outlandish in fitting 400 tall tomato plants in a greenhouse if the average greenhouse is 30'x100' and can hold 540 plants. I don't know how big a greenhouse would be back in Poland.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Greenhouse Tomato Transplants


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RE: organic tomato magic

"I learned a lot here but the tone does seem to be rather 'mean spirited.' Maybe we need to be more willing to try other folks methods or at least listen before crucifying them!"

Agreed, I have seen quite a few mean spirited and demeaning posts over the last few weeks on a few threads on this forum and I am wondering what is going on.


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RE: organic tomato magic

OK here is an update for today, June 25, 2007

The two Beefmaster plants side by side.

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The one that was not pruned

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the other one, that was pruned according to "Organic Tomato Magic"

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Blossom development on the one that was pruned

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top view

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Blossom on the one that was not pruned

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RE: organic tomato magic

just curious ... what's the white residue on the tomato leaves?


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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200,
I applaud you for taking on this experiment. Anyone can claim anything they want.
I like seeing some proof. I anxiously await the results.
Thanks, Michael


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RE: organic tomato magic

white residue on tomato leaves = Daconil to prevent fungus.

I sprayed them yesterday.


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RE: organic tomato magic

I personally don't think stripping all the leaves off is a good idea, I don't like it. I will take a couple of the lower ones off just to keep things up out of the dirt.

HOWEVER, we do have a large Italian population around here and I know that they strip almost all leaves off of their tomatoes. Especially the older Italians, the old county type. I didn't even KNOW that tomato plants could get bushy until I got into gardening myself and became a lazy gardener. Every tomato plant in all their gardens are either stripped of leaves or at least heavily pruned.

While I don't want to strip leaves (I don't even pinch off suckers), I think the guy is on target that it's an old European, or at least an old Italian, way of growing tomatoes.


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Please don't take this as a criticism. I think the experiement is very worthwhile. I think to reach a solid conclusion, the results need to be confirmed by others.

I am growing 4 Lime Green Salads this season. For some crazy reason, one plant has about 80% BER while the other three have none! Same seeds from the same package, same soil, same sun, same watering, same everything.

dcarch ???


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RE: organic tomato magic

FWIW, on p. 109 of Shepherd Ogden's "Straight Ahead Organic" there's a picture of tomato plants with lots of tomatoes but no leaves on the bottom 2 feet or so. This has really puzzled me (especially since his description of how to prune tomatoes later on seems to call for leaving on more leaves), now at leat I've got some account of it. Interesting thread.


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RE: organic tomato magic

A brief update:

Yesterday I noticed the first 3 tomatoes appear on the Beefmaster plant that has been trimmed according to "Organic Tomato Magic". Nothing yet on the untrimmed Beefmaster.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Keep us updated kubo. You may turn me into a convert.

That is...if I don't get too lazy to prune.


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RE: organic tomato magic

OK, I finished reading through the Organic Tomato Magic instructions.

The pruning is just a part of the whole concept and unfortunately, I don't have the ability to do the things in the book.

Number one, I don't have a greenhouse, can't make one, and wouldn't have the space for it anyway. It says that growing tomatooes in an outdoor garden is a waste of space.

Of course it also says that I'd be lucky to get 10 tomatoes off of each plant growing in an outdoor garden. Since I spend my summers trying to give away bags of excess tomatoes to friends and neighbours, I guess I must be seriously lucky. Either that or things have been a little exaggerated.


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I took these pictures last night (6/28/2007). The Beefmaster plant that I pruned according to Postawski's book now has 7 little tomatoes on it:

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The non-pruned Beefmaster next to it has no tomatoes yet

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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200 - I'm so glad you've kept posting your results. When you started I tried to get an e-mail to you just so's I could follow your progress. Apparently that doesn't work here. I'm especially glad you're testing Beefmaster since that's my favorite. I had one Beefmaster get blown down and snapped with some high wind and I repaired it. It's the only plant with a tomato on it now. Seems the abuse causes them to produce earlier. Great experiment and definitely a learning/teaching experience.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Let me start by saying I have little experience with growing tomatoes and have only done so for a few years and until this year they were in containers...

However, I can't help but feel that the experiment some of you are following with kubotabx2200's two beefmasters is a little redundant. We saw that he took two tomato plants which had obviously been growing for a good amount of time with their leaves. He then stripped the leaves off a plant with many flowers existing, while the other didn't have existing flowers (you don't get flower production that significant in 4 days).

ARE WE COMPARING APPLES TO APPLES HERE? Shouldn't this method be started earlier? And can we really say that, based on these two plants, following the OTM method is superior when it appears the two plants were on two planes to begin with?

Am I missing something?

While it is interesting, I think drawing any conclusions based on two plants is naive.


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kubotabx2200 Quote:

"Postawski's book has some good information in it and is a good read in my opinion."

I hadn't seen this thread in a long time I was surprised and very happy to have stumbled on it once more (truly).

I had completely missed the fact that the author of this book was Polish!!! If that be the case then I believe every word written there. My wonderful, sweet and incredibly intelligent fiance is Polish and I can only judge from what I know. :)

Side note: Polish fiance knows nothing about tomatoes though, thinks a tomato is a tomato. bah!

^.~


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Your Polish fianc does indeed think tomato is a tomato but he couldn't help noticing that awful number of tomato experts here seems to be hating the idea that kubotabx2200 experiment might actually show that Mr. Postawski isn't a snake oil salesman after all! Could it possibly be possible that they actually don't know everything? Mind boggles!


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kopetie: I just wanted to clear up a few things. I selected 2 plants side by side that were planted on the same day. According to Kacper Postawski's book you do not start grooming the plants until AFTER they form the first layer of blossoms. That is just what I did: I pruned it back to 1 main stem and stripped the leaves below the first layer of blossoms. I do not think it was started too late, I started when the first layer of blossoms was on the two plants, according to what Postawski says in his book. If the experiment was started "late" it was no more than a couple of days late (reckoning by Postawski's method). All I can do is share the results going forward.

Both plants already had blossoms when I started cutting, as I stated from the outset and the first set of photographs shows. It is about as APPLES TO APPLES as it is possible to for me make it in a practical sense. The plants were both 24-25" tall on June 13, three days after pruning. As for it not being possible to produce blossoms like that well I don't know what to believe you or my lyings eyes, LOL.

Even in the 4 days after grooming, that pruned Beefmaster produced more new blossoms. The groomed Beefmaster, so far at least, has continued to pull ahead of the other plant, by a lot, since I first posted 2 weeks ago. The ungroomed plant has grown larger than the groomed one, yet it has produced fewer blossoms and no tomatoes yet. It will not be until the end of the season that I draw any conclusions myself as to whether Postawski's method yields more tomatoes. Who knows, maybe the ungroomed one will pull ahead later in the season. I don't know what is going to happen that is why it is an experiment.


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Sunsi, I agree 100% ... Slavic people in general, and Polish people specifically, are wonderful, intelligent, insightful, talented, beautiful, artistic, natural gardeners!!! And the world wouldn't be the same without their magnificent contributions over the centuries.

Kubotabx,

I appreciate your contribution in this pruning discussion and field test. I prune tomato plants ... probably not so heavily as recommended in Postawski's book ... but then I haven't read the book and don't know exactly how heavily he instructs to prune.

For example ... after several days of thunderstorms and steamy weather during which I was unable to cut the grass or tend the tomato bed, I finally was able to run a mower through the high savanah and get into the tomato patch for some serious pruning. When finished, I had removed probably two bushels of foliage and wayward side shoots, and at long last was able to tie up the plants good and proper. Boy, did that make a difference!

I also prune ALL vegetation below the first blossom set and even start topping the three or four growing tips I leave on indeterminates when they top their stakes by more than a foot. I'm much more moderate about pruning short stake and determinate types and let them get a quite a bit bushier than the indeterminates.

What I would like to see ... if you have the time and inclination ... is more detail of exactly what Mr. Postawski advises in the way of pruning tomatoes throughout the season. So far, you've told us what he says about stripping the vegetation below the first blossom sets. Does he also advise leaf pruning? How extreme is he about suckering? How many growing tips does he allow to full maturity? Does he top his plants at any particular stage of the game?

I prune any leaves that wander into another plant's canopy so that there are no leaves from one plant touching another. Of course, this would be impractical if I used Florida Weave, but then I would only use FW for short stake determinate types anyway. I also remove any leaf that looks the least bit touched by disease and sometimes remove the outer half of large leaves when they get too far outside the drip line of their own plant.

Please give us more details of Mr. Postawski's pruning techniques.

Bill


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Bill I gave this some thought, and just don't feel too comfortable about telling all the details because this is a book Postawski's selling and content of the whole book is about his techniques for growing tomatoes. So I feel like if I start giving all the details right out of his book which I have in front of my, nobody is going to buy his book. I don't feel like that would be a fair thing to do; whether his techniques actually work or not in the end is another story and that is what I am experimenting with.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Kubotabx2200:

Are you telling me that in four days your pruned plant produced flowers that were not there four days earlier? If that's the case I'm stripping my plants bare tonight... where's my flashlight?

I'm really not trying to be a jerk here... but in my garden two tomato plants, growing side by side, grown from seed by me in exactly the same conditions look entirely different and I haven't treated them differently. One is thriving, covered with fruit and above it's 5 foot cage and the other looks like I never add any soil ammendments and it doesn't need a cage. Now if I had pruned one of them by your man's book I might think said pruning had something to do with it's health (or lack thereof, depending on the plant I had pruned). When in actuality it's just the plant...

Let me also add that I am not one to push any particular method because I don't have enough knowledge or experience to do so, so that isn't what this is about. I SIMPLY think that taking TWO plants and using their results to form an opinion on a method of growing is jumping to conclusions.


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RE: organic tomato magic

kopetie you are entitled to form your own opinion, and I respect your opinion. You make some valid points. I'm not trying to influence others' opinion either way. I haven't formed my own opinion yet. But I will say this: Postawski doesn't become my man just because I have a copy of his book. So far I am the only person here who is actually comparing the two methods side by side and sharing the results. If somebody else will step up and stake 10 of his tomato plants or 100 plants for the sake of information sharing, that would be even better. But I have only the two plants to discuss here.

We can compare the pictures I posted on 6/25 to the pictures I took on 6/28 (yesterday). That is a 3 day period. I see in the 6/28 photographs that were not there in the earlier phots, and the plant went from having no tomatoes to 7 tomatoes during that same 3 day period. The other plant has formed new blossoms too, but so far no tomatoes yet.


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I say keep going in the experiment and posting the results. I especially want to know if you find the TASTE of the tomatoes any different. Now I'm so curious that I want to do this next year for myself. I'm not so interested in the size of the tomatoes because I would rather have a lot of slightly smaller tomatoes than less but larger ones.


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RE: organic tomato magic

If you take the book at face value, it is the wisdom of one man, who grew a heckava lotta tomatoes, as written down by his grandson. In that sense it is a nice book of folk wisdom. That means the techniques are very useful under certain conditions, though the explanations often need a big grain of salt. Opinions are strong and rigid and may not jive with everyone's reality. We don't know if the grandson is just reporting his grandfather's statements, or if he is inserting his own opinions and explanations. Indeed, we don't know if the young Mr. Postawski has ever grown anything, let alone tested and verified his grandfather's methods.

For growers in short-season locales like, say Poland or Canada, it may be a waste of space to grow tomatoes outdoors. That is, if your main reason to garden is to get the highest yield per area. OTOH, if you enjoy growing tomatoes but don't want to bother with a greenhouse...

Meanwhile, in much of the USA it is possible and fairly easy to grow very tall tomatoes outdoors. Right now my brandywines are 7' tall with at least 5 fruit clusters per plant. If I had a 20' frame to attach them to I imagine they could reach the top by September!

There are orthodox botanical explanations for why trimming leaves may increase yield. The main one is that many plants under stress will increase flower and fruit production. As long as there is enough foliage to feed the growing fruit, it may just work. Since we aren't growing tomatoes as perennials, we don't care about stressing them if it means more tomatoes.

I guess the point is like any garden book that claims to be the be-all and end-all, you have to sift through it, try things out, and take away the pearls of wisdom that work for you. I'll be adding it to the toolkit in my square-foot deep-bed lasagna whatever gardens.


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RE: organic tomato magic

I'm a lurker, new to growing tomatoes, and have been reading this thread with interest. I'd like to offer a suggestion if you plan on adding more photos later on -- could you reduce the image size before uploading to Photobucket? I post photos over on the Orchid Gallery, often several per thread, and try to keep each image around 100kB or so. With so many photos here in the 200-300kB range, this thread becomes convenient only for those with cable broadband. Takes a while even for my DSL to handle this many bytes.

Thanks!

Bruce C.


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RE: organic tomato magic

kopetie,
Could you post a picture of your 2 side by side tomatoes that were grown the same but turned out so very different? I'd really like to see that as a comparison.

Thanks, Michael


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RE: organic tomato magic

Photos taken this evening, Saturday, June 30, 2007

The two Beefmaster plants side by side. Both were planted the same day. The one on the right was groomed according to Postawski's "Organic Tomato Magic" and the one on the left was not pruned.

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The Beefmaster that was not groomed:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


The Beefmaster that was groomed ala "Organic Tomato Magic".

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The plant that was groomed ("Organic Tomato Magic") now has 14 tomatoes growing on it. 2 days ago it had 7 tomatoes and 5 days ago it had none:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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Top view:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Beefmaster that was pruned is also forming a lot of new flowers. But no tomatoes yet. The plant is so spread out it is hard to get a good shot of it but here is the best could manage:

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Alongside some of the other tomatoes I am growing:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: organic tomato magic

Actually, on photo size, I thing GardenWeb's guidelines call for photo size limits of 60KB... That is sometimes hard to do and still show all the details sometimes necessary.

I often use a program called Picture Shark that lets you add watermarks and save jpgs at reduced compression resolutions without changing the actual size of the pic. Likewise for another image manipulation & viewing program, ACDSee (which is my favorite, though an earlier less cumbersome version.) There are others like JPEG Optimizer, etc, that do the same thing.

Sometimes though, trying to do all this editing and manipulating often causes the poster to just "not bother" going thru all the work to post pics. Plus sometimes the amount of help that an instant pic (without having to do all the manipulation, reducing file size, etc) offers in a timely manner to a question outways the extra time needed for it to load. And I still haven't discussed copyrighting images--which takes more time to add a watermark. I've seen many sites with stolen pics and the result is the original owner in return often editing their pics to the point of being so distractive or distasteful where the immediate focus of your eyes is drawn to the text covering up what you originally intended to see.

I guess I'm not taking any sides but I do post a lot of pics that I hope are appreciated, not just for the content of the pic, but the work involved trying to meet GW's restrictions while still showing large enough pics to show needed details, as well as getting the pics posted asap. Therefore, I commend kubota on his posting and appreciate the pics the way they currently are. If he can manipulate them to remain the same dimensions and reduce filesize at the same time, that's even better, but knowing what's involved, I don't expect it nor would ask it.

matermark


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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200 - Thanks for the correction of my tomato calculation. I turned 1 lb tomatoes into volume OK because I wanted to know the size container 12 tons of tomatoes would fill. But when I tried to convert that back into a quantity of tomatoes, I missed a unit. Sorry about that.

Thanks for catching that. Obviously, 24,000 pounds of 1 lb tomatoes ultimately HAS to be 24,000 tomatoes. LOL @ me...

As they say, "OOPS". ;)


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RE: organic tomato magic

Sorry about that I will set the resolution too high on my camera -- it was set to 2812x2112 resolution, then Photobucket scales it to 1024x68. I will cut back the camera to 640x480 from now on for when I take Gardenweb shots. I was not aware of the 60 KB limit. I agree that is good enough for what we are discussing here.


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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200,
Nice pictures, thanks for the update.

kopetie,
Where are the pictures of the 2 side by side tomatoes you were taling about? Please post a Picture.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Update for Thursday, July 5, 2007.

The "Organic Tomato Magic" pruned Beefmaster tomato plant now has 14 tomatoes and some of them are about 2" across

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The non-pruned Beefmaster now has 2 tomatoes about the size of a Lima bean.

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Here's the 2 plants side by side

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: organic tomato magic

I have done some of my plants per the watered-down version posted by the books author here in this thread and what I'm seeing so far defies belief. I hesitated to post this because I did not keep a photo journal so it's a matter of trusting my word but I'm very pleased with the tomatoes seemingly popping out of nowhere.

Next year I will do a complete experiment with side-by-side plantings and keep photo and written records as this deserves further investigation. *sticks-neck-back-in* :)


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RE: organic tomato magic

I have done some of my plants per the watered-down version posted by the books author here in this thread and what I'm seeing so far defies belief. I hesitated to post this because I did not keep a photo journal so it's a matter of trusting my word but I'm very pleased with the tomatoes seemingly popping out of nowhere.

if you mean cutting off leaves below the first blossom cluster or pruning to one stem, those are pretty well known pruning methods. i actually keep my plants to 2 stems when i can and prune the lower leaves as long as there's a blossom cluster low enough that i'm not cutting 90% of the foliage off of the plant.

however, this book says you should prune all but 3 leaves. it offers an anecdote about cutting all the leaves off of plants so that they look like bare stems and then getting huge amounts of tomatoes. that can't be right at all.


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RE: organic tomato magic

both your plants look beautiful kubotabx, but was wondering if you can clarify something: the five images you posted on June 30, which plant is in the fourth image? it and the caption confused me a bit.

thanks in advance.


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RE: organic tomato magic

wenderina: For the 4th photo from June 30, the caption should read "The Beefmaster that was NOT PRUNED is also forming a lot of new flowers. But no tomatoes yet. The plant is so spread out it is hard to get a good shot of it but here is the best could manage:".

sunsi: I don't know what to say. Seeing is believing? I will continue to post new photos as they happen.


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RE: organic tomato magic

following site with great interest from Britain


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RE: organic tomato magic

Here is an update for Friday, July 6, 2007. There was a great deal of growth during the past day where we have had hot 85 degree weather and thunderstorms yesterday and last night with a good amount of rain falling.

I made a careful assay of both plants this morning the unpruned Beefmaster now has 9 tomatoes if we include tiny ones where the blossom just came off.

For the non pruned Beefmaster largest fruit is a bit over one inch across. You can also see the fruit is heavily shaded by the foliage on the unpruned plant:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

it is continuing to produce flowers. Here are the 2 plants side by side. Since I also have plants growing on the other side of the trellis it is getting harder to distinguish the boundaries of each plant in a photograph so from now on going forward I will concentrate on counting the fruit and measuring the size of the fruit on the two plants.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The "Organic Tomato Magic" pruned Beefmaster plant now has 22 tomatoes on it including little ones where the blossom just came off. The largest are more than two inches across.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

New blossoms are still being vigorously produced in the first cluster of tomatoes, which I find unusual and interesting:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The 2nd and 3rd layers of blossoms further up the plant are producing fruit and blossoms. These tomatoes by and large are bigger than the two biggest tomatoes on the non-pruned Beefmaster. There are 4 levels of blossoms on it now:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You can see there is very sparse foliage or some would say extremely sparse, on the pruned Beefmaster and there is abundant fruit and flowers coming in.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: organic tomato magic

This is so interesting. Thanks for stepping up and trying this, Kubo. The photo journal is a wonderful aid. Definitely something I will experiment with next year.

Sunsi, interesting to learn your observations too. Please keep us posted on your modified experiment.

I think I understand the principal of plants under stress going into high gear for reproduction. But can a plant with such limited resources grow a large fruit crop to maturity?


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RE: organic tomato magic

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
-- Albert Einstein.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Thanks for this experiment kubota, I will be following along with great interest.

Maybe its just my lack of experience and my trying to understand the techniques being used but I have a hard time discerning what exactly you have done to the pruned plant so I have some questions.

Did you prune until there were only '3 leaves' at the top of the plant or did you opt for a less rigorous schedule?

Did you remove only branches below a flowering suckers?

If so, whats the strategy when there is a flower stem above the previous stem that you already pruned beneath, do you prune the stems below that sucker even though those branches are above the previous flowering stem? Is that even the idea here?

I find it quite interesting that the preliminary evidence is showing greater quantity of fruit on the pruned plant. I look forward to discovering how that fruit will ripen and what, if any, differences there are in the quality of the fruit when compared.

Of particular interest will be the taste of the harvest. Its one thing, for instance, to have 50 lbs. of good tasting fruit but would 40 lbs of great tasting fruit be preferable?
Will quality be as important as quantity? Will quality even suffer from this technique?

The last question, I think, holds the greatest interest.

Cheers!


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RE: organic tomato magic

reaver I lack the courage to prune all but 3 leaves.

Nearly all the foliage is at the top of the plant however. So I am following the method in the book but slightly less severely in their application.

I do not allow any suckers to develop on the plant. By suckers I mean what grows out of the "armpit" between a main stem and a leaf stem. Flowering clusters are not suckers, they are what I call branches off the main stem.

If you let a sucker grow long enough eventually it will turn into like a stem develop leaves and some flowers. I do not allow this to happen. The suckers grow only until they are established enough to pinch off without injuring the plant.

When a new flowering branch has developed and the blossoms start to open I prune off the leaf branch that is directly beneath it. I do not do this immediately when I see flower buds forming, I am waiting until I see some yellow flowers first.

If I am in doubt I leave the leaf branch until the situation looks a little clearer and more established. If I err maybe it is on the side of leaving the leaf branch on there a bit longer. That is how I understand Postawski's method.

On the non-pruned plant I trimmed only very bottom leaves that were actually touching the ground and old leaves that are dying or turning yellow. Other than that I have completely left it alone.

There is a lot more to the book than just the pruning, but for both plants I am following the same methodology and doing this for all of them. I am watering to excess and fertilizing to excess. The only difference in this experiment is I am pruning the one and not the other. Some of his methods are for greenhouse like he trains the plants up ropes that are hanging from an overhead pipe, whereas I grow them outside on a trellis.

So far it is producing more fruit as the book predicts. Whether this will continue or whether the other plant will eventually catch up and surpass the pruned one, I do not know

It will be quite some time yet before any of the tomatoes are ready for harvest here in New Hampshire.


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RE: organic tomato magic

I have been following this thread for a while now.
And my big question is taste!?! I know they are not ripe so you cannot say, but I would much rather have fewer plants with better taste than a ton of "grocery store" tasting tomatoes. And as we all know, farmers are not always about producing the best flavor, but instead producing the most crop. When they do ripen please let us know how they taste (granted taste is subjective). I'm dying to know.

Amanda


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RE: organic tomato magic

Update for Wednesday, July 11, 2007.

Both plants look very healthy but their appearance is very different now. Te non-pruned Beefmaster is bushy with a lot of leaves and branches and is spreading wider and sticks out from the trellis more. The pruned plant on the other hand grows close to the trellis, is much sparser but has more tomatoes and much larger tomatoes, at least so far. Both plants have slowed down in the production of new fruit this week. The non-pruned Beefmaster is producing a lot of clusters of blossoms but they contain fewer blossoms per cluster than on the pruned plant. It is hard to predict whether or not the non-pruned plant will eventually overtake the other. The fruit on the pruned plant are about 3" across at the larget much bigger than on the other plant.

Pruned plant photos

1st level blossom cluster
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2nd level cluster
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3rd level cluster:
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4th level cluster
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5th level cluster
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6th level cluster
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7th level cluster
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non-pruned Beefmaster photos

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1st level cluster
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2nd level cluster
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3rd level cluster
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200 Quote:
"sunsi: I don't know what to say. Seeing is believing?"

Well, as I said I have not kept a photo journal but I did have a picture taken before the grooming which was about 9 days ago and where there were no tomatoes and certainly not the great number of flower buds as are present today. The plant that I will show you is in the back row 3d from the right (potato-leaf).

1) http://i17.tinypic.com/524o4mp.jpg

This next photo is taken 2 days ago it's a closeup of the area on the lower stem where I removed branches the scars being visable.

2) http://i16.tinypic.com/53j1vkz.jpg

These next 3 images (also taken 2 days ago) are of various angles to show exploding clusters and tomatoes in developement. When I do this experiment correctly next year I will use 2 plants side-by-side then I'll know better if this is because of the percise grooming method or if this is the way the plants would have developed regardless of my interference.

3) http://i9.tinypic.com/4mrjll1.jpg

4) http://i14.tinypic.com/5xxfcp2.jpg

5) http://i17.tinypic.com/5xj76l0.jpg

Actually, I only real reason I did this was because my Polish fiance was so offended by the treatment of the book's author I felt I wanted to do this for him so I could give some personal evidence pro or con. At this point I'd say it's pro and I'm pleased with what I see thus far. :)


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RE: organic tomato magic

Here's how they did it in France back in 1819. I translated the text.
Interesting read but I wouldn't try it.

The good gardener, Almanac 1819 Paris
When the plants have approximately reach 15 inches, one stops them by pinching the top of the stems. One then pinches the secondary growths to 4 or 5 inches as they develop. When there is a good number of fruits that are half size, one starts to thin out the leaves , and one cuts off the small new growths. On the off-season, one thins out the leaves off completely, so that the fruits are completely exposed to the sun.
--------
Le bon jardiier, Almanach pour l'annee 1819 Paris
Quand les plantes ont environ 15 pouces de haut, on les arretes en pincant le sommet des tiges. On pince ensuite les pousses secondaire a 4 ou 5 pouces a mesure qu'elles se developpent. Lorsqu'il ya un bon nombre de fruits arrives a moitier grosseur, on commence a effeuiller, et l'on retranche les petites pousses nouvelles. Sur l'arriere-saison, on effeuille completement, afin que les fruits soient tout-a-fait exposes au soleil.

http://ventmarin.free.fr/passion_tomates/tomates_pl_pz/pomme_d_amour_texte_1819.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: The good gardener, Almanac 1819 Paris


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RE: organic tomato magic

i don't understand all of this removing foliage wisdom.....

what about sunscald?


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RE: organic tomato magic

Good question. I live in a northern climate but those living in more southern, hot climate should use caution. Even though I'm in the north I still only did a modified version of the books more radical instructions and still experienced pleasing results. My plants have enough leaves for good coverage from sun scald.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Have been growing tomatoes for years but decided to follow Kubotabx`s example with 12/20 big beef in greenhouse 1 and same amt. in Scotia brand in greenhouse 2. Today I pruned the remaining plants in both greenhouses because I am astounded at the difference in fruit and flower production.
The big beef 1st. tier set fruit in 4 days + 2 additional flower closters, the Scotia pruned plants had double the fruit and flower clusters than the unpruned approx. 37-40.


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RE: organic tomato magic

northernfarmer Quote:
"Have been growing tomatoes for years but decided to follow Kubotabx`s example with 12/20 big beef in greenhouse 1 and same amt. in Scotia brand in greenhouse 2. Today I pruned the remaining plants in both greenhouses because I am astounded at the difference in fruit and flower production.
The big beef 1st. tier set fruit in 4 days + 2 additional flower closters, the Scotia pruned plants had double the fruit and flower clusters than the unpruned approx. 37-40."

"Asounding" certainly discribes it for me too infact I've gone and groomed the remaining plants (23 total) I have and I've lost count of the tomatoes in various degrees of developement. This is one of the best tomato seasons I have ever experienced. :)


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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx, are they still alive? Are you still alive? Any updates?


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RE: organic tomato magic

I was just about to post the same thing, korney19. I bet we're all checking this thread for updates every day.


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RE: organic tomato magic

OK here's an update for August the 9th, 2007

I was away for a week on business the end of July and then we had houseguests over for a week so it has been kind of busy. We started getting the first ripe tomatoes in the garden last week so it was good timing for when the guests were here.

Here is the pruned plant. Though the unpruned one actually had the first ripe tomatoes, the pruned one is now producing . All the tomatoes in the right 1/3 of the photo are actually from another plant including the large cluster that you see close to the ground.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

While I was gone the end of July my wife pruned the other one a little removing excess foliage so the fruit is exposed. So it is no longer completely "unpruned". But she did not follow Postawski's method just removed extra leaves. Maybe that is a good thing because you can see the tomatoes.

However at this point the unpruned Beefmaster actually has more large tomatoes than the pruned one. It has caught up with and surpassed the other one in terms of production. The unpruned one also has larger tomatoes now.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And though it is hard to capture it in the photo the unpruned one is producing more young fruit while the pruned one at this point is not. It is really much bigger plant at this time and I think the leaf mass has let it catch up and surpass the pruned one. I think I over-pruned the "pruned" Beefmaster plant by continuing to prune at each new cluster. It cut back too much on the leaf mass. I think what I should have done is do the initial pruning that caused the phenomenal first cluster growth, then left it alone. In addition, the one next to it that was unpruned is encroaching and shading the pruned one. However I made no attempt to prune that one back to compensate.

Remember, ALL of these plants including both Beefmasters used in the experiment, are grown according to the methods Kacper Postawski's "Organic Tomato Magic" book. The only difference is whether or not I prune them according to Kacper Postawski's method. Pruning is only one of the methods used in the book.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here is the row that they are growing in: Unpruned on the left, pruned 2nd from the left. At this point it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. The plants are over feet tall now, and I have 3 beeds on them planted on both sides of a trellis. So there are actually 6 rows of tomatoes in the garden, about 30-35 plants. You are looking at the front row which is 6 tomatoes, including the 2 used in the experiment.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I am also pruning the other tomatoes to varying degrees using Postawski's method. As you can see it does take some experimentation. Following the letter of the law produces early growth but seems to limit harvest season growth which is not a good thing. The ones I pruned according to the spirit of his method but then let them grow out later are producing a ton of tomatoes. The Bradmywine's are producing well and benefitted the most from the pruning. This is my best season everfor tomatoes. My best advice at this point is to use Postawski's pruning method but leave more foliage than he advises. I have other plants that used less aggressive pruning and are the best of both worlds, producing a lot of ripe fruit (much sooner and more ripe fruit so far than the unpruned Beefmaster you see here)

I don't have a lot of pictures of clusters of ripe tomatoes to show you because when they ripen my wife or I pick them one at a time as they ripen, as you would expect.

Here's a side by side, I do have to say the unpruned one on the left has more tomatoes

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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200, thanks for the updates! This is one of the most interesting thread on GardenWeb.

Can you repeat again how tall these tomatoes are? The previous post only mentioned "feet tall" and not the actual number.

Also, in your final recommendation of pruning initially, then leaving the tomatoes alone, does this include leaving suckers on the vine as well?


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RE: organic tomato magic

Most of the tomato plants are seven feet tall

As for suckers -- I always prune them.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Is there any difference in taste?


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RE: organic tomato magic

On a related note
I read the book "How To Grow World Record Tomatoes". It's hard to argue with success (The author feels 100 pounds per plant is a failure.) In the book there is section related to pruning off extra, useless leaves.
The record holder's leaf removal is not as extreme as put forth by the website.

I have halfway followed some of the recordholders advice which has been very successfull. I removed the bottom 1-2' of leaves and noticed quite a spike in flowering/growth activity from my plants afterwards.

Maybe there is a happy medium for all, tempered by climate.

Today I'll prune a couple similar plants and see if a late season pruning spikes growth of tomatoes.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Grow World Record Tomatoes


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RE: organic tomato magic

The tomatoes from the two Beefmaster plants taste just the same to me, I cannot taste any difference at all. But the only difference between the two plants was the way I pruned them.


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RE: organic tomato magic

kubotabx2200: this may seem like a stupid question, but what do you use when you prune the plants? Everyone mentions "pinching" which is how I've pruned in the past (with my fingers), but using kitchen scissors is much quicker.


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RE: organic tomato magic

ttt


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RE: organic tomato magic

Very interesting.


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RE: organic tomato magic

It is very interesting to see how NOBODY has realized that KUBOTABX2200 (kubotabx2200) is actually the AUTHOR of the bloody book. It is so obvious that makes me embarrassed.

Also, if you want to take a look at the ebook, do a search in google for "organictomatomagic" and you'll find the pdf file going around.

In fact, the author's website itself has it stored in it. Look:
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=opera&rls=en&hs=tdR&q=organictomatomagic&btnG=Search

http://www.esnips.com/doc/50a56af4-0a1f-45c8-a219-c11e189d9e64/OrganicTomatoMagic

http://www.joyfultomato.com/files/OrganicTomatoMagic.pdf

Those are HIS pictures... and I wouldn't believe a word he says.

The people behind the spirit of Organic and Sustainability are in it for the help a humanity in trouble, a world in trouble, an ecosystem in trouble. And it is a SHAME that some people like this so called 'author' will try to make a quick buck on information that everybody else is giving for FREE and putting time of their own to do it. A VERY SHAME that goes against the spirit of sharing.
On this website, you can see also a video of how to groom the tomatoe plants with the same 'grandfather secret' technique.

http://growtomatoes.tumblr.com/

What shameless thief.


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RE: organic tomato magic

OMG.....I fell for it and I went out to my yard and trimmed the beautiful bottom leaves with tears pouring down my face! They are still lying on the ground like it's a wake! This is my first time trying to grow tomatoes with 6 plants. And I can't believe they are actually growing. By the way, all I wanted to find was a site to tell me how to make my pointsettia plant produce red leaves for Christmas and the ad for this tomato deal showed up and I bit.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Hello all...
I am Kacper Postawski's wife and manage the 'Organic Tomato Magic' website/sales.

We stumbled across this website & discussion forum this evening while investigating the source of a free posting of the book on the internet.

Firstly I want to say, that kubotabx2200 is not us, and I am not sure how that conclusion was drawn. We were also saddened that someone would make the accusations they did, with such vitriol, as well as then deciding to post the book for free.

Until we reached that last posting, we were very excited and curious to read down and very happy that such interest and experimentation was going on, unbeknownst to us - for that we appreciate both kubotabx2200 & sunsi.

Though the plants were planted much closer in the photos than Kacper's grandfather planted his, so there was much cross feeding and shading and absorption of nutrients etc. which could have effected results considerably.

The real story seems to have all happened last year with only a few comments this year, including the one that drove me to write this email. So I am not sure the key players in this grand experiment are even still checking in. I would have been most curious to learn of the follow up this year. And thank them for their scientific curiosity.

I hope that the recent posting by an inflamed reactionary does not undo the fine work and effort of all those who took the time (and the photos) to share their results. We both are tickled and grateful for that.

In response to an earlier comment - we have not had the opportunity to put it into practice ourselves as we were in an apartment for over a year, but now have the opportunity to grow next season which we are very excited about. Kacper has many memories of the towering plants in his grandfather's green house loaded with tomatoes...

We enjoyed reading all the affirmations.... and challenges ;-) It all is interesting.

Just so you know... if you want to keep talking 'behind the teachers back' we don't come here, so you can carry on as before ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Tomato Magic


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RE: organic tomato magic

Silya, wrote on Thu, Aug 28, 08 at 23:20 "We stumbled across this website & discussion forum this evening while investigating the source of a free posting of the book on the internet." But your husband posted a reply earlier in this forum???????? (April the 26th i think.)
kubotabx2200 basically says at the end of his postings that the unpruned tomato did better. Although i admit he did state that "Pruning is only one of the methods used in the book. " Which could be seen as a spiel.
Bambino Miami does'nt seem to have any real proof for the fake claim apart from "It is so obvious that makes me embarrassed. " The links don't do anything to prove his point.
Followed this forum, and found it very interesting. Now i'm just confused. Maybe some others could try this experiment, surely more than two people who read this forum grow tomatoes. What's the big deal of trying it out on one plant next time you grow a crop. As Kopetie states "While it is interesting, I think drawing any conclusions based on two plants is naive." What if many of us try it with the small amount of resources we have? It's an interesting topic, attracted alot of readers, and definitely stirred a few up emotions. Hell, i felt that it was some sort of verbal Tomatina at times. I for one am going to try it, and here in Melbourne Australia tomato season is only a couple of weeks away.


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RE: organic tomato magic

Maybe I'm naive.

I've hardly tried to grow anything in my life; I am a Windows+Linux sysadmin who likes to study Christian theology, so I previously have had no interest in growing food. The failing economy has given me a desire to want to grow my own food in the event our company flounders, which indeed could happen. And I could even turn it into a new career. I've discovered the Mittleider method (GrowFood.com), which looks VERY promising, and I can't wait to try it next year.

I think I'll also try this book. Kubotabx2200 doesn't seem to be the book's author because he doesn't give an overwhelming, glowing review of the book, and he backed his conclusions up with pictures. Who else did that? (Sigh. The internet has too many commentators and not enough scientists.)

I hope to try this and Mittleider method next season. I would like to do both methods separately on a bed and one bed together. If I succeed I can not only help my garden grow, I can also share the info with the rest of the world here and on my blog (deVidal.BlogSpot.com). If I fail... well, I'm either out $20 or if the author honors his guarantee, then no loss.

I can't in good conscience take the "free" PDF of his book unless I ask him permission, for he might have accidentally left it exposed to Google, and taking the book would be to my conscience the same as stealing from a shopkeeper who wasn't looking. So if the author intended to leave it out in the open for anyone to read, then I'll read it. Otherwise I'll buy it.

Hoping to give you a good report next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mittleider method


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RE: organic tomato magic

No dought this guys grandfather was a very nice guy,and beleived in his ways of growing tomatoes,But i personally would not do it his way.Every body has there own opinions,hear is mine.It starts in the fall.Till in kelpmeal and peat moss,and cover litely with straw.Let over winter.In the spring two weeks before planting,till in straw with more kelpmeal and cow manure with a low salt content,biovam,and Bloomin Mineral soil revitalizer at the recomended rates per area.Buy concrete 6 foot reneforcement wire from lowes and make cages.Stake over each plant 3 feet apart.Water regularly,trim off all suckers and any brown leaves.If you must fertilze,use liquid kelp and fish emulsion mixed together,and pour at base of plant before watering.Try to water only at the base of the plant,not the folige.And water in the mornings.And always rotate (crops)your different kinds of vegetables yearly.You will have the tallest best tasteing tomatoes you will ever grow,Gaurenteed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Happy gardening to all of you.


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RE: organic tomato magic

I don't want to get into how to prune my plants. Before my Dad died 30 years ago he said to always remove all suckers when they appeared on the plants.
I also read several years ago to stake your plants with Rebar and use strips of ladies Nylon hose. Their is statistic electricty in the air, so the rebar as well as the ladies nylon hose attracts the statistic electricity. Ladies back 50 years ago when women wore silk nylon slipsunder their dress and the dress would cling to the dress. That was S.E. now we use bounce sheets to prevent that from happening. Well the S.E. goes to the rebar & the nylon hose which sends the S.E. down to the roots of the plant which shocks them and causes the plant to grow and produce more & bigger tomatoes. Belive It or Not!!!
I also have a way to make sure the roots get plenty of water, I use P.V.C. pipe and a small rock. Yep Belive It or Not!!!!! Don't knock it if you haven't done the above suggestions. I'm 70 year of age and have no reason to lie, just passing knowledge.


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RE: organic tomato magic

David, thank you for your post. How do construct your pvc pipe? How does the rock come onto play? Thanks again.


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RE: organic tomato magic

For Richard concerning pvc pipes for watering, here are 2 links. I suppose that his reference to a rock is for a cap on the pipe instead of a pvc cap.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf19058273.tip.html
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-make-your-tomato-plant-bigger

With respect to this thread and grooming tomatoes, it is just common sense, and even we geologists can figure it out. SOME grooming of tomatoes is beneficial as more energy is available for fruiting, but if too much is done then there is insufficient leaf area to produce vegetation and fruit growth. Also, removing some leaves and stems is in reality an injury to the plant and produces a reproductive response in it, which results in more flowering and fruiting. So groom judiciously, keep plants spaced sufficiently apart for adequate sunlight and water (pvc pipe?), prepare the soil well so roots can grow easily, and be sure to put seedlings as deep as possible for greatest root production. Now to the good stuff. Nutrition!

A retired physician here in Tucker, GA has published in our local free rag his tomato "secrets" which he acquired from another gentleman in Buford. In one season from 10 plants his production was 2281 tomatoes weighing 752 pounds. He used hybrids (I will grow ONLY heirlooms) consisting of 1 Parks Whopper, 5 Beefmasters, 2 Sweet 100's, and 2 Better Boys. Of course the Sweets being a cherry upped the number count and lowered the average weight considerably (0.32 lbs), but accounting for that my guess is that the average non-cherry plant yield would be 100-140 tomatoes averaging a pound each. I'd be happy with that any day.

This is what he does. He uses new soil every year, although I feel that this is optional, as the soil adjuncts should be sufficient after the first year. He digs holes 15X15 and fills with bagged topsoil mixed with potting soil and Natures Helper. I use just Natures helper and a little sandy loam I dig up from the woods (a former terraced farm) behind my townhome. With clay soils here the sand helps considerably. He then mixes in:
a) handful of 10-10-10
b) handful of lime
c) handful of Epsom Salt (critical, as tomatoes are magnesium hungry)
d) 2 handfuls cow manure
e) 2 tablespoons baking soda
After planting he covers the soil with pine bark nuggets to help keep the soil moist. At 3 week intervals he adds around each plant 2 handfuls 10-10-10, a handful Epsom Salt, and 2 tablespoons baking soda.

So after the first year of new soil and Natures Helper try just the a-e adjuncts and see what happens, especially if you do not wish to excavate many holes and have no place to put the resulting "used" soil. The method says that the soil is important, but I think that it is overemphasized after year one's conditioning.

This is "Dr Dan's Tomato Recipe and Method" from the February 2010 issue of Up Close and Personal in Tucker, and has been reprinted each year since. Dr L. Dan Johnson was shared this method by the late Mr Ralph Pass of Buford, GA, a former patient of his. A golfing buddy of Dr Johnson's told him that "Thank God you do not grow watermelons!"


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RE: organic tomato magic

I remember reading this thread six years ago.

Something which occurred to me on this reading was that kubotabx's unpruned tomato seems to be adjacent to a short (boxwood?) hedge (see the first photo in his June 14, 07 post).

I wonder if the hedge's root system was stealing some of the water and nutrients from the unpruned tomato, causing it to be initially smaller than the pruned plant (which was further from the hedge).

Really, there were a number of variables besides the pruning....


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