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prune or not prune

Posted by phatboyrose N/W FL. - 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 14:10

I know it is beneficial to prune large tomatoes but what about grape tomatoes. any info would be welcome.

Harold


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RE: prune or not prune

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 15:56

Beneficial how? What do you hope to gain by pruning the plant?

Pruning of any tomato plant is always optional and dependent on the specific situation, type of plant, plant spacing, and type of support. It is not required for any reason and many gardeners never prune their plants..

Pruning can easily be just as detrimental as it might be beneficial so it is important to understand the reasons behind doing it.

As for your grape variety is it an indeterminate or a determinate variety? Is it in a container or in the ground?

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Facts and discussions


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RE: prune or not prune

Thanks Dave the link was a great help hope you have a good
year

Harold


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RE: prune or not prune

There are NO established "FACTS" about pruning. Pros and cones have their opinions. And at the best the jury is still out.

I think it just represents 2 styles of gardening : (1) PRUNE (2) NOT PRUNE.

I belong to the first school. Although the claim of the second school that " PRUNING CAN CAUSE REDUCTION IN PRODUCTIVITY" sound valid on the surface but based on land usage and per square foot productivity does not seem to be so obviously valid. Based on their recommendation planting in 9 square foot area ( 3' by 3') as compared to 3 square foot (21" by 21") of the pruning advocate, supposedly each plant can yield yields 3 time more ( One plant vs 3 plants). That claim has not been established , as far as I am aware of.
So it is better to stop making claims and talking about facts , either way. Sure , we are all entitled to our views.


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RE: prune or not prune

as far as I am aware of

You may not be aware of it but the fact that the productivity of an unpruned indeterminate variety plant will exceed the productivity of a pruned indeterminate of the same variety by as much as 3x is very well documented. One need only understand how the plant grows and review the many research-based documents on plant productivity available online.

If that doesn't appeal to you then simply plant 3 plants of the same variety next to each other. Prune one to a single stem, one to two stems, and leave the third to grow normally. Keep track of the number of flower trusses as they develop and count the number of fruit produced by each plant. It's a simple experiment that has been done by thousands of gardeners over decades.

And recommended plant spacing all depends on the method used for supporting the plants not any pruning. CRW cages require more room than stakes and stakes more than Florida weave or trellis etc.

If you choose to heavily prune that is your choice. But it doesn't make the facts about the effects of pruning any less valid.

Dave


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RE: prune or not prune

If that doesn't appeal to you then simply plant 3 plants of the same variety next to each other. Prune one to a single stem, one to two stems, and leave the third to grow normally. Keep track of the number of flower trusses as they develop and count the number of fruit produced by each plant. It's a simple experiment that has been done by thousands of gardeners over decades. (Dave)
%%%%%%%%%%%%%

I already know the result on PER PLANT BASIS and mentioned it in my post. We are talking about PER SQUARE FOOT BASIS.
If it does not appeal to you plant JUST one in 3' x 3" (=9 sf)
and the other identical plants , each in 3 sf. If you get more productivity from then one plant than the other three, then you can ducument it.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&
many research-based documents on plant productivity available online. (dave)
&&&&&&&&&&&&&
Can you name just ONE ?,
Scenario:
I have a 3' by 6' RB (=18 sf).. I am planting 6 tomatoes in it (3 sf per plant).And I will prune them to 2 -3 stems each. NOW by "NO PRUNE" standard I should plant just 2 in there. Do you think that 2 (combined) outproduce 6 (combined) ? I certainly don't believe so.


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RE: prune or not prune

Sorry to hijack a thread, but I think this relates and it would be redundant to start my own thread.

I put my indeterminates too close together. I don't know what I was thinking. I have 4 plants, a foot between each (in a square shape).

I don't want to prune (did research and I'm of the non-pruning opinion) ... but I'm wondering if in my situation I'm going to NEED to prune?

I'm in a dry, dry area so I'm not too worried about rot from lack of airflow. I'm training them up long poles and tying them away from each other. If they weren't already 1+ foot tall I'd just move them.


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RE: prune or not prune

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 16:21

Did the OP mention anything about production per sq. foot? I don't think so. Sq. foot production may be of interest to you but it isn't of interest to many, if not most, gardeners. Production per plant is.

f it does not appeal to you plant JUST one in 3' x 3" (=9 sf)

I don't know where you are getting your measurements but assuming you mean that 3 feet x 3 feet (not inches) = 9 sq. feet is one spacing option you are right. That is because the average indeterminate tomato plant is at least 3-4' wide.

But you can do the same test using any plant spacing you wish within reason and get the same results.

And yes in a 3' x 6' bed I would probably plant only 3 (not 2) stagger-planted indeterminate varieties, caged and unpruned. And assuming we used the same varieties and provided the same growing conditions I would get 2 to 3x the production in both weight and numbers you will get from 6 plants in that same bed. You might get a few ripe fruit earlier and might get a few that are somewhat larger but your overall production in numbers and total weight will be much less than mine It is simple anatomy of a tomato plant as it grows.

I can say that because I have done it in my own gardens many times. In over 50 years of raising tomatoes I have tried just about everything at least once if not more just to discover for myself what works best. One never knows unless they give it a real try. Otherwise it is just guessing.
_____________

Macer - yes IMO you will need to prune them. A 3-4' wide plant just can't grow well in 1' of space. Personally, even though they are a foot tall I would be tempted to try to transplant a couple of them. Alternative - root cuttings off the center 2 and then snip the mother plants off at ground level and plant the 2 rooted cuttings with better spacing.

Dave


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