Planting leggy transplants


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I agree. I agree entirely. I agree so much because, to some extent, you're making my point.
Modern hybrids are still either bushes or vines, & still act in the same way.
So we are agreed that tomatoes can make roots anywhere along the stem if it is advantageous, but won't bother if it's not? You wrote, "Why waste the effort?"
In my view, this shows that the buried roots are defunct, as the tomato:
1) Cannot know that being buried deeper is a possibility.
2) Will make roots only in the top couple of inches, no matter how deep it is planted.
So if you bury a tomato, say 9 inches deeper than originally, then there will be a 7 inch gap between the new and the original surface roots, which will be 9-11 inches underground.
If, however, you were to bury your tomatoes 18 inches deeper than originally, (unlikely, but possible) it would still only grow roots in the top couple of inches, and leave a 16 inch gap to the original roots. IT WOULD NOT GROW A THIRD SET 9-11 INCHES UNDERGROUND, even though it could.
It logically follows that surface roots at 9-11 inches underground are useless, or it would. You wrote, "Why waste the effort."
Thus, by burying tomatoes deeper, it is you who is wasting the effort, by making the original roots useless and forcing the plant to grow a new set.
It also has a tap root in order to suck up water and nutrients from depth.
Let's define defunct and at what time period this happens. Does defunct mean useless? Lifeless? Inoperative? Unusable? Non functioning? These bottom roots are functional up to and until the top roots are established. Having said this the original question was what to do with leggy tomatoes, plant them on their side or deep. I say it doesn't make any difference, just an individuals preference and his soil and climate. Is what you are saying do not do either and plant as normal? We both agree that a plant can grow roots anywhere along its stem and the only variable factor as to depth or planting on its side is the length of the stem. We also agree that roots do not grow between the top and the bottom. Somehow we have gone off on a tangent here. Just what are we discussing here? I think it is about the bottom roots loosing their usefulness after being buried deeply. I say that up to the time we pull the plant out of the ground the lower roots still have a function and are not useless, otherwise they would die and just leave the top roots to take over everything.
 
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Planting your tomatoes deeply works good for other people besides me, and they recommend it as well. These recommendations are from books written by experienced tomato growers.
I really don't think it matters except if your climate is really dry or your soil sandy whether you plant deep or on their side in which case I think deeper is better. In cases of cooler weather and clayish soils I would think on their sides would be better.
 
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"These bottom roots are functional up to and until the top roots are established"
How do you know this?
Your tomatoes have a tap root to perform all the functions of deep roots, in terms of uptake of water and nutrients; these surface roots are more for breathing, which I don't believe you'd argue is a task that can be fulfilled.

" I say that up to the time we pull the plant out of the ground the lower roots still have a function and are not useless, otherwise they would die and just leave the top roots to take over everything."

What makes you so sure that they don't?
Since it is not possible for tomato plants to naturally have that type of root at that depth, why would it have the facility to dispose of them? It is more likely to be feeding them.

Trench planting is a different matter; all the roots are at the depth they were meant for, and you may (eventually) benefit, but it will still cost you time at the start of the growing season.

The point is: deep-planting causes the plant, which is already leggy, to divert energy to root production, which can only take it from plant/tomato production. If it already has all the roots it needs, "Why waste the effort?"

Is it not the case that you are limited to two short growing seasons because of Texan summer heat?
Is it not the case that you need as many flowers ready for pollination as early as possible between when the night-time temperature is too cold to set fruit, and the daytime temperature is not too hot?

Are you not gasping for a real tomato by the time the season starts, and to bring that forward a week or so would be a godsend?

THEN DON'T PLANT DEEP.

Why do you think they never catch up? Just the stems? Why would that slow them down?
 
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Planting your tomatoes deeply works good for other people besides me, and they recommend it as well. These recommendations are from books written by experienced tomato growers.
You think I haven't corrected seasoned professional growers before?
Right and wrong aren't democratic.
They are wrong too.
 
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It's up to the gardener how they wish to plant their tomatoes, and that's fine. I have my way, someone else has theirs. It's head of bees that acts like he doesn't believe that any part of the buried tomato will form roots. Gardeners wouldn't say it if they saw it themselves after pulling out their old plants. That's why they recommend planting leggy plants deep. More roots: stronger plant.
 
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"These bottom roots are functional up to and until the top roots are established"
How do you know this?
Your tomatoes have a tap root to perform all the functions of deep roots, in terms of uptake of water and nutrients; these surface roots are more for breathing, which I don't believe you'd argue is a task that can be fulfilled.

" I say that up to the time we pull the plant out of the ground the lower roots still have a function and are not useless, otherwise they would die and just leave the top roots to take over everything."

What makes you so sure that they don't?
Since it is not possible for tomato plants to naturally have that type of root at that depth, why would it have the facility to dispose of them? It is more likely to be feeding them.

Trench planting is a different matter; all the roots are at the depth they were meant for, and you may (eventually) benefit, but it will still cost you time at the start of the growing season.

The point is: deep-planting causes the plant, which is already leggy, to divert energy to root production, which can only take it from plant/tomato production. If it already has all the roots it needs, "Why waste the effort?"

Is it not the case that you are limited to two short growing seasons because of Texan summer heat?
Is it not the case that you need as many flowers ready for pollination as early as possible between when the night-time temperature is too cold to set fruit, and the daytime temperature is not too hot?

Are you not gasping for a real tomato by the time the season starts, and to bring that forward a week or so would be a godsend?

THEN DON'T PLANT DEEP.

Why do you think they never catch up? Just the stems? Why would that slow them down?
How do I know? The plant continues to grow, It doesn't die and there are no top roots there for nurishment or oxygen or anything else. Just those deep bottom roots.
What makes me so sure? Because tomatoes only have one tap root and that is at the bottom. All of those roots at the top are fibrous roots. The plant doesn't grow a second tap root.
Why waste the effort? How will a spindly tall tomato plant survive in spring thunderstorms with heavy wind. You can tie them to a stake but with no movement available you will have a spindly plant forever, unable to maintain its fruit load. And if you don't tie them in multiple places they will blow over and break.
It is the case that I want as many blooms as possible as soon as the temperature is right. I get more blooms by planting very deep than I ever did by staking a spindly leggy weak plant. In fact I already have golfball size tomatoes on some really deep planted Cherokee plants. Do you suggest that I go out and pull the plant up to see if there is a shallow root ball? I won't do that but I will go out and wash a 3 or 4 inch hole and take a picture of whats there. I've never done this before and it shouldn't hurt the plant very much.
 
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" The plant continues to grow, It doesn't die and there are no top roots there for nurishment or oxygen or anything else. Just those deep bottom roots."

Ever propagated tomato plants from suckers?
They have no tap roots and no top roots, but you'll get a 90% success rate.
 
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" The plant continues to grow, It doesn't die and there are no top roots there for nurishment or oxygen or anything else. Just those deep bottom roots."

Ever propagated tomato plants from suckers?
They have no tap roots and no top roots, but you'll get a 90% success rate.
Not that I can recall. I get 100% from seeds and a fall garden here is iffy at best for tomatoes. But they will soon get roots and a tap root won't they.
 
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It's up to the gardener how they wish to plant their tomatoes, and that's fine. I have my way, someone else has theirs. It's head of bees that acts like he doesn't believe that any part of the buried tomato will form roots. Gardeners wouldn't say it if they saw it themselves after pulling out their old plants. That's why they recommend planting leggy plants deep. More roots: stronger plant.
I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm not trying to be unfriendly, but you saw the videos where there were two lots of roots and bald stem inbetween. That's not a matter of belief.
If you wish to claim a better crop of tomatoes, then please quantify that claim?
What, if any, is the difference between the transplant and harvest dates?

I have tried to show logic and evidence for my position; I'm hearing only I believe in it because I believe in it.

Why not try your own experiment, like I did?
 
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All I know is whenever I pull up my old tomato plants, all that's down there is roots. I never notice any 'gaps' as your videos show. Maybe some tomatoes do that, and other's do not. I work ONLY with heirloom tomatoes, and many different varieties.
 
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Well everyone on the forum has seen both points of view, perhaps they may do their own experiments.
To pursue this further now may lead to irritation, so it's not my choice that we continue to argue to no purpose. Agreed?
 
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I enjoy this. Ya'll are fun. Ya'll are also advanced in ya'lls knowledge and ya'll are in very separate soils. I hope for pictures, since they are worth 2,000 words due to inflation. Its grow time. Ya'll know how, so show it.
 
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Chuck: you like to stress your plants, and it is a practice that brings out the best in the fruit; how do you do it?
I think the main thing is to watch the weather and stress the plants when it is the correct time, weather wise After it gets too hot for tomatoes to set there isn't much reason to try to produce more fruit. I stress by withholding water. I will let them wilt for 2 or 3 days and then I will lightly water them. If they are still droopy the following morning I will water a little more. Then I won't water again until they have been droopy for another 2 or 3 days. In other words just barely keeping them alive. I find that this actually makes the plants make more blooms but like I said, if the temperature gets too high you can have all the blooms in the world and not get a tomato.
 
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I don't see how water-stressing your plants creates more blooms. Cutting back on water is supposed to help push your plants to ripen their fruit, I thought. If it gets too hot, the plants might drop their blossoms anyway.
 
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I don't see how water-stressing your plants creates more blooms. Cutting back on water is supposed to help push your plants to ripen their fruit, I thought. If it gets too hot, the plants might drop their blossoms anyway.
Water has nothing to do with ripening. Temperature does. What makes a tomato turn red are pigments produced by the tomato called lycopene and carotene. Watering a mature tomato even a little too much can cause cracking and a mature tomato is one in the late white stage or blushing stage. If it gets too hot tomatoes will slow their ripening process. This temperature is about 95+F. They will still ripen on the vine but the best ripening temperature is between about 75F-85F. Tomatoes (except cherry types) only set fruit at certain temperatures and occurs at night. The best low nighttime temperatures for tomato set is about 65F- 74F although they will still set fruit at a slightly lower or higher temperature. If your nightime low temperature reaches 78F the blooms will abort. Some tomato varieties will set fruit at about a nighttime low of 60F but these are cool climate tomatoes.
 
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