Tomato question

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So, there are suckers on tomatos. Common wisdom recommends a few potential approaches:
- do nothing = more tomatos, more problems, less quality.
- prune em all = best quality, less tomatoes, no backup leaves if you get something bad like septoria.
- somewhere inbetween: 2-3 suckers allowed is one approach.

What about another option:
- Let the sucker grow 2 leaves, then top the sucker so it grows no more... the theory being it will add energy to the main stem since it can't grow more itself. Or is it counter productive?
 
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Something else to ponder on:

I topped and totally suckered a single volunteer tomato (pink brandywine potato leaf, I believe) plant so it would concentrate on ripening the one truss of tomatoes it had because of frost coming. It was only about 3 feet tall at the time and only the main stem. It took a little longer to sprout but it did start to shoot out more suckers. I did sucker every truss in the typical sucker location but it still shot out some more suckers, so energy still goes into trying to grow suckers whether they exist or not.

I have also noticed this very heavily on the Rutgers variety. The more I tried to tame it, the bushier it became. Rutgers is the bushiest/suckeriest tomato I have ever seen. Some other vareities I've grown are less prone to this.
 
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So, there are suckers on tomatos. Common wisdom recommends a few potential approaches:
- do nothing = more tomatos, more problems, less quality.
- prune em all = best quality, less tomatoes, no backup leaves if you get something bad like septoria.
- somewhere inbetween: 2-3 suckers allowed is one approach.

What about another option:
- Let the sucker grow 2 leaves, then top the sucker so it grows no more... the theory being it will add energy to the main stem since it can't grow more itself. Or is it counter productive?
That technique is based on whether the tomato plant is indeterminate or determinate.

Indeterminate are going to grow long like a vine. Those you want to remove the suckers. Leave 2-3 main vines and remove sucker for better quality tomatoes.

Determinate grow more bush like. Those you leave the suckers grow to produce fruit.

MOD
 
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Indeterminate

MOD
 

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That technique is based on whether the tomato plant is indeterminate or determinate.

Indeterminate are going to grow long like a vine. Those you want to remove the suckers. Leave 2-3 main vines and remove sucker for better quality tomatoes.

Determinate grow more bush like. Those you leave the suckers grow to produce fruit.

MOD

Yeah I get that, mine are san marzono, Indeterminate. Guess I'm curious about option 4... not a vine, not a bush, but a bushy vine 🤣. Let suckers grow 2 or 3 leaves, maybe 1 flower cluster, then top the sucker.

Like, I grow 9 mortgage lifter tomatoes last summer, 6 pink fang. The lived forever, they were absolutely prestine... then I bought a tomato plant that had septoria leaf spot... they keep growing 9.5 feet tall, but the amount of leaf along that length was pathetic from the leaf spot. It was bad, tried everything... in the end, you have to remove anything that shows signs... once you do that, sure would be nice to have more suckers down there to pick up the 9.5 feet of light... hence, I'm wondering if option 4 is a good or bad idea in general and under this context.
 
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I'd say the lesson is grow from seed and avoid the diseases on commercially grown tomatoes.
 
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I'd say the lesson is grow from seed and avoid the diseases on commercially grown tomatoes.
Well, unfortunately septoria never goes away... ill have it till I move. So if am I am to grow more maters outside, need to figure out a better way to deal than last year... 9 foot tomatoes with 7 feet no leaves is pointlessish
 
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Got you. They say the spores live in the ground and spread to the plant from water splashes. I'd be inclined to try a flame gun on the soil to eradicate as much as possible and then plant through plastic sheet to stop muddy splashes. When I look it says there are fungicides that are effective in controlling it, but I am always wary of fungicides, if something is bad for fungi it tends to be bad for other things too, they are tough.
 
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So, there are suckers on tomatos. Common wisdom recommends a few potential approaches:
- do nothing = more tomatos, more problems, less quality.
- prune em all = best quality, less tomatoes, no backup leaves if you get something bad like septoria.
- somewhere inbetween: 2-3 suckers allowed is one approach.

What about another option:
- Let the sucker grow 2 leaves, then top the sucker so it grows no more... the theory being it will add energy to the main stem since it can't grow more itself. Or is it counter productive?
The less pruning the better. Pinching off early flowers can assist in producing more fruit after the plant has grown a few months.
 

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