Trimming non-sucker limb on tomato plant question.


Meadowlark

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If you don't like the way I grow mine then do it your own way .

Truer words were never spoken!!

..I can't see why we should believe roots don't take up moisture or nourishment. It is a normal function of roots, and I don't see how it would be possible to prove they don't.

Agree, and it certainly would not be worth the effort to prove they don't.
 
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I don't need to prove anything to anybody. As an angler I go on 3 day sessions quite a lot so need the plants to look after themselves that's why I have the gutter system, self opening windows and the same mechanism for the door. So watering and air / insects are catered for. I know I get a better quality of tomato the way I do it. Very little splitting due to irregular watering and a very good set per truss. As my tomatoes are grown in buckets they are in a prison so need to be cared for. All roots on all plants take up water and nutrition so the way I see it my plants have an easier life , less chance of stress. I'm just letting every body know how I do it. You could always try it yourself, don't expect 100 % extra fruit from those naturally occurring stem roots though. Which brings to mind why does a tomato plant make those roots even when the stem is just laid on the soil ?
 
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When you bury a tomato very deeply, there is a space on the stem, where no leaves grow; you effectively have two sets of roots.
Ever thought of asking yourself why there is that space?
Roots CAN grow anywhere along the stem on indeterminate tomatoes, & that gap does not occur if they are planted shallower.
On the very deeply planted tomatoes WHY, if extra roots are beneficial, does the tomato plant choose not to grow roots in the space?
Remember, tomatoes have tap roots that can access water & nutrients FIVE FEET DOWN, & the surface roots need to BREATHE OXYGEN as well as drink.
What possible benefit could the tomato plant gain from growing an extra set of surface roots when it already has access to all the nutrients & water in a root system far better designed for the purpose?
The reason that very deeply planted tomatoes grow an extra set of roots, that do not reach all the way down the stem, is that it gains no benefit from those in the gap.
Logically, this means that if you plant them at a shallower depth, where the new roots DO reach the old ones, they are in the depth where there are no new roots grown on the very deeply planted tomatoes, & it thus follows that the old roots are no longer functioning, or merely sharing the same function to the same extent,
I don't need to prove anything to anybody. As an angler I go on 3 day sessions quite a lot so need the plants to look after themselves that's why I have the gutter system, self opening windows and the same mechanism for the door. So watering and air / insects are catered for. I know I get a better quality of tomato the way I do it. Very little splitting due to irregular watering and a very good set per truss. As my tomatoes are grown in buckets they are in a prison so need to be cared for. All roots on all plants take up water and nutrition so the way I see it my plants have an easier life , less chance of stress. I'm just letting every body know how I do it. You could always try it yourself, don't expect 100 % extra fruit from those naturally occurring stem roots though. Which brings to mind why does a tomato plant make those roots even when the stem is just laid on the soil ?

as they would were they buried at just the level you would with ordinary plants.

Certainly, you have every right to do whatever you like with your tomatoes, & I would not stop you if I could, but like I said before, this is a forum with many members, a lot of them relatively inexperienced & they should hear all views, preferably without the aggressive undertones.

If you lay a plant on its side it will produce roots all along the stem, because that's where they will be useful, however, they will take time to adjust, as the taproot will then have to regain its depth.
 
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Sorry had to laugh, tap root 5ft down in a 18 x 12 inch square bucket.
As for a gap , well it could be because it's a vine and would naturally bend at that point until it could lay down. Other than that ain't got the faintest.
It just seems to help to have those extra roots, ain't nature fascinating.
 
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I have always heard and understood it that since tomato plants can get rather top heavy during peak fruition and the weight just from the plant itself, burying them deeper allows the extra roots to grow for additional support of the plant/vine..

But to each their own! That is why this is gardening not baking where you use a cookie cutter to make all the same shaped cookies! ... But now I want a cookie!!!
 
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Evolution does not follow reason or logic, and even benefit is a doubtful criteria. Mutation is a random thing, if the mutation gives the organism a survival edge it will come to dominate in an overcrowded world, if it is merely different it may well co-exist, look at all the naturally occurring variety of things. If I wanted to know why a root or bud grew on a particular part of a stem I would look for physical reasons in the plant, such as the presence of a hormone, or its absence. Looking at it in terms of 'logic' or 'reason' is anthropomorphism and an outdated Lamarckian, rather than Darwinian, view of evolution.
Sorry, I really don't seem to have the hang of this 'reply' function. I don't know how I did that, that's my reply, not headfullofbees post.
 
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Yes, they were engineered that way, but why? Is it because hybrid tomato plants fruit all ripen in a fairly short period of time? Because if only the blooms on the main trunk were available to fruit, one wouldn't have nearly as many tomatoes would one? So why would one even think about pruning suckers?
I couldn't disagree more. I grow quite large heirloom tomatoes and the only place I want flowers on is the main stem as that way they can handle the weight, whereas if I let the suckers grow to produce tomatoes they will end up breaking unless I support them somehow. Plus I would prefer to get fewer but larger tomatoes rather than more smaller ones. Been doing that now for 30 years and that's how I grow all my indeterminate heirlooms. As you mentioned determinate hybrids are a different story but I never grow any.
 
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I have always heard and understood it that since tomato plants can get rather top heavy during peak fruition and the weight just from the plant itself, burying them deeper allows the extra roots to grow for additional support of the plant/vine..

But to each their own! That is why this is gardening not baking where you use a cookie cutter to make all the same shaped cookies! ... But now I want a cookie!!!
Agreed, tomatoes are very heavy feeders and in my case I grow rather large varieties that can get up to 2lbs so I want as much root mass as I can to not only support the plant but also provide as many nutrients as possible. I plant mine up to 18" deep depending on the height of the plant at the time.
 
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I couldn't disagree more. I grow quite large heirloom tomatoes and the only place I want flowers on is the main stem as that way they can handle the weight, whereas if I let the suckers grow to produce tomatoes they will end up breaking unless I support them somehow. Plus I would prefer to get fewer but larger tomatoes rather than more smaller ones. Been doing that now for 30 years and that's how I grow all my indeterminate heirlooms. As you mentioned determinate hybrids are a different story but I never grow any.
If I removed suckers and limbs below trusses ALL of my tomatoes would have sunscald. As far as weight is concerned here in Texas we MUST use cages or stakes and tie them up. Here ambient temperatures is what determines a tomatoes size. 95F and tomatoes stop getting larger so in high temperature regions size is of much lessor concern than quantity. It has been 95F+ here since mid May.
 
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If I removed suckers and limbs below trusses ALL of my tomatoes would have sunscald. As far as weight is concerned here in Texas we MUST use cages or stakes and tie them up. Here ambient temperatures is what determines a tomatoes size. 95F and tomatoes stop getting larger so in high temperature regions size is of much lessor concern than quantity. It has been 95F+ here since mid May.
Yea I'm up in Ontario so we are dealing with a totally different climate for sure. Never had sun scald here, although one extremely hot summer I did have an issue with thickening skins which ended up splitting as the tomatoes grew. I use 8ft stakes here on mine as they are way too tall for cages even with our much shorter growing season. If I had the length of season I'm sure they would hit 15 ft tall.
Here's an example of how large some can get. This is an Andrew Rahart heirloom that is over 2 1/2 lb. A sucker could never support these.
giant tomato.JPG
 
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You Brits overthink your tomatoes. We have not found any difference between heirlooms and hybrids - except more and nicer fruit on hybrids, of course - that's why they breed them. We plant them and don't mess with them and use a cage support. The only pruning they get is if a branch or two gets way out of hand. Told my wife once we ought to try pruning like I used to in the UK. Tried 2 identical plants next to each other, one pruned, one not. The pruned one kinda looked pretty but way less fruit and hardly any bigger if at all. The other one cropped for much longer too. As far as the root argument goes, I'm sure a lot of you Brits are still using those growbag things and they work great, so I think that's all a waste of breath and effort. One of our best cherry tomatoes was a self seed that grew out of a crack in the patio! In fact, I was planning to try the growbag thing next year just for fun and use a sack of potting soil.

BTW: I was a Brit once myself. Born and lived there for 30 years. Moved to the States for work in '79, married, stayed, been a US Citizen since '92.
 
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I have no idea where you get the idea that I'm a Brit and if you think there is no difference between a hybrid and the indeterminate heirlooms I grow you are sorely mistaken and not worth talking to IMO. I have never tasted a tomato that even comes close to the Greeks I mostly grow, easily the best I have ever eaten and hybrids are no comparison, they are not bred for flavour that's for sure.
 
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Well, I am going to try some experimenting. The British way of growing tomatoes has worked traditionally, but climate change means things are hotting up. Things like trees leafing up and birds nesting are happening a full month earlier than they did when I was born, but take out all the side shoots and stop it at four flowers was de rigueur for my Dad at the time.
 
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Well, I am going to try some experimenting. The British way of growing tomatoes has worked traditionally, but climate change means things are hotting up. Things like trees leafing up and birds nesting are happening a full month earlier than they did when I was born, but take out all the side shoots and stop it at four flowers was de rigueur for my Dad at the time.
Things are not hotting up.
The difference in temperature FROM PRE-INDUSTRIAL TIMES, claimed by climate alarmists is an average of 1.2C, but five times as much heating at the poles as in the tropics.
It is also the case that the overwhelming amount of natural climate change is affecting night-time minimum temperatures, not day-time highs.
This means that if you believe you can feel it, that is down to suggestion, not higher temperature. Humans are not temperature-sensitive enough to actually feel the difference.
 
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Well, I am going to try some experimenting. The British way of growing tomatoes has worked traditionally, but climate change means things are hotting up. Things like trees leafing up and birds nesting are happening a full month earlier than they did when I was born, but take out all the side shoots and stop it at four flowers was de rigueur for my Dad at the time.
Try getting deep roots in a gro-bag.
 
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There is an ongoing study of blue tits in woods near oxford that started in 1947. They have consistently been breeding earlier and are now a full month earlier than then. Great tits time their egg laying and hatching to coincide with new leaves which are eaten by caterpillars on oak trees, that study has not been going so long, but it is getting the same sort of pattern. Something is going on, maybe night time minimums are important ? I don't know.
I always have a few extra that come outside when they get to big and get planted out, it helps extend the season, I have given a couple of them much longer canes than usual, i'll try letting them set more flowers than the usual four bunches and see how they compare.
Not very scientific, but it will give me an inkling. I shall still take the side shoots ot as I had already started, but I am thinking of doing one where I keep a couple of the stronger base shoots next time.
 
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There is an ongoing study of blue tits in woods near oxford that started in 1947. They have consistently been breeding earlier and are now a full month earlier than then. Great tits time their egg laying and hatching to coincide with new leaves which are eaten by caterpillars on oak trees, that study has not been going so long, but it is getting the same sort of pattern. Something is going on, maybe night time minimums are important ? I don't know.
I always have a few extra that come outside when they get to big and get planted out, it helps extend the season, I have given a couple of them much longer canes than usual, i'll try letting them set more flowers than the usual four bunches and see how they compare.
Not very scientific, but it will give me an inkling. I shall still take the side shoots ot as I had already started, but I am thinking of doing one where I keep a couple of the stronger base shoots next time.
When I grow peas & beans, I try to save enough for seed, as I find I get far better germination from saved seed. Is THAT because the parent seed has, by growing, shown its suitability for the area & handed down that advantage to its off-spring? Is it just the handling or storage of the seed?
There are a number of variables.
Perhaps blue tits are changing, becoming hardier? Perhaps the flora/fauna is changing? Perhaps it's the natural 70-year cycle? Perhaps as people wasted more food, or since it has become more common that people buy wild bird food, more has been fed to wild birds & they have been adapting to the advantages of that feeding?
There are a number of variables, but those with an agenda to push, (& I'm not suggesting you for a moment) will try their best to attribute everything they can to associate everything they can with their particular interest.
Look how far North they inhabit:

Humans came out of East Africa, yet have adapted to Siberia.
 
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Check out the Wytham wood study, It is run by Oxford University and has been going so long it has involved an awful lot of people, so agendas shouldn't have affected it too much. It is a SSI, very rural and the birds tend to stay local, so not affected by feeding. Well north, I noticed there was a study of their arrival and increase in Finland.

Regarding saving seed, someone did a study of immigrants who had brought veg. seed with them and grown on allotments over here. They had been saving seed and replanting for over ten years, and the researchers compared their plants to seed specially produced for the UK market by seed companies in recent years. The allotment guys far outperformed, it seems that a period of human selection has very definite results. Presumably you save seed from plants that grow well, after a few years you should have plants particularly suited to your local environment.

As to the germination, my guess is that you are more careful about selection and drying. If a commercial operation is looking to harvest and dry 100lbs of beans (say) they are not going to be too fussy so long as they hit a minimum germination rate.
 

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