Decado
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Location: Crystal, MN (Zone 4)

Sucker Vines - Why Do We Cut Them Off?

I've been religiously cutting off these sucker vines since I've planted this year and my plants seem to be growing quite well. Yesterday I went to a friends house who leaves all of the sucker vines on and his plants are twice as big as mine (wide) and just about all these sucker vines have tomatoes or blooms on them, this is how he's always done it and always gets huge yields. So I ask, why do we cut these sucker vines off if they can also produce tomatoes?

Peterjay
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Connecticut

Back when Jim Crockett had his "Victory Garden" show on public TV, I remember him saying that pruning tomato pants would result in a slightly decreased yield. Still, it was hard to follow his reasoning, since he pruned his own plants a bit. I've never pruned a tomato plant in my life and my plants usually yield several times more fruit than I can use. Since all green plants need leaves to manufacture their food, removing some of them has never made a great deal of sense to me. I guess the answer is that some prune and some don't. It certainly isn't necessary.

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rainbowgardener
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pinching out suckers

It is clearly true that some people clip the suckers and some don't and that it isn't necessary to do. I do (maybe some year I should do some plants that way and leave some alone as a control group, get better data), in the belief that it helps focus the plant on making fruit, not just getting bigger and branchier and leafier. I also pinch out the growing tips after the plant gets 5-6' tall, for the same reason. All I can say is I've been eating ripe tomatoes since the middle of June and I see lots of people writing in to say their tomatoes aren't ripe yet, so I must be doing something right.

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Re: pinching out suckers

rainbowgardener wrote:It is clearly true that some people clip the suckers and some don't and that it isn't necessary to do. I do (maybe some year I should do some plants that way and leave some alone as a control group, get better data), in the belief that it helps focus the plant on making fruit, not just getting bigger and branchier and leafier. I also pinch out the growing tips after the plant gets 5-6' tall, for the same reason. All I can say is I've been eating ripe tomatoes since the middle of June and I see lots of people writing in to say their tomatoes aren't ripe yet, so I must be doing something right.
Ditto here I couldn't have said it better myself. I do exactly what Rainbow does. I do try to leave a plant or two alone. Or maybe switch from pruning a certain group this time and next time a diff group. It all depends on how I feel the plants are doing really. I am always giving bagful's of produce away that I just can't eat. So Rainbow and myself can't be wrong. I have two very close neighbors that don't have hardly anything, yet my fridge is overflowing with produce literally.

I would like to do a real control group, I have thought about that myself. I really need to get organized, and I have been trying. But, I normally just throw plants in till it's full. And most usually flourishes beyond my needs.

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