martoosaat
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:41 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Rearranging vines in planter box

Hi all,

[url=https://www5.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=1321547025/PictureID=43428698025/a=2650753025_2650753025/otsc=SHR/otsi=SPIClink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/]Picture[/url]

I'm growing some Yellow Pear tomatoes in a planter box on my balcony
here in Sunny San Diego. Silly me, I didn't realize they'd get so big.
I've already pulled up three other vines (which shows how newb I am for
planting so many) but I think the remaining three still crowd each other.

The problem is that I want to keep the right-hand and especially the
middle plant, since they are the healthiest and have already given some
tasty fruit.

Please advise on options. My thoughts:
1) Pull the left one. Shape the middle one to follow the stake on the left.
Will the root system be able to take advantage of the entire box if the two plants are on the right?
2) Pull the left one and move the middle one.
Would this damage the root systems/ how can I do so without damaging either root systems?
3) Leave all three (they're fine as they are, stop worrying).
4) Suck it up and pull the middle one, and correctly nurture the other two plants to bear good fruit.
5) Other (please explain).

Thanks in advance.

Grace and peace,
Michael
Edit: figured out how to embed the link.
Last edited by martoosaat on Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Wow! How many tomatoes did you plant in that little box?! It's hard to get a sense of the scale -- how big is the planter box? A 5 gallon bucket is generally considered a good size to grow ONE full sized tomato plant.

If yours holds less than that amount of soil, be prepared to water daily and fertilize frequently if you want to grow two plants in it. You will want to keep them pruned also, to just a few main stems, so that they don't shade each other out, limit air circulation and foster diseases, etc. But if you can do that, option 1 should work. Trying to move plants that big is likely to set them back a lot.
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TZ -OH6
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You don't have to move anything over if you don't want to. The root systems for both plants will fill your entire box, but the center plant will have the competetive advantage with the open soil and probably outgrow the end one. Whatever happens, if you give them enough water they are going to be an over grown mess so it doesn't matter what you do in regards to the stakes. If you leave it at one plant that one plant will be heathier and more productive than two.

martoosaat
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Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:41 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

@rainbowgardener
I originally started with 6 seedlings, 'cus they looked so small!

Sorry for the foreshortening of the picture, I didn't want to lean too far out into the street to get a better shot since it is on my (4th floor!) balcony.
The dimensions are about 2 ft by 7 in by 8 in, which comes to ~0.78 cubic feet (5 gallons is ~0.67 cubic feet).* Enough for the one plant then!

*(When are we Americans switching to the metric system, like the rest of the world?)

martoosaat
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Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:41 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

@TZ
Thanks for the explanation. I take it your recommendation is to also have one plant?
(I'm not sure I understand your part about stakes not mattering. Surely there would need to be staking since it is an indeterminate type and wont to grow willy-nilly?)

TZ -OH6
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What I mean is that Yellow pear gets to be a great big plant so it is going to over grow what you have for it there so the staking down near the pot doesn't make much difference. Support it however you have to.

martoosaat
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Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:41 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

OK that makes sense! Thanks!

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