Decado
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Plant Height

So normally people say that you should stop your tomatoes green growth at about 4-5 feet, but this year might be different for me. My plants are already 3 feet tall (as opposed to about 1 at this time normally) and even though the ones I planted in WoW's are also 3 feet tall they are very bushy and have thick stems. So since the plants are already so large do I want to let them get bigger than 4-5 feet tall?

TZ -OH6
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Do not top your tomatoes unless you have a good reason for it. I can do it because that is how high my plants are in August (5-6 ft), and with two months left in the season at that point no fruit from new growth will ripen before frost. For me, topping at that point in time prevents the vines from seriously overgrowing the cages and making a messy jungle of the place. If and when I top the plants it has to do with how much time is left in the season. I may take the weed wacker to an overgrown cherry tomato but that is when it is nearer to 10 ft than 4 ft.


If I were you I would let the plants go and just be sure not to add any more fertilizer. If you need more support add tall stakes.

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Zapatay
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add tall stakes and then what?

How do you support the growth beyond the existing cage?

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applestar
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TZ posted a detailed Tomato Support thread which has been made into a sticky at the top of the Tomato Forum. 8)

TZ -OH6
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I'm confused. An 8 ft stake should support growth above a 5 ft cage.

Decado
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TZ -OH6 wrote:Do not top your tomatoes unless you have a good reason for it. I can do it because that is how high my plants are in August (5-6 ft), and with two months left in the season at that point no fruit from new growth will ripen before frost. For me, topping at that point in time prevents the vines from seriously overgrowing the cages and making a messy jungle of the place. If and when I top the plants it has to do with how much time is left in the season. I may take the weed wacker to an overgrown cherry tomato but that is when it is nearer to 10 ft than 4 ft.


If I were you I would let the plants go and just be sure not to add any more fertilizer. If you need more support add tall stakes.
Hah, I may have to top my tomatoes just so they don't become a messy jungle. I have them all growing 2 feet apart in a triangular/hexagon pattern per "How To Grow More Vegetables" and I imagine the inner tomatoes would be very hard to tend if I let them get more than 6 feet tall.

TZ -OH6
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Well, there was a guy a couple of years back on a forum that tried to fit something like 50 plants into a 4x8 bed thinking more plants = higher productivity.

The author of your reference should have said which varieties would grow that close together because very few will stay small enough, and even with those it would be difficult to get in between them to pick.


I'm just going to say "Stand by with the weed wacker and do what you gotta do".

Decado
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He had 3 different spacings listed for different tomatoes and 2 feet was the highest distance so I just went with that for all my varieties. All his work is based on like 50 years of research on his experimental farm, so I'm going to trust his findings that more plants at that close of a spacing will have higher yields. Plus if you add the fact that my tomato roots are fully infected with mycorrhizal fungus, that effectively increases the root area by hundreds so I'm thinking 2 feet apart won't be too much of a problem other than the jungliness of it. Also, whoever put 50 plants in 4x8 clearly didn't know what they were doing, there's no way that's enough root space.



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