sciencegal
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:17 pm

does this plan make sense?

I have a very short season here, with the first frost due in mid sept. My tomato plants had a late start because of high winds in May and a late killer frost. I have about 7 plants of about 8 varieties. They have been setting fruit for the last few weeks, some varieties have a lot, some not so many.

I figure that any fruit that sets after around the 20th of this month will not have time to mature depending on the variety. So, I thought if I just cut off any new blossoms after that date, the plants will put their energy into growing the existing fruit larger and maturing them in time. Otherwise, I'm going to have tons of little green tomatoes that will never have a chance to mature.

Does this make sense?

TZ -OH6
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Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

It makes perfect sense. I have done that in the past (when late blight didn't wipe out my plants early) and it is nice to be able to pick off nearly all of the fruit with at least color (breaker stage or later) that hectic afternoon before the first night frost hits. I pinch off the little growing tips along with the unopened bud trusses so that the plant is not trying to make little leaves the whole time. What is already there will mature into big leaves in a couple of weeks.


I would leave whatever trusses that have open flowers on the 20th alone. The fruit that set on the later blossoms on those trusses will ripen indoors even if they are green when frost hits. It give you some wiggle room if frost hits a couple of weeks later than usual.

Are you growing early season determinants or trying to squeeze what you can from indeterminants?

sciencegal
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:17 pm

TZ -OH6 wrote:Are you growing early season determinants or trying to squeeze what you can from indeterminants?
Almost everything is early season, somewhere around 55 to 60 days. There is one that is 65 days (might be 70) that was a free seed that came with an order. I might get lucky with it. I have a mixture of determinants and indeterminants.

GardenJester
Senior Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:59 pm

i think the rule of thumb is to pinch the growing tips 1 months before the first frost date.

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farmerlon
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:42 am
Location: middle Tennessee

Re: does this plan make sense?

sciencegal wrote:My tomato plants had a late start because of high winds in May and a late killer frost.
Here's something you might consider for next year, because it really helped me.
I tend to have really strong winds through my garden in the early Spring. I got a bunch of old windows from someone on Freecycle, and propped those against my tomato cages on the south side (since that's where the prevailing wind hits here). That made a big difference in keeping the tranplants from getting "beat up" by the wind, and getting them off to a good start.



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