Dany_mex
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Having trouble identifying suckers

Hello,

Well my cherry tomatoes are starting to flower which is awesome!!! I'm a newbie growing tomatoes and it makes me so happy to see the flowers starting to bloom.........but I'm having some trouble knowing if some plants or stems are suckers or not, please if you could help me.

[img]https://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r389/evo_flo/IMG01627-20110104-1600.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r389/evo_flo/IMG01628-20110104-1605.jpg[/img]

The middle ones, now that I look at the pictures they do look like suckers but could you help me to be sure?

Cheers.
Dany

TZ -OH6
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Both are suckers/branches. If it come out of the base of a leaf it is a sucker/branch. The main stem sometimes forks but the stems will usually be flattened at that juncture. Cherry varieties tend to be viney so the early branches are just as productive as the main trunk and hard to distinguish.

Dany_mex
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Thank you very much I'll get rid of them right now.
Dany

TZ -OH6
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Why?

Dany_mex
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Aren't suckers bad for the plants? or well for the fruit that can produce?
Dany

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rainbowgardener
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Not necessarily and there is a lot of variation of opinion of whether to remove suckers or not. Leaving them on you get a lot more branching, which tends to lead to production of more but smaller tomatoes. For those of us in very humid climates, it also makes a very full bushy plant with less air circulation, so makes the plants more vulnerable to some of the fungal diseases tomatoes are prone to. The people who say they leave their tomato plants alone and they do well, mostly live in more hot/dry areas, which may include you...
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TZ -OH6
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A lot of the "pro pruning" statements originate from certain commercial growing applications where single vines (all suckers pinched off) are grown. A series of single vines are easier to maintain and harvest in a greenhouse situation and provide more consistent production (timing and fruit size). Also, in some areas of the country/world growing on stakes is traditional so pinching off suckers is just what you do.

Out in the field most tomatoes are grown either sprawled and unpruned or supported by the Florida Weave technique, and if pruned at all only have the bottom suckers pinched out, to improve airflow as Rainbow pointed out.

If you want maximum productivity from a single plant leave it unpruned or prune out some branches to improve ventilation. Some people suggest removing all suckers below the first fruit truss as the best way to do this. if you are growing in a pot/container prune so that the top does not outgrow the rootspace.

For large fruited varieties, if you want maximum production per area plant close together and prune to the main trunk only. This usually means growing on stakes or drop lines, but it is arguable if the slightly increased production offsets the extra work/costs involved setting up the support system.

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Garf
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If you have several plants, pick one or 2 and remove most of the suckers. Then compare them to the other plants.

Dany_mex
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Wow I didn't know that I thought everybody removed the suckers from their plants but like you said I have 3 tomato plants and I have removed the suckers only from one, it would be a nice comparison between the others.

We'll see and I'll let you know.

Thank you.
Dany

filmnet
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If I miss sucker's which are larger than2 inch's. i look at the branch if it has flowers i might leave it, Usually I do find them early, and they are small. Cut or pull off asap, now cherries are different because every branch,sucker,stem grows fruit. As long as the plant grows vertical its ok, but if i find a cherry plant slowing down growing vertical, i usually find a lager sucker branch i didn't cut off earlier.

Sani
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Im definitely no expert, but I keep 2 or 3 suckers max since I grow in containers and they seem healthy with large abundant fruit!

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gixxerific
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I agree with not picking them all off, unless you are trying for a record or something.


I do pick suckers but not all of them probably not even half of them. I just do what feels right. Hard to explain but normally the plants get to a point where it is almost futile trying to get them all.

filmnet
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If the stem/branch has no fruit or flowers you must cut it off, otherwise it will grow very fast and do nothing for your plant, less fruit. Do not let them grow so large next time.

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