nopeda
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basic Rutgers container tomato plant questions

I'd like to grow some Rutgers and can only grow in containers and will only be able to have about 8 of them. Since I've seen some people recommend trimming tomato plants down to one vine while others suggest never trimming any at all I was thinking about planting two plants asap, one with two vines and one with three. Then in about another few weeks or a month plant two more, one with four vines and maybe one with five to get a feel for it. Does anyone have any thoughts about that?

Also I was planning to start pairs of them about 3-4 weeks apart in the hopes of having tomatoes around for a higher percentage of the year, but one person told me it wouldn't matter with Rutgers because all the tomatoes come in at the same time regardless of when they're planted. That doesn't sound right though since my brother has them for a high percentage of the summer, though he isn't confined like I am and has lots of plants in the ground instead of just a few in containers. I'd be grateful for any thoughts about all that too...

Thanks!
David

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hendi_alex
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I've never heard of anyone pruning a determinate tomato. Most determinate types ripen the majority of their fruit over a two or three week period.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Duh_Vinci
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If I remember correctly, there are two variations of Rutgers, indeterminate and determinate.

I've grown the determinate few years ago... I would rather consider them as "ever bearing" semideterminate though... Because these plants produced quite a bit, and over 3-4 months, and plenty of fruit!

And as Alex suggested, if that is the variant you have, really, no need to trim them. But do, provide plenty of support, and the plants got really bushy and heavy!

Good luck!

Regards,
D

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Meatburner
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I would agree with Alex and not trim a determinate variety. It will not get real tall anyway. That is one reason they are better suited to containers and indeterminates can get really big. I wouldn't think you would have much of a yield if you trimmed it. Maybe one of the tomato pros will chime in.

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gixxerific
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DO NOT EVER trim a Determinate. You are triming off your harvest plain and simple.

Indeterminates can be trimmed like the chainsaw masacre, but they will come back twice as strong if you let them just to show you who's boss. 8)

nopeda
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The "first" ones I hope to plant I haven't gotten yet. I plan to buy some plants when they come in hopefully over the weekend. Meanwhile I started germinating some seeds for the next batch on Sunday and they started coming up today. They are from Ferry-Morse and the bag says they're indeterminate.

Last year I got a real late start and it was the first year I grew tomatoes. They were going wild with vines and had small tomatoes, so I trimmed them down. The tomatoes still seemed small so I trimmed out some pretty large vines, but they still had about six or more vines at the end of it all. The tomatoes got noticably larger though, so that's what is shaping my thinking so far. They were Better Boys, which I guess are less determinate than an indeterminate Rutgers? But even if so, by how much?

imafan26
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Re: basic Rutgers container tomato plant questions

What do the Rutgers taste like? I grew them once, but I forgot.

Was the skin tough, and was the flesh firm or soft? Is it tart?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

orgoveg
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Re: basic Rutgers container tomato plant questions

imafan26 wrote:What do the Rutgers taste like? I grew them once, but I forgot.

Was the skin tough, and was the flesh firm or soft? Is it tart?
I grew Rutgers, saving the seeds from year-to-year, for 5 years. I really liked them because I freeze tomatoes for use through the winter and they tasted the same when thawed for cooking as they did when fresh. They taste great when sliced fresh and I hear that they are very good for canning. I recall reading somewhere that "the Rutgers tomato is the basis by which all other tomatoes are judged". They aren't going to blow you away with flavor like some other varieties but they are easy to grow, very tasty, and they are open-pollinated heirlooms. The only reason I stopped growing them is that I fell in love with German Johnsons and I don't have the space for more than one variety. The German Johnsons seem to be a bit more disease-resistant also.

The Rutgers skin is fairly thick, they have alot of seeds, and the color is closer to orange than red. A very good, durable, all-purpose tomato. Far better than anything you'll find at the grocery store.

Back to the original topic, I only trimmed suckers and the lowest branches to keep the leaves off the ground.

orgoveg
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Re: basic Rutgers container tomato plant questions

I didn't answer two of your questions. I would call the flesh firm and the flavor is tart. The average fruit size is a baseball.

imafan26
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Re: basic Rutgers container tomato plant questions

Thanks for reminding me. I grow about a dozen varieties a year to try them out. They blur after a while.

The standouts that I had were brandywine. Mostly because I was told that brandywine might not pollinate well in Hawaii. It was a huge plant, everyone was drawn to it. It had a lot of issues with powdery mildew and I had to cover the fruit and net everything to keep the birds off, but the fruit was fantastic. Rich tomatoey taste. Great eating fresh, but no keeping qualities.

The Supersweet 100 and Sungold tomatoes were the sweetest and most productive.

Early girl, was not the best tasting, but it was the most productive large tomato and survived a year. Truly amazing.

Rutgers, Healani, Kewalo, and BHN21 had great disease resistance and produced well. Healani, kewalo, and BHN21 have tough skins. I could not remember what rutgers did. I don't think it lasted in the heat. The birds took the tomatoes. In my garden, that is a testimony that the tomatoes were tasty. Birds always go after the best fruit.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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prettygurl
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Re: basic Rutgers container tomato plant questions

I'm trying them this year. The selling point for me was that they do well in colder climates.

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