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Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 1:28 pm
Location: New York, NY

One More Question re Suckers that Have Grown

Hello again,

I have 3 heirloom plants growing, staked, in a large cedar box on my roof in NYC. I realize that I have let 2 suckers grow very large at this point on 2 of my plants (each) - they are both about a foot long, and relatively thick, and flowering at the top. Both of these plants are growing vertically very well, and have a TON of flowers, but very few fruits forming. My plants are about 3 1/2-4 feet tall.

Is it too late to prune these suckers without "shocking," and harming my plants?

I have read that I can trim suckers off and plant them and hope they turn into new plants - this would be nice but not required - I only want the best tomatoes regardless of quantity.

Also, will the suckers which are flowering produce fruit?


Growing on my rooftop deck in NYC

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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:17 am

It is never too late to remove suckers. This is a continuous job. Remove suckers at the bottom and side positions. and keep your tomato plant in a good tree like shape. If your plant grow taller than your support (For vine type tomatoes, you'll need a support at least 5 to 6 ft high), then you can pinch off heads on top. Suckers may turn into fruiting bruches but you only need to keey a few on the top and let it fork gradually like a tree. Nevert let it over grow into a lush foliage plant.

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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:25 am
Location: decatur, ga

nan1234 gave good advice; the caveat is that she was talking about vining (indeterminite) plants. if you have bush (determinate) plants, you should only prune suckers below the first flower cluster. another caution- if your rooftop plants are in containers smaller than 5 gals., you should prune smaller, to keep the plant smaller than the container can support. confusing? welcome to tomatoland.good luck, and good will get lots of conflicting advice from different sources. "a man with a watch always knows the time; a man with two watches can never be sure"-how reassuring is that?

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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: Miami, FL

Do any of you have pics of a properly pruned tomato plant?

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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Pruned tomato plant? I never prune my plants, other than to remove leaves/laterals close to the ground so that the leaves don't contact the ground. My tomatoes are normal sized at 12-16 oz. for a whopper or better boy type of fruit and the salad tomatoes are also their proper size. The plants make more tomatoes than our family can eat plus we export about 8 pounds per week during the heaviest production. This year for fresh eating we have nine plants. Three of the original dozen died from bacterial wilt.

So anyway, can't imagine any reason to pinch, prune, cut back tomatoes as a routine practice. I did have a plant grow out of its 5 foot cage last year and I cut the plant back to about six inches to see if it would renew itslelf in time for a late havest. That worked marginally well, but the plant eventually became the victim of disease from the hot, humid August weather.

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