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gixxerific
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Help me understand the life and death of a plant!?

It seems to me that most if not all plants go through a cycle of sorts. They start small, than grow taller and taller. Am I right in thinking that the lower portions will quit producing as the higher levels start to produce. Than when that level is done it will produce at a higher level. The kicker is after going up in level will it ever produce again at the lower levels of the plant?

I'm no beginner, but maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention. So many questions!?!

Hope this makes sense.

Dono :?

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rainbowgardener
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life cycle of a plant

that depends (as always!)... how does a carrot fit into your model? or squash? The squash vine gets longer and longer, but the squash are produced on the older part of the vine closer to the origin. I think where the most productivity is, is very variable from one type of plant to another. My cardinal climber vine gets longer and longer, but it puts out side shoots from various points along the length that have flowers on them, so it is flowering near the top and bottom at the same time.

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applestar
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Right, and then there's the apical dominance and auxin hormone in fruit trees: Bending an upward growing branch to near horizontal stimulates fruit buds to form/grow along the branch....

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gixxerific
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I was mainly thinking about tomatoes and cucumbers, sorry the was a pretty general question.

About the "apical dominance and auxin hormone in fruit trees" I think we'll save that for another day. :P

But thanks for those answers, of course they only bring up more questions.

Dono

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Diane
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gixxerific wrote:I was mainly thinking about tomatoes and cucumbers, sorry the was a pretty general question.

About the "apical dominance and auxin hormone in fruit trees" I think we'll save that for another day. :P

But thanks for those answers, of course they only bring up more questions.

Dono
:lol:
No I don't think more will grow from the same place. What happens is a new shoot/vine will form and then new fruit will grow from that.
My pepper plant is growing a new sprout? from near the bottom. If it has enough time it will make new peppers.
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tedln
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Gixx,

Since you limited it to tomatoes and cucumbers, the answer for me is always yes. :D New fruit will not grow on old growth, but old growth does put out some new growth occasionally which does produce new fruit.

Someone mentioned that squash puts out new fruit on old growth. My yellow squash plants are now about 6'long and are lifted and tied to the tomato cages. It seems most of the bloom buds on mine are produced at the end of new growth. I'm harvesting squash 6' feet off the ground.

I have noticed a huge difference in taste and appearance between early season fruit (first growth) and late season fruit (late growth). My late season tomatoes are smaller, with a striped appearance, and much more intense flavor. In the spring, I actually look forward to my fall crop of tomatoes because of the intense flavor of the fall tomatoes.My late season cucumbers tend to be larger than early season and in the late season, I find more fruit with yellow colors mixed in with the green colors. The yellow skin tones usually indicate a cuke will be bitter in the late season crop. Since I plant only burpless cukes, none should be bitter in taste. The cukes which retain their total dark green appearance are almost always sweet with no bitter aftertaste.
Ted
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gixxerific
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thanks Ted, I have the same thing going here with my tom's. I couldn't keep up with them a few weeks ago, probably 3 weeks. I picked my first red tom that wasn't a roma grape today and that was on a plant that hasn't had one yet (it's in a different part of the yard). I have tons of, like you said, smaller green tom's. I know they will come around when\if it starts to cool down.

As far as cuc's I have had some monsters I picked around 10 today (Monsters). I was thinking they are getting bigger because the foliage is so dense you don't see them even when looking for them. Then all of the sudden your like "holy moly where did you come from" :D :shock: Actually i picked 4 from the other side of the fence I didn't know were there until my neighbor said something while I was talking to him, they were all HUGE :shock: .

The main reason I'm asking this is because I was wondering if it helps to trim up the lower sections of tom's and the like to help the new upper growth. :?

Again thanks for the replies, Dono

tedln
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Dono,

It has been so hot here that all my plants look really tired and scraggley (I don't know if "scraggly" is a word you can use when you are playing scrabble, but it works for me). My cucumbers have dropped so many leaves that I assumed they were not making anything. Every time I go to the garden, my Labrodor starts barking wanting his share of either cucumbers or green tomatoes. Yesterday, I decided to check the cucumbers to see if I could find one just to shut him up. I found one for him and ten nice ones for me. You just never know what those cucumber plants are going to do. Your right, they do tend to hide.

Ted
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I am going to ask a question slightly off topic... My tomatoes are getting so tall! I have six of them and four of them are at or above six feet tall. They are in tomato cages and are now starting to tip them over. My question is, can I snip off the growing end of the tallest branches to encourage growth elsewhere? Will it limit my supply of tomatoes? I have scads of green tomatoes on the plants now, but I want them to produce. I have read in many places that you should pinch off the suckers that grow between branches but I haven't and they are all producing fruit! I am glad I didn't pinch them off!

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When tomato plants are young, you can accidentally break off some branches and the plant will normally produce a sucker in it's place. As the plants age, the main stems become more woody and less likely to produce suckers. I wouldn't trim the tops of the plants. It won't help the production below the snipped point. I also don't remove suckers. It's true that by removing suckers, more nutrients are available for the main plant. You do get slightly smaller tomatoes by leaving the suckers on, but you get more fruit with the suckers on. My philosophy is the more blooms on a plant, the better.

I typically simply train the tall stems to bend over and lay on top of the cages or let them hang down and produce tomatoes.

Ted
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rainbowgardener
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pinching out growing tips

I on the other hand, do pinch out the growing tips after the plants get 5-6 feet tall, too keep them from getting too huge. The theory is that this focuses the plant more on making tomatoes instead of just getting bigger. I've never done a controlled experiment, so I can't prove it has any effect, positive or negative on fruit production, but it does keep the plant more manageable. I also pinch out the suckers, for fewer, bigger tomatoes and less leaves, but similar caveats apply.

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My problem being that they are pulling over the cages. I am afraid I am going to go out one morning and it will be lying on it's side. I think I will try experimenting with one or two.
Thanks!

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Diane
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kgall wrote:My problem being that they are pulling over the cages. I am afraid I am going to go out one morning and it will be lying on it's side. I think I will try experimenting with one or two.
Thanks!
I have a few like that. I pounded in a couple of stakes about 8 inches from the plants and tied the cage or part of the plant to the stake.
Four of my plants grew so much that I can't tell where one starts and the other finishes.
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tedln
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Kgall,

Your right! I didn't realize you were possibly having a problem with your cages falling over. I have my cages wired and secured well enough that I don't have that concern. I can let my plants grow as much as they want.

Ted
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gixxerific
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I will be doing cages next year instead of stakes and string. I will tie them to the ground with stake of some sort to alleviate the falling over thing.

I am a pincher, normally those suckers get plucked at the early to mid stages of development. Not so much afterward just because by then they are so big and vibrant it's hard to get in there to sucker them. Like Diane said I can't tell where one begins and the other ends. I was ripping out a Roma grape today and accidentally pulled out a large branch of something I didn't want to pull. :oops: :x My plan for next year is very different. I have a tight garden so space is limited. I'm gonna stagger my tom's so I can actually get to them next year.

I even topped my plants as rainbowgardener said, well a few of them just to see ho they would do. Next year I'm going to keep a more detailed diary of what's going on in my garden.

trust me I know how to garden, but i want perfection, yeah i have a problem. 8)

Dono

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Diane
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Dono, you just gave me an idea. Instead of grouping my plants by type I'm going to plant by size with tomato in the back in a row and the smaller or climing plants in front.
My neighbors huge tree is shading my yard more and more every year.
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Diane wrote:Dono, you just gave me an idea. Instead of grouping my plants by type I'm going to plant by size with tomato in the back in a row and the smaller or climing plants in front.
That tactic is pretty much the keystone to my entire venture. :wink:
I >>used to<< grow vegetables in containers on my balcony and this >>was<< my Blog:
VEGGIE-MIGHT

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gixxerific
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Diane wrote:Dono, you just gave me an idea. Instead of grouping my plants by type I'm going to plant by size with tomato in the back in a row and the smaller or climing plants in front.
My neighbors huge tree is shading my yard more and more every year.
This my garden

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC02690.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC02680.jpg[/img]

I have my tom's all together and, well it's a pain in the butt trying to get to them. Next year I will do some tom's and the far right, I'm gonna move my wood pile, than smaller plants than a row of tom's, than smaller plants, than a climbing plant, than smaller plants. This way I should be able to accses the plants better and use them for shading the ground dwellers as well. I think it will work out pretty good. I kinda of started it this way this year as you can see by the 2nd pic, that was more or less an accident though. :) I also will put peas and beans possibly along the fence line so they can use that to climb.

By next year I think I will have a pretty good plan of what I want to do, being proactive i will hopefully have a more productive and easier harvested garden.

Dono

Glad i got you thinking. I help you, you help me, we all win

p.s. while I'm at it that trash can is my compost for now. It's doing pretty good, and this garden will get bigger not sure how much yet. Another little thing I'm gonna do is put mulch down on the other side of the fence just wide enough to help control the grass that is impossible to keep out of the garden. Something those of you fences might want to think about as well.

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Diane
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You have lots of sun in your garden. Nice.
I would use a barrel or container if anyone could see where I composted. Since mine is at the back of my fenced yard under trees it's well hidden.
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

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