Well, I started out with good intentions... Even had the idea that I'll try pruning to single vine, no suckers, or at least no more than 2-3 vines per plant. But somewhere along the middle, I lost to the vigorous growths and the sheer numbers -- it was all I could do to harvest every two days, take photos, and write up progresss reports.
I have mixed feelings about what is happening. I honestly have harvested plenty of tomatoes. My kitchen and garage freezers are full and I still have three web trays and two large (salad spinner size) colanders of fruits. One of the web trays have 8 pint baskets full of cherry and saladette size tomatoes, not just single layer.
Even though the largest beefsteak/slicers are dwindling now, it was plenty fun while they were coming in by bucket loads. Actually, yesterday, I noticed that Red Barn which I thought was done for has sprouted three new shoots midway up the vines despite the mostly dead tips. If they manage to fend off the fungi attack (or if I were to help out with appropriate spray regimen) I would guess that this is how the fall-winter season tomatoes can be grown in the longer season areas in the south.
I kind of liked that some of the tomatoes were done by early August and would have allowed me to plant a full fall season crop in their place. In fact, I had planned on cutting the Red Barn at the base and planting something else there. With 60 days left until first average frost, I doubt that the Red Barn has time to produce ripe fruits for me here, but it was an interesting observation.
Also, in some cases, plants that perhaps had been suppressed by their more vigorous neighbors are on the upswing, diseased or not. There are good many plants sporting green fruits and I will probably still end up harvesting tomatoes until frost. For me, it's a question of making up my mind to pull/execute the strugglers and get the fall/winter harvest planting done at this point.
Don't get me wrong -- I think pruning diligently is an essential technique and if you can do it, you should... Especially if you are working with limited number of plants or particularly valuable varieties. Having ID'd my family's "favorites" to grow again next year, I could see myself trying to keep them producing as long as possible. This year, I just have too many