mattie g
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Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Broken "Secondary Stems"

Hey all...

When I got home from work yesterday, I went out back to check on all my plants, and my Black Krim was looking...well...a little shorter than I remembered it. When I went to check on it, I noticed that two of the "secondary stems" (i.e. bigger sections off the main stem on which I'm getting flowers and fruit - sorry...I don't know the proper terms) were bent over pretty good. Since these plants are in a container up against a fence, I'm thinking that a squirrel may have tried to climb down it, causing the two stems to collapse. I don't think they both would have collapsed from weight at the same time, especially since they're staked and tied to the fence pretty well. I can't think of any other good explanation for it.

I've been able to tie them back up to the stake and fence, but the stems themselves were partially split though still intact. I'm hoping to save the sections above the break since I have a couple tomatoes growing on each of those sections right now and would certainly hate to lose them (I've got seven plants of varying varieties growing in total).

The plant is currently about 4-4 1/2 feet tall and has eight to ten tomatoes on it, with plenty of flowers and a few more buds coming out. Overall, it's a really healthy containered plant, having been planted in mushroom compost and topsoil and now being fertilized 2-4-1 fish fertilizer.

Taking into account that I've been able to stake them up again, is it possible for the plants to survive, especially the sections above the break? I don't have any pictures right now, but will try to post one later today.

Any advice or input would be most appreciated!

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soil
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if its still connected it will be fine, stake it up sturdy.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

mattie g
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

soil wrote:if its still connected it will be fine, stake it up sturdy.
Thanks, soil. That's just what I wanted to hear!

I'll be sure to stake and tie it so it doesn't have a chance to flop around. I just hope the squirrel that screwed with it to start with doesn't come around again!

mattie g
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

An update:

It looks like one of the two breaks may be bad enough that the section above it won't make it. Here are a couple pictures:

1) Picture of the break
2) Picture of some wilting on the leaves in that area

[img]https://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5649/bkbreak2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://img402.imageshack.us/img402/2975/bkwilt.jpg[/img]

Notice on the second picture the wilting area compared to the other leaves. The section on the left is above the second break - that appears to be healthy.

This is the first time I've been at home during the day. Perhaps this has happened regularly, but the leaves rebounded by the time I got home as the heat and sun has eased off (it's dry and in the mid-80s to around 90). I just don't know. I watered this morning.

What does everyone think? Clip that section and let the plant continue on, or see if it can make it?

mattie g
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Lo and behold...as the heat and blazing sun eased off, the wilt went away and the leaves sprung back to life.

I suppose I'll let it ride and see what happens.

BrianIllinois
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Location: Southern Illinois

About six days ago, I had a major branch break away from the main stem on one of my container plants. It's got a nasty scar, but it's chugging right along. The branch already had a couple fruit, which continued growing and are now ripening. Three new fruits are also on the branch.

gardenvt
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If you have an extra container, you can plant that stem and it will grow roots and give you another plant.

mattie g
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

gardenvt wrote:If you have an extra container, you can plant that stem and it will grow roots and give you another plant.
Not a bad idea. There are two non-ripe tomatoes on that stem right now, so if I were to go that route, should keep those on there or harvest them now?

gardenvt
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I would remove them so the plant can take careof the rooting. Then you will have lots of tomatoes later.

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