rosiegirl
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tomato plants growing too big?

i have a few varieties of tomato growing in my raised vegetable bed (sungold, supersweet, better boy, san marzano). the plants seem to be growing really well (too well?!) and are getting huge. i have tons of green tomatoes growing that look good but nothing is ripening yet.

should i be doing more pruning at the top of the plants? i already took off the bottom yellow leaves and have been pinching off suckers wherever i can find them. my plants are getting too tall for me to do that now, though!

so should i be pruning at the top? pruning in a different way? be patient?

i know people in the area are getting ripe tomatoes now so i was just worried that not enough of the plants' energy was going to ripening.

(I'm near new york city).


[img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6131/5933738948_0783a933cd_z.jpg[/img]

[img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6009/5933739018_b5d239be6c_z.jpg[/img]

Charlie MV
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What's huge? Your tomatoes look fine.

are they this big?

[img][img]https://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/charliemv/003-2.jpg[/img]


That's a softball beside it. We get some this big occasionally but most are between baseball and softball sized. How do they taste?


Don't throw one of these at anyone unless you want to get arrested.

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rainbowgardener
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When my tomato plants start getting taller than me, I start pinching out some of the growing tips, to keep it from getting so huge and focus its mind on ripening tomatoes.
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rosiegirl
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charlie...i meant the plants themselves! but that is one huge tomato!

rainbow...should i use clippers? not exactly sure how to pinch out the growing tips! (they're already over 18 inches taller than me, but I'm pretty short!)

Charlie MV
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I would defer to Rainbowgardener. Nobody ever accused me of being the sharpest tack in the box. However, we've never worried about the size of the plant. We cage ours . At the end of the season I have pulled out 12 and 15 foot plants. We just guide them onto the adjacent cage. We've always been lucky enough to grow tomatoes enough to eat year round in sauces as well as feed quite a few friends, neighbors and hungry people.

tomc
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My plants are not too big. But waiting around for the greenies to ripen, has me doing a too long urgency dance...

Waiting for the first ones to ripen is Killing me...
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gixxerific
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I will go along with the " there is no such ting as a too tall tomato only a too small support" thing. But trimming might be in order remember if you trim the leader the plant will not produce anymore, though the fruit on it will ripen, it will not make any more.

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rainbowgardener
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Just clip or pinch out the very end growing tips of the tall branches.

I don't know what gixx meant

"if you trim the leader the plant will not produce anymore, though the fruit on it will ripen, it will not make any more."

When I clip the ends of the tall branches, the plant does keep growing and producing, just those branches don't get any taller.
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rosiegirl
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thanks so much everyone!

i climbed up to cut off the top few leaves and we'll see if i did a good job!

vermontkingdom
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I grow a few tomatoes, including one super sweet 100, along the south side of our house. As many of you know, they grow very tall and because this one get lots of compost and compost tea, it grows even taller than those I've grown in the regular garden out back. I love it when the neighbors kid me about harvesting my tomatoes using a ladder. I don't prune it but do use numerous tomato ladders and poles to support the incredible amount of foliage and hundreds of resulting fruit.
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bird dog
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No such thing as to big. Mine are 6' now and headed for 10'. I do some pruning (until they get away from me) and just sip tie another cage on top of the first. If they start to get tipsy I use 3 guy ropes to keep them up. Your doing something right when you use a ladder to harvest.

bird dog
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No such thing as to big. Mine are 6' now and headed for 10'. I do some pruning (until they get away from me) and just sip tie another cage on top of the first. If they start to get tipsy I use 3 guy ropes to keep them up. Your doing something right when you use a ladder to harvest.

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rainbowgardener
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bird dog wrote: You're doing something right when you use a ladder to harvest.
Not my take on it... what we care about is the harvest, i.e. the pickable tomatoes, right? The size of the plant does you no good, only the size (and quality) of the harvest. To me, huge plants just wasted a lot of energy that could have gone into making tomatoes.
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bird dog
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Tall plants don't have to mean no fruit. My tallest is a Brandy Boy and has roughly 80 fruits set and on their way to ripening.

bird dog
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Tall plants don't have to mean no fruit. My tallest is a Brandy Boy and has roughly 80 fruits set and on their way to ripening.

Nature's Babe
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Obviously you have nice fertile soil, well done, I experimented with rootgrow
when I planted my tomatoes this year, the fungi convert non available nutrients from the soil making them available to the plant in exchange for sugars the plant gets from he sun, result so far no yellow leaves and good growth, the fungi also aid availability of moisture and help inhibit any disease.
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
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Sage Hermit
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Long ago I watched a truly informative video on disease and trimming of tomatoes at an organic farm. They cut with gloves and pruning sheers. The cuttings were composted after being carted away. Spacing for optimal harvest and disease reduction was included also. A fine science.

your plants look crampped. Air flow between each plant is what I advise and trim like you already are. They look healthy though for being cramped must have good drainage and water and soil and sun.

The twine method is the best really for a lot of reasons. You make a tom pen and tie them in rows end to end. they love it and makes maintenance easy. I have been thinking about building pens for my tomatoes.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

dustyrivergardens
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:o That is a great situation to be in "tomatoes to tall" I love that I top mine every year about the end of September I think it helps the green tomatoes ripen. :shock:

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Runningtrails
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She's in NY folks! Those green tomatoes are not going to have the time to ripen anyway. I prune my tomato tops off on Aug 1st so I am assured of getting the green tomatoes to ripen. Any blooms that form after that time don't have time to grow big tomatoes anyway. After a few more weeks, around Sept 1, I root prune about halfway around the plant to force more ripening.

If you prune off the tops, the plant will start to grow side suckers more rapidly. Keep an eye on those, as well and keep taking them off. In a longer growing season they can just leave the plants, but my season is about like your's, so pruning to ripen what is already there is necessary to get the most out of your time.

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