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robotr73
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I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse?

Tomatoes were a big win for me this year - I didn't buy any vines, just let the little seedlings grow up from 2012, and transplanted a few.

If anything there was way too much vigor towards the end.

Coming from the wine industry, one of the many rules of thumb is that controlling fruit yield will produce higher quality fruit. Controlling vigor, and pulling leaves will also improve quality. I've always been curious if these rules of thumb hold for other fruits and veggies too.
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Here they are later on - getting unmanageable!
Here they are later on - getting unmanageable!
DSCN0658.JPG (63.07 KiB) Viewed 1570 times
Here's a few transplanted vines from early in the season...
Here's a few transplanted vines from early in the season...
DSCN0219.JPG (40.77 KiB) Viewed 1570 times

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rainbowgardener
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

Nice to have volunteers. Did they produce well for you? I always get a bunch of volunteer tomato seedlings, everywhere I put my compost. Since I don't have a lot of room and I have a bunch of plants I started from seed, I have never tried growing the volunteers out.

I expect that controlling the number of fruits might make for bigger ones, though I haven't tried it. I think pruning/ reducing the amount of leaves is controversial. I do some pruning for air circulation, trimming out some of the branches that grow in to the center. I think this is helpful in disease prevention in my humid climate. But over pruning I think can reduce the plant's energy and therefore productiveness.
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digitS'
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

Volunteers are not likely to produce ripe fruit in my garden - too much cool spring weather, too cool of summer nights.

I am curious why pulling leaves would improve quality, robotr73. Would it be that it allows more sunlight to reach the grapes and so, a reason for the grape growers to do this?

I have had various methods for supporting (& not supporting) the tomato vines over the years. After several years of "the sprawl," I went back to tying up the plants in 2011. One thing that I noticed was that there was significantly more splitting & sunscald on the tomatoes that year. It was very noticeable since it was confined to the south side of the plants and the fruit on the north side, didn't have the sun damage.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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robotr73
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

rainbowgardener wrote:Nice to have volunteers. Did they produce well for you? I always get a bunch of volunteer tomato seedlings, everywhere I put my compost. Since I don't have a lot of room and I have a bunch of plants I started from seed, I have never tried growing the volunteers out.

I expect that controlling the number of fruits might make for bigger ones, though I haven't tried it. I think pruning/ reducing the amount of leaves is controversial. I do some pruning for air circulation, trimming out some of the branches that grow in to the center. I think this is helpful in disease prevention in my humid climate. But over pruning I think can reduce the plant's energy and therefore productiveness.

Hi there

These vines all produced quite well. Admittedly, it was only about half the yield that you'd expect getting new vines from the nursery in the spring, but for my wife and I it was just enough fruit, as opposed to far more than we can possibly pick/eat! I do notice a lot of the leaves towards the center when the vines get vigorous are pretty spotty - it would make sense to clean those up. Cheers

Dave

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robotr73
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

digitS' wrote:Volunteers are not likely to produce ripe fruit in my garden - too much cool spring weather, too cool of summer nights.

I am curious why pulling leaves would improve quality, robotr73. Would it be that it allows more sunlight to reach the grapes and so, a reason for the grape growers to do this?

I have had various methods for supporting (& not supporting) the tomato vines over the years. After several years of "the sprawl," I went back to tying up the plants in 2011. One thing that I noticed was that there was significantly more splitting & sunscald on the tomatoes that year. It was very noticeable since it was confined to the south side of the plants and the fruit on the north side, didn't have the sun damage.

Steve
Hi Steve

When growing grapes, leaf pulling can, by increasing exposure to the sun, facilitate the breakdown of compounds associated with green/vegetal aromas, which are seen as defects in most reds.

Interesting point about the sprawl - I have never tried this, but it might be worth a shot. I am betting I'll see a few more volunteers this year. Just have to be on top of the inevitable snail infestation I deal with every year, which, if left unchecked, can destroy a weekend of planting in a few hours!

Cheers

Dave.

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digitS'
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

Ah, well - snails, Dave?!

Slugs here and they really appreciate the fruit being where they can get at it easily. I had less slug damage by getting the plants out of a sprawl and tied up into more vertical growing.

Trade-offs, I'm afraid ;) .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

I think OP is growing tomatoes, not grapes. The wine industry was just a mention of previous work and wondering if similar things hold true for tomato vines.
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gixxerific
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Re: I didn't have to buy vines this year - blessing or curse

Blessing or curse that is a hard one. I as well as the others so far in this thread live in colder regions than you. So our volunteers are either too late or just in the way. You have a better climate to grow them in. By the time mine start popping up I have transplants that are a foot or better. Some say they will catch up others say fooy!! Never tried this though I have wanted too, just never materializes.

That being said I know a LOT of tomato growers/breeders that will not grow out volunteers. They have various reason mainly that they do not produce a worthy fruit. Though that makes no sense to me. Since it is the same seed you went through all the trouble to do what mother nature could be doing for you when saving the seed. So why would they not be the same? Don't shoot the messenger. :)

Good luck with any future volunteers.

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