Training and Sucker Pruning a Tomato Plant

Training and Sucker Pruning a Tomato Plant

Pruning Determinant and Undetermined Tomato Plants Tomatoes are either determinate or indeterminate. This will depend on the tomato plant’s growth habit of stopping at a determined height vs a plant that keeps on growing indeterminately. Tomato plant suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. If it is an indeterminate and left to grow, the suckers will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and will generate more suckers of their own. This will be a problem if the pattern continues indeterminately. Determinant tomato plants have a predetermined growth cycle. When they reach a certain height they cease growing. If you are growing a determinate, pruning is of little importance. You might consider removing a few lower branches once it has grown a bit to assist in air circulation under the plant. The Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato , for example, is a determinant type. It’s perfect for a smaller container such as the 5lt Hydro-Organic passive container. The  Bonsai Cherry Tomato doesn’t fruit until the branches are pretty much fully grown and then they set their fruit all at once. So pruning is not required. You will need to harvest all the tomatoes within a very short time of one another. Indeterminate tomato plants you will want to have under growth control. If you leave all the suckers to grow, your plants will become heavy besides crowding out other plants. It’s incredible this vegetable plants eagerness to grow and live. The indeterminate growth pattern is exponential. From the main stem a suckers will keep forming in the crotch of all the leaves. These will grow into a vines shooting off suckers as well. At that rate you could get over crowded in a very short time. Removing some suckers will result in a more compact plant and larger tomatoes. Training and Pruning an Indeterminate Tomato Plant Your going to want to understand that an indeterminate tomato plant needs first to have something placed for support, trained then pruned constantly. To train the plant to stay within your support, you will have to “top-it-off” by cutting the “top” of the main stem. Afterwards, during it’s growth it will require constant pruning of the emerging suckers. Pruning suckers has a lot to do with the thickness of the stems and quality of the tomatoes. Training an Indeterminate Tomato Plant The plant will need to be trained to only grow in the space you have assigned to it. Tomato plants will ramble on and on given the chance. Controlling this large growth by topping off the plant after one or two suckers form is necessary. Perhaps the only exception is when you are placing the container where the plant can grow onto the arms of a Flying Nun Vivero or next to a trellis in the patio. But even then at some point your going to have to control the growth. The first thing you want to do is set up a trellis, cage or bamboo branch for the vine to grow into. Bamboo branches are ideal for this purpose. They have a main stem with lots of random branches radiating outwards. Place the bamboo branch into the container while the plant is very young. Then, in the upcoming days, train it stay inside that space while maximizing light and air exposure. You do that in two ways, topping it off and trimming the sucker shoots. When to cut off  (top) the lead stem depends on the size of the container. Obviously the larger the container the more space it will have but topping...

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Determinate Verses Indeterminate Tomato Plants

Determinate Verses Indeterminate Tomato Plants

Difference Between Determinant & Indeterminate Tomato Plants To be, or not to be a determinate or indeterminate tomato plant, is not part of a gardeners decision making once the seeds are in hand. These traits are inherent in the tomato plants genetic imprint within the seed. With either an indeterminate or determinate, tomato plant, 5 to 10 leaf fronds emerge out of the primary shoot of a young tomato vine before a flower cluster emerges. That means there will be at least 4 to 9 inter-nodes before a flower cluster appears on the vine. At that point the two types part company, so to speak. The indeterminate will keep growing in an exponential manner while the determinate will stop growing, get fatter stems and start focus on it’s fruits. If a tomato reaches a certain size and stops growing, it is called a determinant tomato plant. However if the suckers keep on growing and growing out of the pot and into the frying pan, it is called indeterminate. The determinants stop growing and producing. The indeterminate’s keep on keeping on… forever, it seams. An indeterminate tomato plant will need to be pruned while a determinant will not. You can catch up on how to prune indeterminate suckers by reading Sucker Pruning a Tomato Plant. It’s easy to do! Indeterminate Tomato Plants Although indeterminate tomato plants look like they have a single main stem, this is not the case, all side shoots are replicates of the first stem. The growth of the first emerging stem ends with the formation of the first flower. Upward growth continues because the last leaf initiated before the flower cluster, produces a side shoot. These should be viewed as more main stems. The side shoot produces 3 more leaves before it produces another flower cluster. This process of initiating new growth from a side shoot of the last leaf (initiated before the flower cluster) continues indefinitely. This gives the appearance of another main stem with a flower cluster in the inter node between every three leaf nodes. Most heritage types are indeterminate varieties. You can tell if a tomato plant is determinate or indeterminate by looking at how the flower cluster comes off the stem. If it is centered and shooting out from the tip of the stem, then it is a determinate plant. If the flower cluster is off to one side with the stem growing past the cluster, then it has an indeterminate growth pattern. Determinant Tomato Plants With a determinate tomato plant type, the process differs in that the side shoot above the first flower cluster produces 0 to 2 leaf nodes and a flower cluster but no further shoots. This ends the upward growth of the plant, making the main stem much shorter. Many side shoots will be sent from the first primary shoot. This gives the plant a bushy appearance. Each secondary side shoot eventually terminates in a flower cluster as did the primary shoot. Most determinate tomato plants need no support or pruning. The simultaneous growth of many flower clusters on determinate vines promotes earliness and concentrates fruit maturity compared to an indeterminate. Most modern commercial canners are determinate. It is the only way a commercial operation can function in a controlled growth environment. It is less work and fiddling in the garden or patio. Semi-Determinant Tomato Plants Few might want a 3rd class of a tomato plant but for clarities sake lets through it in. Shoots of semi-determinate plants produce several flower clusters to the side of an apparent main stem, like indeterminate’s, but eventually the shoot terminates in a...

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Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato

Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato

Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato General Description This Red Cherry Tomato is a mini plant that likes small places and containers. It grows to only a 30cm height, perfect for a 5lt Vegetable Hydro-Organic pot. It is what they call a determinant tomato, meaning it will grow to its dwarf size and then stops the show. Have  you ever grown a cherry tomato and it seams to never stop crawling and crawling and crawling up its support? Well not this baby. She will get to her 30cm height and start to flower if not before. The flavor is sweet and perfect for accenting any dish. But don’t count on it. Your probably going to want to pop a few in your mouth every day as your inspecting your brood. So plant a few extra pots for the kitchen as well. Or… if I may be so bold as to recommend planting a full aquaponic-tower full of Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato Plants. It will be a very showy affair. Tat-tat it at your neighbor who buys his produce at the local poisonous grocery store. (excuse my sarcasm. I couldn’t help it.) But be kind to the traditional mind-set you find living near by. They need to be “suggested” into saving himself and humanity… not shamed into it. That is the way people change, by love not strength of force. Force closes minds, being an example for them stimulates their desire. Have fun with it all! Be cool, be kind and you will be happy! Growing Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato Forget about how difficult some seeds are to germinate… like many peppers. Plant the Bonsai Dwarf Red Cherry Tomato seeds directly into the 5lt Veggie Pot because it’ll be waking up from it’s seed nap in less than 4 days. You can see the image on the picture-carousel above of the seedling. We plated it on Saturday and it was in our face smiling up like a happy baby on the following Thursday. I was taken back. It has a slight red tint to the stems and leaves that is unmistakably cute,...

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