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overgrown indeterminates

Brainerd, MN

Some of my container tomatoes' stems and leaves grew very fast while I was away unexpectedly for over a week. Now I have several large-leafed 4 foot indeterminate plants that are flowering only lightly at the top. Best to trim everything back and delay new fruiting or live with so much non-productive green below? They look plenty healthy but they're all leaf and stems. (Also, we have had very few hot or even warm days so far this year.)

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I normally trim all the leaves below the first set of flowers. I have use this technique for 4 years.
There are two great videos on you tube called: Tons of Tomatoes
part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh-VcwS3qus
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6yljCs0444

This guy is from Dallas, so I don't know if the same technique will apply for your area. For sure it works for me.

Good luck !

Brainerd, MN

Thanks much drthor... VERY helpful

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the link, it was very good.

Jan

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Michelangelo,
here is a picture for you and I hope you can see what I am trying to explain.
Look at the trunk of the tomatoes = no leaves ...
Every time I harvest I trim all the leaves below the tomato clusters and also all the leaves that might turn yellow or other colors ... also I am opening out room for the sun to reach in the middle of the plant ...
I am pushing all the energy on fruit production and not leaves.
So far I am overwhelmed by tomatoes ..

looking forward to see picture of your tomatoes really soon

Thumbnail by drthor
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

drthor

What ever do you do with that amount of maters? Do you can?

Jan

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I freeze a lot. I am not very fond of canning ...
The small cherry tomatoes go straight on a ziplock bag in the freezer. I just take them out and drop on the pot whne I will make sauces.
I blanch the larger ones, remove the peel, dice them and freeze them.
I make a lot of roasted tomatoes and tomato gratin and tomato everything ... weeee

You have to understand that I don't buy any store tomatoes the all year ... this is my joy !

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

drthor

to never have to purchase those red things they call tomatoes must be heaven. I've been so long without a homegrown tomato that I could just die. I hope to change that later this year, as I'm going to plant out as many heirloom tomatoes as I have grown bags/pots for.

Tomato gratin, may I ask what this is? You will notice I'm not doing much cooking these days, as my sweet DH does that.

Where does one go to find out the many ways to cook with tomatoes?

Jan

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

meadowyck
here is a basic recipe for TOMATOES GRATIN. Super easy. I also make it with larger sliced tomatoes (about 1/2" thick)
http://www.food.com/recipe/cherry-tomato-gratin-250868

You can use the herb of your choice. Now I have lots of basil growing.

buonissimo ...

Rocky Point, NC

@drthor

Thanks for the info. I'm going to start cutting the bottom stems off.
Do you also sucker your tomatoes? My tomato vines are so thick this year, and are really bunching up in my homemade cages. I usually don't sucker my vines, but I'm considering it.

...and love the recipe!

Thanks

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

jinxi,
yes, I remove suckers from my tomatoes. It make common sense to me to focus the energy on growing fruits and not leaves.
I don't remove suckers from GOLD NUGGET - which is just 3' tall and my most prolific yellow tomato (you must plant this variety)
Have a look at the thread I started this year on my tomato adventure. As you can see I transplanted the plants outside on February 17th ... and everybody was laughing ... ah ah ah
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1243441/
You can scroll at the end and look at pictures of my tomato plants.
I am always trimming suckers and leaves.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I have been following your thread there.

So when do you start your tomatoes? I've just found out that where I live now, I can't grow them during the "regular" season like folks up north, I have to grow them starting in late august through may the following year. So I'm gearing up to start some in grow bags. We rent and the owner doesn't want his lawn dug up for a garden... which with all the diseases down here, I think grow bags are the way to go, so that is what I'm doing.

Jan

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

meadowyck,
Are you asking me about fall tomatoes?
I don't grow fall tomatoes.
But some people do here in my area.
They started the seeds middle of May, planting them out NO LATER than June 20th.

My 2013 tomatoes will be seeded at the end of December, when there will be a FRUIT DAY (by M. Thun Bio-dynamic calendar)

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Yes, fall tomatoes, I though you were pretty close to our growing season here since you have the heat as well.

So their seedling can handle the heat in June??? hot hot hot....

Jan

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I actually did try to grow fall tomatoes for two years and it was not worth for me.
Yes, they went trough the summer, but they took forever to make fruits in the fall. It was either too wet, too cloudy or some strange weather ... The few tomatoes I harvested where not as good as the spring ones ... or lost most of them to an early freeze !!
I don't have much room so I need to make choices.
I loveeee all the fall crops that grow so well here in the fall ... OMG ! ... with no bugs ..
Let me know how your fall tomatoes will do.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

well, I would have through it warm enough to get good results, Yes to garden with out the bugs would be heaven.

Jan

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

michelangelo,
any signs of tomatoes yet?

Rocky Point, NC

@drthor

I read your forum thread. Great job! Great pics too! I read the post from Penny at Penny's Tomatoes. I'm a grower for her and Pepper Joe.
I love the info on here!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Dallas seems close but is actually flip season for folx in Fl- Houston, etc- our wet season is opposite theirs even in dry years and I think that is part of the difference, but also sea levels are different

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Interesting kittriana

Jan

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