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Tomato Totem - removing side branches


 
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MargeSimpson
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Tomato Totem - removing side branches Reply with quote

" It is important to remove the side branches from the plants, feed regularly and keep the roots supplied with moisture. It requires no side shooting or pinching, but may need staking when full of fruit. "

These are the instructions that I found with regard to the care of Tomato F1 Totem.
I've included a pic of my plant and I was wondering what would you consider the side branches? I can hardly remove all the branches bar the main stem??
I've marked in red where I would think the side branches are and the yellow X is where the first flower appeared today.

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject: shooting tomatoes Reply with quote

ANY tomato which is designed to grow a single stem has to be "shot". The parts of your plant with the red markers could indeed be termed 'branches'. Do not remove any of these until the first fruits have set a truss. And then only remove the bottom one. At any given point in time you need a minimum of about six of these branches to produce the growing power for the main stem.

At the point where you placed your red markers shoots should appear very soon, growing out between the butt of the 'branch' and the main stem, usually starting from the lowest branch, and working up along the branches week by week if that makes sense to you. These shoots (if the DO appear ) should be pinched out as soon as you can actually hold them and I don't care what the 'instructions' say.

If these side shoots are not removed they will vigourously attempt to form separate tomato stems and will destroy the vigour of the plant and reduce the crop.

You will have to support the main stem with a string hanging from an overhead beam or whatever you can manage and the string needs to be about 8' long for most single stem plants. As the stem grows you can attend to it once a week every week by taking out any side shoots you find and gently wrapping the plant around the string.

I learned all this from the tomato growers of Rush as a teenager in the 50s and I really hope someone else pipes up here. Growing tomatoes is a hugely satisfying exercise and is more complex than complicated.

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stop the lights. The part marked X is where the truss or blossom is and where the tomatoes will come after pollination takes place. Do not remove the leaves marked with with red line. The side shoots to be removed will emerge between the main stem and where those leaves marked in red emerge
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Ben Yezir
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also a school of thought that says you should not trim side branches, you can do a search and see what I mean. I read a long article last month about it.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if the plants are of determinate habit the side shoots are not removed. However if the plants are of indeterminate habit then the side shoots are removed. In the latter case the side shoots develop and the fruit remains small and where growth is too congested diseases occur and are not easily controlled
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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MargeSimpson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Side shoots or side branches.... are these the same thing.

I was going to remove these shoots (marked X). They are small shoots appearing between 2 branches:
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes these are the correct ones to remove, excellent picture and perfect diagram.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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Ben Yezir
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's a "determinate habit"?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

determinate habit is that the plant will not grow high but will spread each shoot dividing in two or three and these in turn doing likewise.These plants do not need support.
Indeterminate is the opposite where the plant grows tall indefinitely and needs to be supported.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: shooting tomatoes Reply with quote

Thanks Marje Thanks Michael.

I have just put in ONE Moneymaker and ONE Gardener's Delight in a triple tombag and have put up the strings etc. . I got the two plants last Monday about four inches high and already the Gardeners delight is twice the size of the Moneymaker, even though they have been treated identically. Just thought I'd share.

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