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tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 15:47

Did you know that like many plants; tomato plants develop "suckers" (branches that will not produce flowers/fruits) and should be pinched-off/pruned to promote more nutrients to the branches that "do" produce?

On the tomato plant; watch for growth of a stem in-between two established branches.

photo example below..



These should be removed by pinching with your thumb and finger. They get harder to spot as the plant gets bigger.. but by that time, there should be an abundance of fruit-producing flowers on the established branches.

We planted only two "Big-Boy" variety tomato plants this year. They're each planted in 5gal. buckets on our deck.



We have critters here.. that would make a meal of them otherwise. I'd like to do a garden.. but the soil here is lousy. I may try a small "elevated" garden next year.. but these two plants should produce plenty of fruits for Lynne and I.. maybe even enough to do some canning.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  NEW222 on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 17:35

Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I am not a veggie eater, but rather I enjoy growing very HOT peppers. As that are the same family in ways, I will take a peek at my plants to see what is up, and if they exibit this condition as well.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Ken Cook on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 18:52

I started mine from seeds this year and I have about 10 plants. They do well but the squirrels are the problem. They bite one bite out of the tomato and it's ruined. So nowadays I pick them green and leave them on the windowsill. I do this in the later fall months as well. I pack them xmas ball style in a box. You wrap them in brown paper and they will turn red. They don't taste like vine ripened, but they also are better than a store bought tomato. Typically by now, I always plant on Mother's day the plants are nearing 20-24". At this time of the month, is when the aphids can be devastating. I now know how to deal with them and I carefully wash the plants with soapy water and a spoonful of vegetable oil. Sounds a bit over the top, but they can ruin all the plants in less than a week.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 19:20

Ken Cook wrote:   At this time of the month, is when the aphids can be devastating. I now know how to deal with them and I carefully wash the plants with soapy water and a spoonful of vegetable oil. Sounds a bit over the top, but they can ruin all the plants in less than a week.

Do you get those nasty big green horn-worms? They're actually a type of caterpillar. They also can destroy the plants very quickly.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Ken Cook on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 20:10

They're the ugliest things on the planet. Not to mention incredibly destructive. I lost dozens of plants overnight to them. In the evening you can actually hear them chewing. They're incredibly stealthy and they're the same color as the tomato limb. I had a few with white like eggs on their backs. I didn't know this initially, but those white eggs are of a wasp which lays it's eggs on the back and when they hatch they seek out hornworms for food. If you see a hornworm with these rice like eggs on their back it's best to leave them so I'm told due to the wasp nearing it's hatching stage.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  RknRusty on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 20:22

roddie wrote:Do you get those nasty big green horn-worms? They're actually a type of caterpillar. They also can destroy the plants very quickly.
They sure will. They ate most of the big leaves off of our Hibiscus, which is an impressive flowering semi-tropical plant. If properly acclimated, they do well here in SC, even surviving the winter in a pot. Ours was making beautiful huge red flowers until the worms took over. Holley sprayed it with a mixture of Dawn detergent, Listerine, Cayenne, and maybe something else. We thought it had finished off what the worms started and almost declared it dead. But this week, new leaves emerged and yesterday a bloom came back.

We gave up on tomatoes. After our Lab Nilla died of old age, we found out just how many gray squirrels live in the area. If the little bastids(the NY pronunciation) would share with each other it wouldn't be so bad. But they like to pick them, take one bite and pick another one. She and I used to shoot them with my 22 cal. Benjamin pump air rifle out of the bathroom window with Beeman hollowpoint pellets, but she's gone all compassionate in our old age, so we quit planting maters. Too bad, she was a helluva good shot.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  getback on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 23:07

Yea one those suckers ate MOST one my mater plants lately .. i noticed it was stripped and got to looking next plant to it there it was !!! big and green (( you know their blood is green too!! 4th of July Flag Other than that the weeds tried to take over cause the rain just kept coming , Half ass under control now but more to do . Got some really hott jalapenos this year , cucumbers are just about to bust loose Beer Cheers
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  rsv1cox on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 06:49

For the first year since living here I planted....nothing!  No corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. nothing.  

I gave in to nature.  The deer ate my corn and tomatoes, rabbits everything else.  Flowers too, deer love lilies and leafy plants, bunnies eat my phlox.  What the mammals didn't get the Japanese Beetles did.  Local black bears regularly knock down my bird feeder and  consume the seeds.  

No problem, except for the beetles.  I love the wild animals.  Looking out the bathroom window this morning I caught a fat ground hog out by the spa, yesterday morning Laverne and Shirley (or maybe Bevis and Butthead) my resident rabbits making nice in what used to be a flower garden.  Deer are everywhere, Coyotes, Chipmunks, Squirrels, and Fox too.  Birds abound.  It's like living in the middle of a zoo.  

The bunnies are a hoot.  Maybe it's fore-play or they are just having fun but for weeks they have provided me with entertainment.  One will run toward the other, the other would jump a couple of feet straight up while the runner ran directly beneath then turn around and stare each other down.  It's fun watching old blind Spike chase the rabbits.  He can't see them but he can hear and smell them.  









Bob
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 07:35

I forgot to post this photo last night.. behold; the tomato Hornworm..



That's a web-photo. I haven't found any of these yet.. but like Ken mentioned; they're very difficult to spot. We may have a better defense where our plants are not in the ground.. but I'll remain vigilant.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  crankbndr on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 07:51

Squirrel catcher, won't work on females.


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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 08:21

crankbndr wrote:Squirrel catcher, won't work on females.



oh nuts.......
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  micro 0951 on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 09:19

crankbndr wrote:Squirrel catcher, won't work on females.



Could this be that secret 'life-hack' for squirrel control?
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Mark Boesen on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 12:59

ouch!!!!!

...so here's my li'l garden project (third summer) of growing cayenne pepper from last years seeds.
Thought it was kind of interesting that the plants seem to prefer one color of plastic over the other, i'd guess the darker color warms the dirt more, promoting growth?

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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 13:41

Mark Boesen wrote:ouch!!!!!

...so here's my li'l garden project (third summer) of growing cayenne pepper from last years seeds.
Thought it was kind of interesting that the plants seem to prefer one color of plastic over the other, i'd guess the darker color warms the dirt more, promoting growth?


Do any of them have flowers yet? That will be the real test. An abundance of "bushy-foliage" can take-away from the plants energy to produce the flowers that will bear the fruits. It's a very interesting observation though.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Mark Boesen on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 13:50

Not yet, they grow slow, i'd guess in the next week or two? I also have 11 plants in a small elevated garden, but they're slightly smaller.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Cribbs74 on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 16:07




Here is my garden this year. I don't get horn worms, but I more than make up for that with squash bugs and vine boring beetles. It takes some managing to get ahead of those things.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 16:26

Lookin' good Ron! I really want to adopt that method. The soil in our yard is terrible. I can't get a spade-shovel to penetrate more than 3" before I hit hard-pack gravel..
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Mark Boesen on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 23:02

Mark Boesen wrote:Not yet, they grow slow, i'd guess in the next week or two? I also have 11 plants in a small elevated garden, but they're slightly smaller.

looked closer and yep, some are starting to flower...also since the cat is getting older we're getting bunnies!



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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 07:58

Mark Boesen wrote:
Mark Boesen wrote:Not yet, they grow slow, i'd guess in the next week or two? I also have 11 plants in a small elevated garden, but they're slightly smaller.

looked closer and yep, some are starting to flower...also since the cat is getting older we're getting bunnies!




Just curious.. are there flowers on the larger/potted-plants? It's interesting how the color of the pots seemed to affect the growth and color of the plants. I've had non-vegetable flowering-plants of the same variety that grew "spindly" with lots of blossoms while others were "bushy" with very few blossoms.

I hope you get a good crop! We also have a family of wild bunnies this season.. and they ate the leaves off some of our plants that were in pots on the ground. You might want to watch-out for that with yours. I don't know if they'd eat Cayenne-pepper plant leaves though.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Mark Boesen on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 09:22

i had to add the fence, they (?) chewed a couple plants in the garden pretty good, but haven't touched the pots, maybe too tall? The buds seem about the same, grey vs. clay color, we'll see what it looks like in a week or two. I think we lost one of the bunnies, there's two that moved to the other side of yard and live under the shed.
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  getback on Fri 07 Jul 2017, 20:15

Man I am sorry But i have never seen A Bunny that looked like that !
This is is our bunny (((well years ago like 5-6 ))) Well i can not find the pic now but from the web.https://www.google.com/search?q=baby+bunnies+sale+nc&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiBu9b0wPjUAhUGySYKHXMlBs4Q_AUIBygC&biw=1600&bih=721 Sorry i opened my big mouth now!! lol!
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  getback on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 09:36

Here is some pics of my poor little garden this year , Too much rain and not able to get the weeds out have taken a toll on progression,.....



This is all i have canned so far Sad
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 20:05

Hey Eric, Your garden looks ok to me! You know how it is.. one day it doesn't look like it's doing that well.. and a few days later.. it's flourishing! The weather has been all over the place up here in RI. Get out there with a bucket after it rains.. and pull weeds. The roots relax.. and they're easier to pull-out.. and get the "whole weed" along with its roots.

We've got "maters" coming!




Nothing compared to what you've planted though.. Shocked Do you feed them? We use "Miracle-Grow" every 7-10 days on all of our plants.

We bought a couple of Basil plants.. but something went wrong with them.. so I bought two more plants a few weeks later.



The first plants are the smaller ones. They look better now... and are coming along. They may have been over-watered. Lynne cuts the basil and makes Pesto. It's REALLY GOOD! It's basically a combination of the basil-leaves, pine-nuts, fresh-grated Parmesan-cheese and Olive-oil... pureed in a blender. We have it with "Agnolotti"..(similar to ravioli)  and it's to die for...



Are you hungry yet?
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  Mark Boesen on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 15:44

roddie wrote:
Mark Boesen wrote:ouch!!!!!

...so here's my li'l garden project (third summer) of growing cayenne pepper from last years seeds.
Thought it was kind of interesting that the plants seem to prefer one color of plastic over the other, i'd guess the darker color warms the dirt more, promoting growth?


Do any of them have flowers yet? That will be the real test. An abundance of "bushy-foliage" can take-away from the plants energy to produce the flowers that will bear the fruits. It's a very interesting observation though.


yep sure enough, the taller, lighter colored plants have considerable more flowers, than the darker, bushier plants...
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Re: tomato plant tip

Post  roddie on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 17:00

Mark Boesen wrote:

[url=https://servimg.com/view/16862646/1952][/url

yep sure enough, the taller, lighter colored plants have considerable more flowers, than the darker, bushier plants...

Mark, looking at the above photo.. it appears that the soil in the "dark-colored" pots is drier than the lighter-colored ones. That would make sense.. because the darker pots will get hotter in the sun.. than the lighter-colored ones. You may notice that the lighter pots feel "heavier".. because they're retaining more water. You could try an easy experiment.. by wrapping one (or all..) of the dark-colored pots with tin-foil.. just around the sides. This would reflect rather than absorb the sunlight/heat.

As for the ones planted in the ground.. Huh... How do they compare with the ones in the pots? They look (to me..) to be "bushy".. like the ones in the dark-colored pots. I see that there's no mulch around those plants. Another experiment you can try; is to bag your grass-clippings when you mow.. and spread the clippings around the base of those plants. The clippings will quickly dry-out and turn to a light-beige color.. which will both; reflect light (compared to dark-colored dirt..) and retain moisture. Once it's watered-in.. it tends to form a "mat" that stays-put.. and won't blow-away in the wind. It also acts like a natural weed-block.

I've never grown peppers.. but the plants may need to be consistently hydrated. If the root-system is allowed to dry-out between watering.. it could affect the production of the flowers that will bear the peppers. The vines may be thin.. and require a lot of stakes for support. Be prepared for that.. and drive some bamboo-stakes in all around them when you see flowers coming. Tend them daily with twisty-ties to keep them elevated and spread-out to catch the sunlight. You'll get some peppers!
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