Tomato plant questions
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04-06-2017, 02:28 PM
Tomato plant questions
Hopefully we have some gardening experts around.

I live in a 3rd floor apartment. I only have 1 tomato plant and want to use this growing season as a learning experience for when I buy a house and can start a real garden. My plant is an indeterminate cherry tomato variety. Won't lie, i threw away the label when i bought the plant and I forgot the exact type. I've already learned from that mistake.

I just picked the first tomato today. So far, there a 2 flower clusters each with 4-6 pieces of fruit and a few other flowers that should develop fruit soon. This first tomato popped up and matured a lot faster than the rest. After picking that one, there are 9 other tomatoes developing, most only about 15-25% the size of the ripe tomato I just picked. (It appears a third flower cluster is developing on the top/newest stem, but it's hard to be sure).

I've been reading about the anatomy of the plant and pruning techniques. From what I understand, the "suckers", located around the axil should be pinched off, but I'm not sure why. What's the purpose of this? Is it just about energy/resource allocation, as in focusing energy and resources to fruit production rather than stem/leaf production?

I'm also reading differing opinions on if they should pinched at all. Any information or opinions would be appreciated.

Obviously, I want as many and as high quality tomatoes as possible but don't really know if pruning to get more tomatoes will affect the quality of the whole harvest because of resource allocation. Am I just over thinking it?

Also, I noticed that one flower on the first cluster developed two pieces of fruit. That flower was by far the last one on that cluster to make fruit. Is that common?
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04-06-2017, 02:40 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
(04-06-2017 02:28 PM)Mrhall1923 Wrote:  Hopefully we have some gardening experts around.

I live in a 3rd floor apartment. I only have 1 tomato plant and want to use this growing season as a learning experience for when I buy a house and can start a real garden. My plant is an indeterminate cherry tomato variety. Won't lie, i threw away the label when i bought the plant and I forgot the exact type. I've already learned from that mistake.

I just picked the first tomato today. So far, there a 2 flower clusters each with 4-6 pieces of fruit and a few other flowers that should develop fruit soon. This first tomato popped up and matured a lot faster than the rest. After picking that one, there are 9 other tomatoes developing, most only about 15-25% the size of the ripe tomato I just picked. (It appears a third flower cluster is developing on the top/newest stem, but it's hard to be sure).

I've been reading about the anatomy of the plant and pruning techniques. From what I understand, the "suckers", located around the axil should be pinched off, but I'm not sure why. What's the purpose of this? Is it just about energy/resource allocation, as in focusing energy and resources to fruit production rather than stem/leaf production?

I'm also reading differing opinions on if they should pinched at all. Any information or opinions would be appreciated.

Obviously, I want as many and as high quality tomatoes as possible but don't really know if pruning to get more tomatoes will affect the quality of the whole harvest because of resource allocation. Am I just over thinking it?

Also, I noticed that one flower on the first cluster developed two pieces of fruit. That flower was by far the last one on that cluster to make fruit. Is that common?

I never prune tomatoes (been growing them for some 50 years). I find that the plant benefits from additional green surfaces (leaves) absorbing sunlight (tomatoes can never have too much sunlight). You don't say where you are growing it - sunny window? Balcony? Grow light? Light matters more than anything else.

Indeterminate was the wrong choice for growing in a pot - be prepared to give it a big trellis or other support - tie it to something as it grows. You want determinate or patio varieties for growing in pots.

Developing two tomatoes from one flower isn't common but it happens, and sometimes runs in a strain. (DNA determined)

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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04-06-2017, 02:59 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
Balcony's going to be a problem for tomatoes unless it has a southern exposure. They need a lot of sun. If you're gonna grow indeterminate on a balcony then put them in hanging baskets so you don't need to trellis them.

#sigh
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04-06-2017, 03:01 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
(04-06-2017 02:40 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(04-06-2017 02:28 PM)Mrhall1923 Wrote:  Hopefully we have some gardening experts around.

I live in a 3rd floor apartment. I only have 1 tomato plant and want to use this growing season as a learning experience for when I buy a house and can start a real garden. My plant is an indeterminate cherry tomato variety. Won't lie, i threw away the label when i bought the plant and I forgot the exact type. I've already learned from that mistake.

I just picked the first tomato today. So far, there a 2 flower clusters each with 4-6 pieces of fruit and a few other flowers that should develop fruit soon. This first tomato popped up and matured a lot faster than the rest. After picking that one, there are 9 other tomatoes developing, most only about 15-25% the size of the ripe tomato I just picked. (It appears a third flower cluster is developing on the top/newest stem, but it's hard to be sure).

I've been reading about the anatomy of the plant and pruning techniques. From what I understand, the "suckers", located around the axil should be pinched off, but I'm not sure why. What's the purpose of this? Is it just about energy/resource allocation, as in focusing energy and resources to fruit production rather than stem/leaf production?

I'm also reading differing opinions on if they should pinched at all. Any information or opinions would be appreciated.

Obviously, I want as many and as high quality tomatoes as possible but don't really know if pruning to get more tomatoes will affect the quality of the whole harvest because of resource allocation. Am I just over thinking it?

Also, I noticed that one flower on the first cluster developed two pieces of fruit. That flower was by far the last one on that cluster to make fruit. Is that common?

I never prune tomatoes (been growing them for some 50 years). I find that the plant benefits from additional green surfaces (leaves) absorbing sunlight (tomatoes can never have too much sunlight). You don't say where you are growing it - sunny window? Balcony? Grow light? Light matters more than anything else.

Indeterminate was the wrong choice for growing in a pot - be prepared to give it a big trellis or other support - tie it to something as it grows. You want determinate or patio varieties for growing in pots.

Developing two tomatoes from one flower isn't common but it happens, and sometimes runs in a strain. (DNA determined)

Thanks for the info!

It's on my 3rd floor balcony. I know tomatoes need a lot of sun. It does get a good amount but not all day sun like would be ideal. But I don't have any other option.

Why are indeterminates a bad option for pots? Just because it will outgrow the pot?

The reason I chose it is because I want to move the pot inside before the first frost and keep the plant going and producing via grow lights through the winter, if possible. From what I understand, that's not doable with determinates. Is that correct?
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04-06-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
(04-06-2017 02:59 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Balcony's going to be a problem for tomatoes unless it has a southern exposure. They need a lot of sun. If you're gonna grow indeterminate on a balcony then put them in hanging baskets so you don't need to trellis them.

I know it's not ideal, but the plant is very healthy and is producing good fruit so far. As mentioned, it already has around 10 tomatoes and is about to pop out a new flower cluster. Should it be doing better than that?
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04-06-2017, 03:08 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
(04-06-2017 03:05 PM)Mrhall1923 Wrote:  
(04-06-2017 02:59 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Balcony's going to be a problem for tomatoes unless it has a southern exposure. They need a lot of sun. If you're gonna grow indeterminate on a balcony then put them in hanging baskets so you don't need to trellis them.

I know it's not ideal, but the plant is very healthy and is producing good fruit so far. As mentioned, it already has around 10 tomatoes and is about to pop out a new flower cluster. Should it be doing better than that?

Nope. I usually look at the leaves to tell how my tomatoes are doing. Note that I'm not saying I know what's causing it or what to do about it, I just know that yellow leaves curling up and dying are not a good sign.

#sigh
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04-06-2017, 03:08 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
Oh and my balcony does face south
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04-06-2017, 03:09 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
(04-06-2017 03:08 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(04-06-2017 03:05 PM)Mrhall1923 Wrote:  I know it's not ideal, but the plant is very healthy and is producing good fruit so far. As mentioned, it already has around 10 tomatoes and is about to pop out a new flower cluster. Should it be doing better than that?

Nope. I usually look at the leaves to tell how my tomatoes are doing. Note that I'm not saying I know what's causing it or what to do about it, I just know that yellow leaves curling up and dying are not a good sign.

The leaves aren't turning yellow or dying
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04-06-2017, 03:11 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
(04-06-2017 03:08 PM)Mrhall1923 Wrote:  Oh and my balcony does face south

You can grow pretty much anything then. Year round if you're in Zone 9+.

#sigh
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04-06-2017, 03:15 PM
RE: Tomato plant questions
I always pinch off every second flower when they first appear—IE: leave 50%. Seems to stimulate the others that are left to fruit better.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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