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tomato question

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by joclyn on May 21, 2006 11:25 AM
i planted two tomato plants last weekend (2 dif varieties). neither has grown any appreciable amount. i just noticed that they both have flower buds at the top.

should i pinch these off? i'd like the plants to get larger before they start producing fruit - altho, it would be nice to have early fruit too.

this has never happened to me before...i did plant these a bit earlier than i have previously (and it's been a few years since i did tom's). still, they've always grown and spread out a bit before putting out flowers.
by Greenthumb newbee on May 21, 2006 05:43 PM
You could if you like. Tomato plants grow like a tree. first you see very little growing because they have to develope a good root system before they grow big out of the ground. At the end of the season when the plants die off puul them and see how big the roots are. Staking them and providing SUPPORT for them makes a HUGH difference. I tried the cages but the plants got too big and fell over so NOW I use a tomato fence (got it at farm and fleet) folded it in half and use it like a GIANT cage. The plants filled it in.
by joclyn on May 21, 2006 07:49 PM
yes, i know that they can get out of hand! the last time i had one (3 years ago) the thing was an out-and-out BUSH! and i did nothing to it at all...hit a busy spot at work and didn't even have time to water the thing. the weather was just right for it, tho, and i got a ton of fruit!

it didn't bud so quickly after being planted tho. in fact, it grew for a month before any buds appeared...that's what has me confused with these this year. since i planted them it's been chilly and rainy...seems odd that they'd be budding already as they haven't gotten any bigger at all!!
by elkwc36 on May 22, 2006 02:56 AM
Another one of those personal decisions. I usually pinch off any blooms in the first week to ten days after transplanting. My theory for this is they are going through transplant adjustment and still developing the root system and it just puts more stress on the plant. I have left them before and felt it set the plant back a little. But may all be in my head. Ha. Best of luck gardening.
by joclyn on May 22, 2006 07:58 AM
exactly, elk! producing fruit takes more effort than producing leaves. i want this thing to get big so i have lots of fruit. and geez, i just put it in the ground - there's not enough roots developed yet for a good, healthy, sturdy plant!

i think i will pinch the buds off.
by Longy on May 22, 2006 06:35 PM
A tomato will put out flowers if it has been stressed as a seedling. Like when transplanting. It 'thinks' it's dying so it tries to reproduce. Some people will intentionally stress the plants, like let them dry to the point of wilting, to induce flower production. I like the early flowers as it means fruit sooner. If the ambient air temp isn't high enough yet, then the fruit may not set anyway.

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by joclyn on May 23, 2006 06:56 AM
you know what? a couple of days after i put them in the ground it got cold at night...so the poor things got extra stress (on top of the transplant) and the one that budded first was a bit dried out too...

i pinched the stems yesterday and gave them some food...and, of course, it went down to the low 40's again last night and it's really cool today (mid 50's).

it's supposed to be downright hot and summer-like this weekend. the poor plants!!!

i hope the warm weather stick tho!!

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