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Broken Tomato stalk?

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by Soilmover on July 08, 2006 01:30 PM
Hi all!

We had some really strong winds today and when I got home 1 out of my 3 tomato plants had broke free of its twine and was laying on the ground. Much to my dismay it snapped the main stalk pretty good about 12" up from the soil. (these are also in large flower pots) Plants are about 24"to30" tall total. It didn't break the stem clean off, but it didn't look good either. I put more stakes around the perimeter of the pot and a lot more twine on all 3 plants. I wrapped the broken stalk section in masking tape-plant band-aid? Good idea or not? Will this plant live?

I was really bummed out. [scaredy] All three had gotten clusters of yellow flowers last week and many flowers have been replaced with green tomatoes the size of grape and then this happened! These are my first tomatoes that I ever started from seed in the winter, they were going so good till today. I was just wondering if anybody had this happen before and could tell me if the plant has a chance of making it.

Andy
by Tonya on July 08, 2006 03:02 PM
I would take the broken piece and either dip it in root hormone or just put it in good fertile ground/soil and water well. Tomatoes have the ability to make roots along the entire trunk of their branches and are incredibly resisiliant. It may not make fruit out of the existing blooms, but wil probably come back and make fruit late. Good Luck! [thumb]

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 - Bote and Babe's World
by weezie13 on July 08, 2006 03:08 PM
Yepppppppp, Tonya's got the right advice..
Rooting Hormone... moist soil..
I might personally mix up some liquid fertilizer
and give the tomato plant some foliar feeding for a few days to feed the plant until roots are developed..

*do not leave the new branches in the sun for say about 3 days... give it wee~bit o'shade,
so it's not stressed in the hot sun..
and do the liquid fertilizer foliar feed in the early morning hours....

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Longy on July 08, 2006 10:10 PM
The original plant will also regrow. Possibly with multiple stems which you can take off as you need. Further plants can be made from these prunings too.

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The secret is the soil.
by Triss on July 09, 2006 12:08 PM
Along these same lines, I just got a new tomato today and in taking it out of the van, I bent the stem and almost broke the whole thing. When I plant it, should I just bury the bend below the soil line. Right now the bend is at the soil line.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Soilmover on July 09, 2006 02:11 PM
Thanks for the input all!

Update: As of 24+ hours since I found the bent stalk-its still alive and appears to be doing good! I gave it a good dose of water tonight after the sun started to set. It was super hot today. Those tiny threads of stalk that were left in the bent area must be good enough to keep feeding the top of the plant? If the leaves look like they are wilting and shrivling up I'll try the suggestion of cutting it off and replanting the top. With a little luck maybe I won't have to go that far.

I'm amazed at how fast these "Ultimate Opener" tomatoes grow. Even though I'm past the 57 days the seed company said it would take. They continue to rapidly pump up the green globes of fruit every day. I shared some of my extra starters with a co-worker and he said his are growing faster than the ones he bought at the nursery. Next year I want to try more of a variety. I'm taking small steps every year a little more.
by loveapples on July 31, 2006 10:08 AM
Ok, I have the same problem, only *gasp* I was the one that did it! No wind to hold responsible...

I wanted to install a timed automatic irrigation system because they're getting so big (they're in containers) that I was watering them with a hose multiple times a day. Those heirlooms sure do get large!

At any rate, when all was said and done, I cracked a major stalk of my two sprawliest plants when I tried to move the pots to get the main water line behind them. Both stalks (from a sunsugar cherry plant) are five feet long, with tons of ripe and unripe tomatoes on them.

The good news is, I didn't do much damage at all to any of the other 9 containers, and the custom-built timed irrigation system works like a charm. I will have some very happy plants soon.

The main question is, will the original plant survive? I'm guessing the answer is yes from this thread. The second question is, will the stalks survive this late in the season? I have them in a bucket of water as I do not have any new containers to put them in, though I suppose I could find somewhere in the ground to stick them.

I also don't have any root growing compound.

Is all lost?

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Tomatoes!
Container growing: Sunsugar, Sungold, Yellow Pear, Persimmon, Garden Peach, Green Zebra, Valencia, Prudens Purple, Matt's Wild Cherry.

Garden Growing: Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Zogola, Goldie, New Girl, German Johnson, Rose de Berne, Cherokee Purple
by loveapples on July 31, 2006 10:51 AM
Here are two pictures of one of the affected plants, and a picture of the whole garden. Is this "wound" too much for the plant to handle?

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Tomatoes!
Container growing: Sunsugar, Sungold, Yellow Pear, Persimmon, Garden Peach, Green Zebra, Valencia, Prudens Purple, Matt's Wild Cherry.

Garden Growing: Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Zogola, Goldie, New Girl, German Johnson, Rose de Berne, Cherokee Purple
by Patty S on July 31, 2006 11:18 AM
Loveapples, when we went to Cedar Hill a couple weeks ago, I took an up-side-down tomato plant to Bill. It made the trip fine... except for the last 10 miles, when the planter fell from where it was hanging, in our motor home! One of the larger branches got bent real bad, but wasn't "broken", so I put a piece of masking tape on it so there wouldn't be a "kink" in it!
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I have no idea if the branch made it, or not. [dunno]
(Hey Bill.. did the branch make it, or not?)

I think that as long as the stem isn't actually severed, or cut anywhere, it will repair itself as long as it has support, to keep the "veins" open while it heals. (At least that's thinking positive, & worth the little effort it takes!) [grin]

Actually, I don't even know if the plant itself made it! Most of the soil was dumped out, so it was essentially "repotted", & Bill hung it up in the shade!
(Hey Bill... did the plant even make it?)

Loveapples, I'm also thinking that if you have more than one big stalk on that tomato plant, by going ahead & removing it, the remaining stalk(s) won't need to share the plant energy, & might get bigger/put out more tomatoes! [thumb] Maybe you'll want to do as Tonya said, & try to reroot the stalk that you take off. (I don't think tomato plants will root in water though... I'd put it in the ground ...& put something by it, to keep it in the shade for a few days.)

By the way, welcome to the forum!  - This place is full of friendly people who are always willing to help (& we're always looking for answers to our gardening questions, too). We'd love to hear about what else you have in your gardens, & maybe you even have some ideas & gardening experiences that you'd care to share with us! We're like a big happy family here, & would like to get to know you better!

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by Patty S on July 31, 2006 11:33 AM
Woa! [shocked] You were putting up your pictures as I was getting my post ready, I guess! What a lovely scene you have on your porch... & your plants look GREAT! [thumb]

Ummm... do you think you'll have enough tomatoes? I sure hope you like to can! [grin]

By the way, I noticed that you said, "I was watering them with a hose multiple times a day."
I don't know if you're aware that one of the bad things about overwatering tomatoes is that they'll try to grow faster on the inside than the outside can keep up with, & that's what makes them split!

Those pics look so good, I can't wait to see what else you're growing around there!  -

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by Tamara from Minnesota on July 31, 2006 01:07 PM
Wow I have that problem too! For me it was not watering a couple days and it got really hot and when I went out to water Friday (I have been working extra) two of my plants were very droopy and the cherry had one branch flopped over and everything above it was shrivelled. Oh well I have too many cherries anyway.

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by weezie13 on July 31, 2006 01:27 PM
When watering in a regular garden bed and
watering in containers, it's kind of a different
watering thing..

In a regular bed, the ground stays moist and depends on the type of soil and draining time with it...

But in containers, they loose water just because they're containers and drain really fast,
being up in the air, and not in the dirt and subject to the surrounding ground and wind dries them out...

What depends is the moisture in the soil..
and if your in a container and you used a soil that has those polymere crystals, they stay wetter/moister longer...

and not many container problems have we run into around here with the BER and them...

Loveapples,
I loveeeeeee the set you have for your mater's..
Looks like heaven...

Go ahead and take that stalk that broke off,
stick it in some moist soil and give it a good fertilizer watering of some liquid fertilizer,
that'll feed the plant for a wee~bit thru a foliar feed until it gets some roots going...
Keep it in the shade and gradually back off the liquid fert.. and let it go on it's own...

I really don't think the "momma" plant will be hurt too much by the big hunk/chunk gone from the stem... Tomatoes are a pretty hearty soul..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by earthnut on August 01, 2006 12:18 PM
If you can, you can mound up soil around the broken part to support it, and also the stem will root in the soil. Tomatoes are pretty hardy, they will survive some horrid breaks, as long as they're not completely off!

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by Soilmover on August 01, 2006 04:08 PM
Loveapples after seeing the pictures my tomato stalk was in worse shape and its still going strong. I still have the masking tape around the stalk. The tomatoes are still big and green and it continues to flower. Its not quite as bushy as the other plants but it continues to look healthy despite the days of searing heat we we've had. I continue to water daily just to be safe.
by weezie13 on August 01, 2006 04:33 PM
Soilmover,
Have you taken a quick peak under that duct tape lately??
I'll bet you've got roots growing under it..
*How long ago did you do it?*

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Patty S on August 01, 2006 08:31 PM
quote:
Originally posted by weezie13:
When watering in a regular garden bed and
watering in containers, it's kind of a different
watering thing..

Hey Weezie, I'm sure glad you mentioned that!
 - I've got some tomatoes in containers this year (my up-side-down ones), & even though I've always been diligent in keeping my strawberry towers watered more than I would if the plants were in the ground ...because of the container drainage!
I went brain-dead about that, when it came to watering the container tomatoes more frequently than those in the garden... (& they haven't been looking very happy!)
Thanks for rattling my cage!  -

Sheeze, I can't believe I did that! Uhhh.. I mean, DIDN'T do that!
(I think you just saved my salad!)  -

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by weezie13 on August 02, 2006 01:03 AM
And you even have to take into consideration
WHERE you have your containers....

If they are on top of cement or blacktop driveways, where some may tend to garden..
The heat off of that stuff is extreme, especially
in temps' like we've been having around the country..

And when a hanging basket hangs in the air,
it dries out doubley *is that a word?* fast,
cause the wind dries it out...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Patty S on August 02, 2006 07:25 AM
We have major sow bug & earwig populations here, & whenever I have planters sitting on ANYTHING, they seem to hold family reunions under them! I've started using plant stands & it pretty much solves that problem. (So, I'm thinking that plant stands would put the containers in the same category as hanging plants, cuz there is nothing to hold back free drainage.)

quote:
And when a hanging basket hangs in the air,
it dries out doubley *is that a word?* fast,
cause the wind dries it out...

Ummm... Doubly is a word, so you were really close, Weezie! [grin] (Communication is what we're about here, so which ever way things are spelled shouldn't be of any importance to anyone... besides, I don't want to "work" & use my red pencil here anyway!) [Big Grin]

I noticed yesterday that a couple tomatoes in my garden are split, so it's time to get the soaker hose out of that end of the garden & water them myself, less frequently. (My soaker hoses are set on auto-timers, & I had them running through the tomato section when we were out of town, cuz overwatering seemed to be a better choice than not having them get watered at all... I forgot to reset the hoses when we got back!)  -

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by peppereater on August 02, 2006 09:18 AM
I had one large Brandywine break in the wind before I got it staked. Broke off right at the ground, no roots. I stuck it in a bucket, leaving all the foliage, and added water up to the first leaves. That left about 8 inches of stem in the water. After a week, there were 2 and 3 inch roots everywhere along the stem. I decided not to replant it and see what happens. It has survived that way now for almost a month, and even had a few flowers. I haven't even added fertilizer, just changed the water so mosquitos don't set up shop. I'm starting to feel guilty, it's been doing so well and obviously wants to live...maybe I should put it in some dirt.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on August 02, 2006 09:23 AM
Just remember once a plant is in water,
it will develope "water roots" and feed it'self
with water nutrients..
If you turn around and put it in soil,
*which is not a bad idea, after all that is where they grow naturally*
But if you do put it in dirt,
the first week, keep it in a cup, so the soil
is really wet, puddle like..
then gradually as the weeks go by, decrease the water and just let the soil be moist..

That way, it eventually re~sends~out~new~dirt~roots, and can feed it'self accordingly..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Patty S on August 02, 2006 09:34 AM
Gosh Weezie! [shocked] You keep coming up with good stuff that I never knew before! (I guess that's why I keep coming back!) THANKS! [kissies]

She might have just saved your salad too, Dave! [grin]

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by weezie13 on August 02, 2006 09:56 AM
[Embarrassed] [Smile]

Wellllll, I have probably written that a few times before... [lala]

But tomatoes are a very resiliant..
And they probably would survive even
if you stuck it straight into the dirt/soil...

but i'ts always good info for people to read about "water roots" *most of the time I post that info in the House Plant Section, cause of rooting plants/stems there*

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on August 02, 2006 11:10 AM
Wow, good info, Weezie. Guess that's why the roots aren't a foot long. This plant was about 36 inches tall when it broke...not a lot of new growth, but it's healthy as can be!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on August 02, 2006 11:25 AM
They are on the "WEEDY~SIDE"
I don't think of too many other plants
would fair so well...

*Psssst, I have one in water too,
but doubt it will everrrrrr get in the ground.* [Embarrassed]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Soilmover on August 02, 2006 01:24 PM
Weezie,

I put the masking tape around the stalk back when I first posted-July 7-wow! Its just about been a full month. I'll take a peak at it when the rain lets up.

We've had 2.5 inches since last night and supposed to get another 3 inches tonight/tommorow. Looks like I'm off the hook for watering duties for a day or two! [Big Grin] Its been so dry I'm not complaining the least bit.

If it looks interesting under the tape I'll post my findings.
by weezie13 on August 17, 2006 03:26 PM
Heyyyyyyyyyy, did you take a peak at it,
and did you get any roots?????????

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/

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