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Tomato "suckers"

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by sybil on July 21, 2004 01:41 AM
I've been told that to yield a better crop of tomatoes, I should snip the "suckers" off of the stem. How do I identify a Sucker?

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Old age ain't no place for sissies
by grandma on July 21, 2004 03:34 AM
Hi Sybil. The way that you identify the suckers is you will see two stems growing like a V. The sucker is the new stem growing in the center of the V. You just snap it of. There will be many of these on your tomato plant. You can remove all of them. Sure hope this helps you. [wayey]

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sore muscles
by Bestofour on July 23, 2004 03:40 AM
Glad you asked this questions. I've always wondered that myself. I hate to snap off anything green but I'm gonna.

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by zelinda on July 23, 2004 04:28 AM
What if the sucker has flowers and tomatoes growing from it? My cherry tomato plant has this. Do I still snap them off?
by weezie13 on July 23, 2004 05:27 AM
Sybil and Zelinda,
It really depends on your style of gardening!
I had parents that alway snapped off the suckers, there for I always did!
My husbands' family never did, and never staked or caged them either! (Mine did, and I do!)
My husband said his mother had alot of tomatoes and not any problems with them at all!

I can't imagine it, but it was confirmed by his sister and father (Mom's passed)
But, no staking and no sucker pinching for them..
And healthy plants.
We staked and pinched and had the bacterium wild in our soil, but a still had a great crop and big tomatoes!

I have always pinched them but decided to try something different and not pinch this year.
*so, if I get smaller tomatoes, I think that'll be okay with me, sometimes the big ones' take for ever to eat.* *I am the only one in my house to eat tom's and I grow sooooooooooooooooo many! [Embarrassed] *

The sucker's do sap the energy from the main stems, and snipping produces larger tomatoes.
Not snipping produces alot of smaller tomatoes.
I believe healthy just the same.

If the stem already has flower's on it,
I believe it would depend on how big the stem is.
If it's a good sized stem already, I'd personally leave it, the plant has already positioned it's self with the size that it is, if it's still small than snip it!

I am seeing if less handling of the plants produces a healthier plant??
So far, they look pretty good, still have the wilt in my soil, but they are fairing quite nicely!


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

by Pineapple_Raye on July 23, 2004 05:30 AM

Many say Yes... others say No!

However in your case...NO! [Wink]
by zelinda on July 23, 2004 07:47 AM
Hi Weezie,
Thanks for your long explanation. I'm starting to see that gardening is part hard and fast rules, part personal style. So I'll relax a little. I think I'm like a first time parent with my tomatoes! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Hi Raye,
That graemlin was hilarious! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
I'm still LOL!!!
by pagarden on July 23, 2004 07:51 PM
i think it's mostly personal style too. i'm a pruner. my neighbor is not. her tomatoes sprawl all over the ground and are very dense. she has quite a few big nice looking tomatoes too! [Smile] mine are staked and pruned. i pinch off suckers and even prune the leaves when they get to be too thick. i like the neatness too. i like to look and see what i have and be able to reach in there. a few are over my head now and i'm 5'2" which does make it a little more work trying to keep them up. i picked my very first cherry tomato today and gave it to my daughter! YAY! anyhow- as long as they are watered and kept warm they will be happy! good luck!
by Bestofour on July 24, 2004 03:52 AM
I have some tomato plants in my vegetable garden that I have worked on, kept clean, caged, fertilized and watered. I have gotten some nice tomatoes. We found a plant that just volunteered out in a grassy area, has had no care, no watering, no fertilizing, nothing. We caged it and it's over 5 feet tall with green tomatoes on it the size of a baseball - no kidding. Go figure.

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by Pineapple_Raye on July 24, 2004 01:11 PM

When I lived in North Georgia there is a "weed" call Tommy Toes. It is a cherry type tomato. Personally I liked the tart taste of them myself.

However, they could take over an area... [Razz]
by sybil on July 25, 2004 05:14 AM
Wow, I did not think I would get so many ideas. Thank you all for the info. As I am waaay up north, our growing season is a little shorter than yours so, I will try the "snapping" procedure and keep my fingers crossed. They all look very healthy, even my banana peppers are going to beat the band.

Thanks again for all the ideas.

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Old age ain't no place for sissies

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