Mater Pruning - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Mater Pruning

How do you guys prune off your Tomato plants ? Do you just clip the suckers between brances ? Do you keep cutting the top off ? They say keep the top cropped back for bigger, juicier Maters. I don't do it, as I just can't bring myself to lose all those extra Tomato's that tops can produce.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 09:04 PM
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Re: Mater Pruning

have read it's a good idea for one reason er another, but never messed with it myself. I like smaller mators for burgers and sandwiches any way so probably won't trim
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 09:40 PM
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Re: Mater Pruning

Pluck suckers until they are 2-3 months or so old never let them grow over chest high. Lots and lots of delicious tomatoes. My experience is that you don't lose many tomatoes at all in the long run. I also always cut off any blossums until the plants have been in the ground and have a good root system . Gives the roots time to grow stops the plant from putting all of it's energy into their first few fruits. Lots more yield per plant.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mater Pruning

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I also always cut off any blossums until the plants have been in the ground and have a good root system
Hmmmmm, now that's interesting. I should probably conduct an experiment by vigorously pruning a few, while letting others of the same variety take off on their own. Then gauge the difference.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 07:51 PM
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Re: Mater Pruning

I've plucked the suckers for the past 2 years and it's been a horrible experience. Last year I wasn't paying close enough attention and plucked a lead instead of a sucker and messed the whole plant up. Pulling suckers, the plant seems to compensate by growing really long lower branches which were a pain. This year I am just letting them grow and not fooling with them. Unless a few extra per plant is going to make that much of a different I wouldn't even bother. Mother nature put suckers there for a reason I guess haha.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 10:41 PM
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Re: Mater Pruning

Think of it this way.
1. Any given plant's sole purpose is to reproduce and create offspring so the species continues.
2. During a growing season a plant only produces so much energy, and you don't want that energy going into suckers (they are called suckers for a reason) and early fruit. It results in poor yield per plant.
3. Once a plant has produced offspring it doesn't need to keep fighting for survival of the species and becomes subject to disease, etc. I don't get an early harvest, but my late harvest is second to none!
4. I always let one of my early girls go untouched and by mid Aug has produced her last fruit and is dying, just when my main crop is mass producing.
5. I generally pick my fruit when it is just starting to turn from orange to red and put them on newspapers outside in the sunlight to fully ripen. I notice no difference in flavor and taste.
6. And lastly I discovered a few years ago that some how if you plant yellow marigolds around your tomatoes they seem happier and bear more fruit. Crazy ain't it?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 12:55 AM
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Re: Mater Pruning

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Originally Posted by bobby2bears
...
6. And lastly I discovered a few years ago that some how if you plant yellow marigolds around your tomatoes they seem happier and bear more fruit. Crazy ain't it?
Not as crazy as you think. Marigolds produce pyrethrins, which are a powerful natural insect repellent. Even the small bugs that you dont ordinarily see can drain the vitality from your plants to some degree, but with marigolds nearby that's a hostile environment to the bugs.
As to dealing with suckers, they're of no real value to the parent plant and should be removed. Funny thing about suckers though is that if you plant them as soon as you remove them from the parent plant, and water them well, they will root and become a tomato plant.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 01:05 PM
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Re: Mater Pruning

Good tip on the marigolds.

I just plant twice as many plants, fertilize, and let'em rip. Always have more tomatoes than I can use or give away.

Also plant indeterminate varieties and have tomatoes until the first heavy frost (some years into Oct). Wrap green ones in newspapers and have fresh tomatoes until Thanksgiving.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mater Pruning

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Wrap green ones in newspapers and have fresh tomatoes until Thanksgiving.
Really ? How do you store them ? Cool, dry, and dark like a basement ?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 08:37 PM
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Re: Mater Pruning

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Originally Posted by Fleroo
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Wrap green ones in newspapers and have fresh tomatoes until Thanksgiving.
Really ? How do you store them ? Cool, dry, and dark like a basement ?
Yes, coolest part of basement. When you know a hard frost is on tap, pick everything and put in paper. Make sure they are completely dry and no rot has started.
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