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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
4/1/10 10:08 P

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In my house there is always a discussion about crowning. My feeling is that once the tomato plant has grown past the top of it's support - that portion needs to be broken off. Even snipped off. Otherwise the plants can become monsters with fruit that is too large & unsupported - thus causing the branches they hang from to crack or peel. Causing more damage than if you'd just crowned the plant to begin with... Just my 2 cents!

What do others do when their tomato plants are getting out of control?

Stay calm and carry on.
GIRLYGIRL54's Photo GIRLYGIRL54 Posts: 236
4/1/10 2:05 P

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I am SOOOO thankful to all of you for the great advice! We are going to 'trench' plant our tomatoes, and pinch off any 'sucker sprouts.' Now for the third question: what does "crowning a tomato plant" mean? Should we know about this?

We are looking forward to a healthy, strong crop this year! And, yes, we'll post pictures!!

TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
3/31/10 2:53 P

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I've never heard the trench method. Will have to try that this year. Taking off the lower leaves & planting the seedling to almost the lowest set of leaves seems to make the growing plants really strong, too doesn't it!?

Suckers on the tomato plants. Where the plant branches out & makes a Y sometimes little 'suckers' sprout. They should be pinched off so the plant can put its energy into growing stronger & healther fruits. Same sort of theory as crowning a tomato plant.

An idea for your seedlings that are so large already is to get the biodegrable style pots. Then you can plant the whole thing without disturbing the root system. Keep us posted - pictures too if ya got em!

Stay calm and carry on.
SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,383
3/31/10 7:32 A

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On planting the tomatoes sideways, yes you use a trench the deepest part is 2-3 inches deep and slants to nothing where the leaves will be coming out of the ground.
As far as pulling the suckers, you can pinch them off where they meet the plant, put them in pots and they will root. When they have rooted you can then plant them.

GIRLYGIRL54's Photo GIRLYGIRL54 Posts: 236
3/31/10 6:51 A

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Also, I've heard something about pulling the 'suckers' off tomato plants. Does anyone know anything about this?

GIRLYGIRL54's Photo GIRLYGIRL54 Posts: 236
3/31/10 6:47 A

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So dig a trench versus a hole, and plant them sideways instead of up & down? This is so interesting and I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly. How deep is the trench?

SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,383
3/30/10 8:39 P

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Oh on tomatoes, a little trick I learned a few years ago. When you plant them, take off most of the lower leaves. Leave the top 2-3 leaves. Then dig a trench the length of the roots and the bare stem and plant them sort of sideways with the leaves out of the soil. Roots will develop along the buried part of the stem giving the plant extra root area to feed the plant. In a mater of a couple of weeks the plant will be as big or bigger as it would have been if you just planted the root ball, and a lot healthier.

NEELOJ's Photo NEELOJ Posts: 7,527
3/30/10 11:02 A

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That is all great advice! Be sure they do get lots of sunshine so they won't get leggy.
Good Luck!!

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Please visit my Flickr Page for my photographs.
flickr.com/photos/neelojtsl/
I also have a Blog on Blogspot for my Short Stories.
joreflections.blogspot.com/


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GIRLYGIRL54's Photo GIRLYGIRL54 Posts: 236
3/30/10 8:43 A

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THANK YOU! We'll keep the cover off and make sure they are getting good air circulation (and sunshine!)and hope they don't get too big over the next few weeks.

SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,383
3/30/10 8:15 A

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Depending on what size the area is that you planted them in will determine if you will need to repot them. If they are in at least 2 inch starter pots they should be okay for the 7 weeks you have till planting time. The dying off can be caused by several things, one of the most common is called damping off. Once the seeds have sprouted remove the cover you had over them and be sure they are in an area that gets good air circulation, this should help. You will probably not be getting tomatoes in the time you have till planting, seedlings start fast then slow down.

GIRLYGIRL54's Photo GIRLYGIRL54 Posts: 236
3/30/10 8:01 A

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We planted the veggie seeds in solar trays, and they have now spouted. Some rows are three inches tall or better. Planting season isn't for another 7 weeks. Do we re-plant these into bigger pots? My husband thinks we'll have tomatoes on them before we get them in the ground! It seems I always get to this stage, and then they start to die off. Any suggestions?

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