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Old July 17, 2023   #1
deltoro
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Default Dwarf tomatoes and wire cages

I'm looking at your crops and I see that wire cages predominate for dwarfs. Do you allow dwarfs to grow uninterrupted? Do you cut off some of the side shoots?
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Old July 17, 2023   #2
eyolf
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I'm looking at your crops and I see that wire cages predominate for dwarfs. Do you allow dwarfs to grow uninterrupted? Do you cut off some of the side shoots?
I'm experimenting with two Johnson Cherries in cages, two tied overhead, and two allowed to sprawl to see which I prefer

The two tied to a sort of pergola are taller and likely easiest to pick. The caged ones are brats, and seeking escape (I'm using waist-high cheap cages) It's a bit too soon to gauge...no ripe fruit yet and fruit set seems to actually slightly favor the "abandoned" babies. In a couple of weeks we will be overwhelmed with cherries. The no-care babies are easiest now, but probably be a pain to harvest.

No suckers pruned aside from one that snapped as I tried to wrestle it out of the path.

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Old July 17, 2023   #3
PaulF
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After taking part in the dwarf project for many years I looked back in my records to see if there was a relationship between certain varieties and how tall the plants actually did get.

Not amazingly it seems like the further along the development the shorter the plants got. Some F1s were six feet tall and by stage F5 or greater they maxed out at 4 ft.

A few of the varieties in my garden never got below the 5 foot level but still showed all the traits of a dwarf since the parents varieties grown the same year in the garden could have been 7-9 feet in height since they were inside six foot cages and fountained over the top.

And for the record, none of my tomatoes, be they dwarf or giant, ever, ever get pruned...top, bottom or sides. The plants are in control and I never try to control them other than a cage to keep the leaves off the surface which I heavily mulch for plant health reasons.
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Old July 17, 2023   #4
deltoro
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How about diseases? I have the impression that if I don't cut off a few side shoots, there will be no airflow and fungal diseases will start.
I like the wire cages - I'm currently growing my tomatoes by a stake (external ground) or a string (greenhouse)
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Old July 17, 2023   #5
Labradors2
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I'm of the same mindset as PaulF and rarely prune any of my tomatoes. However, I have learned that Dwarfs grown in cages can have some leaves removed to promote air flow .

Linda
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Old July 17, 2023   #6
deltoro
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Next season I'm going to try to grow some plants in cages.
We'll see what comes out.
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Old July 17, 2023   #7
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While I do use cages, 2 foot diameter, I do start all plants on a central stake tied upright until the plant bushes out. Always has been plenty of space for air flow. Along with a good mulching program of newspaper base and 6-8 inches of weedless straw, any soil borne disease is kept at bay very well. Late season degradation is always an issue, but by then the plants have given their all anyway.
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Old July 17, 2023   #8
deltoro
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I also mulch with mowed grass as much as possible.
I take the cut grass from a few neighbors in the neighborhood
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Old July 18, 2023   #9
MrsJustice
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Quote:
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While I do use cages, 2 foot diameter, I do start all plants on a central stake tied upright until the plant bushes out. Always has been plenty of space for air flow. Along with a good mulching program of newspaper base and 6-8 inches of weedless straw, any soil borne disease is kept at bay very well. Late season degradation is always an issue, but by then the plants have given their all anyway.
Hello Paul

It is good to see people still using newspapers for Much. The Black Landscaping Papers are doing good for me these days.

God Bless you, Amen!!
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Old July 18, 2023   #10
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There are a couple of newspapers in the area who save endrolls for me. That makes it easy to roll out newspaper onto the ground rather than spread old newspapers all over.
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Old July 18, 2023   #11
MrsJustice
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That's Nice, Amen!


I know you must be bringing them Beautiful Tomato Baskets.
Every time I Bright out an Heirloom Tomato Basket; I get STOPPED by People.
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