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Old June 18, 2017   #1
ChristinaJo
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Default Single stem tomato question

This year I'm growing my tomatoes the single stem (or two stems) method.
The tomatoes are doing well, considering I thought they'd be burned up by now.

My question is: by pruning this way, will this make the tomatoes produce bigger tomatoes than what the variety usually is that's not pruned?

I'm growing Bloody Butcher and Eva Purple Ball. They're growing 2 to 3 inches across and are make small slicer tomatoes. First year growing these and wonder if my seed isn't pure.....

Thanks
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Old June 18, 2017   #2
ginger2778
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Fewer stems allows for larger fruit growth, less fruit numbers.The plant can put all it's energy into the fruit it has not into others on more stems.The competition growers all prune off everything but the stem part with the fruit on it.
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Old June 18, 2017   #3
ChristinaJo
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Thanks Marsha. This was a new way to grow tomatoes for this year. I like this way because I can cram more plants in a smaller space, but I think I'd rather have more tomatoes per plant.....
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Old June 19, 2017   #4
b54red
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As someone who has grown nothing but single stem plants for the last few years I can say that the variety also makes a big difference. There are some varieties that do exceptionally well and are very productive as single stem plants and there are others that do not function as well as single stem plants. To benefit from single stem pruning you need to lean and lower your plants in order to take advantage of the length that the vines will get as the season progresses. It is not unheard of for the vines to exceed 20 ft. and still be producing though usually the fruit are smaller near the ends of those long vines. Some varieties with more sparse foliage need to have the Missouri style of pruning to give them the necessary foliage to shade the fruit from sun scald.

Using only single stem pruning of my tomatoes I am getting far more and larger fruit overall now than when I allowed two or three stems in the same amount of garden space. Of course I am planting at least twice as many plants in that same space.

Bill
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Old June 19, 2017   #5
zipcode
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Eva purple ball will get pretty big pruned to one stem (about 300 grams). It's probably a good candidate.
Not sure about Bloody Butcher, but Stupice fruits stay quite small even if pruned.
If your goal is more efficiency in small space, then you did the right thing.
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Old June 19, 2017   #6
Nematode
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Bloody Butcher makes small roundish fruit. My recollection is 2" diameter.
They are earliest producer in my garden, one of the better tasting earlies I have tried and the flavor improves with the season.
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Old June 19, 2017   #7
TexasTomat0
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I did a mixture of pruning with my plants, and while I really enjoyed the single stem pruning I got hit with a bad case of early blight that wiped out all my single stem plants. I had a few others that were multi-stem and I simply chopped off the afflicted stem. Once I got the EB under control they started growing again, albeit in a weakened state. The single stem did produce nice big toms though.
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Old June 19, 2017   #8
b54red
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I just set out 21 plants in a bed this morning and came in when the heat hit over 90 and the humidity was stifling. All of these plants will be single stem and for this time of the year I concentrated on varieties that have proven they can set fruit in the hottest weather but I also added 5 or 6 varieties that I have no idea how they will do planted at this time.

Bill
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Old June 19, 2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
I just set out 21 plants in a bed this morning and came in when the heat hit over 90 and the humidity was stifling. All of these plants will be single stem and for this time of the year I concentrated on varieties that have proven they can set fruit in the hottest weather but I also added 5 or 6 varieties that I have no idea how they will do planted at this time.

Bill
Bill,

What are a few of the varieties that have worked for you? I'm in TX zone 8A so I'll be having similar heat issues soon as well. I see you like ISPL, but what few others work well in the heat?
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Old June 19, 2017   #10
b54red
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Quote:
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Bill,

What are a few of the varieties that have worked for you? I'm in TX zone 8A so I'll be having similar heat issues soon as well. I see you like ISPL, but what few others work well in the heat?
The absolute best is ISPL. The other really good ones are Pruden's Purple, Spudakee, IS, Gary O' Sena, JD's Special C Tex, Royal Hillbilly, and Berkley Tie Die Pink, and Arkansas Traveler. I have also had fairly good luck with Donskoi, Big Beef, Franks Large Red, Drusba, Stump of the World, Limbaugh's Legacy, and Carbon. Every time I plant this time of the season I try out some varieties to see how they will do in the extreme heat. Most do not do very well and many do terrible; but until I try them I can't know for sure. I would have never thought any pink beefsteak would be one of my best late summer tomatoes but Pruden's Purple has been a champ most years.

Bill
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Old June 19, 2017   #11
ChristinaJo
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So much to learn,so much to do!
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Old June 20, 2017   #12
Dewayne mater
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Bill and Marsha are two folks you want to follow carefully and try to never miss a post. In my book, they are two of very best of the best and both are extremely generous with their time and knowledge/experience. Both are hot, humid weather growers too, so they experience problems pretty typical of what you'll probably see in NE Tx, sure has been the case for me in the DFW area. Good luck!
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Old June 20, 2017   #13
b54red
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The absolute best is ISPL. The other really good ones are Pruden's Purple, Spudakee, IS, Gary O' Sena, JD's Special C Tex, Royal Hillbilly, and Berkley Tie Die Pink, and Arkansas Traveler. I have also had fairly good luck with Donskoi, Big Beef, Franks Large Red, Drusba, Stump of the World, Limbaugh's Legacy, and Carbon. Every time I plant this time of the season I try out some varieties to see how they will do in the extreme heat. Most do not do very well and many do terrible; but until I try them I can't know for sure. I would have never thought any pink beefsteak would be one of my best late summer tomatoes but Pruden's Purple has been a champ most years.

Bill

Another thing you should know about ISPL and most of the other black tomato varieties is that they are very vulnerable to gray mold and rainy weather can destroy them with diseases and split or bursting fruit. One year not too long ago I planted almost all black varieties from June through August. The only problem was that was the summer of rain, rain and more rain. I got almost no usable fruit from most of the black varieties. The one exception was Spudakee which did not split as bad nor as disastrously as most of the others but with all that rain even they had little taste. The few reds and pinks I had out then did far better and tasted much better. The black tomatoes reach their peak of flavor when it is hot and dry. That is the reason I keep a mixed bag of tomatoes with every planting. No matter how well you plan nature will frequently throw you a curve ball.

Bill
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Old June 21, 2017   #14
kevrow73
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Before Bill's comment, I had never heard of 'lean and Lower', I've just watched a video on this and I'm very impressed and I'm also kicking myself that I did not know about it, thanks Bill.
I have a very old book that describes burying the stems of established plants to produce bigger tomatoes. I'm guessing that you could do this also as the stems are lowered.

Kevin
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Old June 21, 2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewayne mater View Post
Bill and Marsha are two folks you want to follow carefully and try to never miss a post. In my book, they are two of very best of the best and both are extremely generous with their time and knowledge/experience. Both are hot, humid weather growers too, so they experience problems pretty typical of what you'll probably see in NE Tx, sure has been the case for me in the DFW area. Good luck!
Ditto this for me. Southern growers have a whole different set of issues, and to me seeds from them perform better in my climate.
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