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Old May 21, 2020   #1
lapk78
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Default Unique Pruning Technique?

Pruning technique/philosophy question for you:

Amongst many other cherries, I'm growing an indeterminate beefsteak in a very tall 22" x 22" square cage. I have allowed it to have 4 main growing leads.

I am pruning away suckers, but not immediately. Instead, I let the suckers grow long enough to put on a set of flowers, then I simply cut off the sucker's growing tip. Doing this creates/allows for many more sets of flowers than I'd get otherwise (I assume).

Is this a thing? I feel like it should increase production, without the cage getting too crazy dense with foliage. And I still prune to allow decent airflow. I keep my plants sufficiently watered, and fertilize with Texas Tomato Fertilizer, so I am (hopefully) minimizing any reduction in fruit size.

Is there something I'm not considering? Surely I didn't invent this. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this technique. It's the first time I've ever tried it. Thanks!

Last edited by lapk78; May 21, 2020 at 02:42 AM.
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Old May 21, 2020   #2
b54red
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I do that type of pruning on some varieties that I want heavier fruit set on early in the season; but I am doing it with single stem. I will also do this sometimes on varieties that ordinarily don't set a lot or on a plant that has lost too many blooms to try for more fruit. If you want to maintain a decent fruit size I recommend you prune or cull the very new fruits to allow only two per cluster if you want large fruit. I usually don't try to maintain the size when increasing the fruit set but that might help. In my opinion the number of fruits on the plant at one time definitely affects the size negatively especially past a certain number but I certainly can't tell you what that number per plant is. I see the fruit size decrease with large numbers every year.

When I plant I like to set out two or three of the same variety side by side so I can see differences as they grow. I have done this when I could for years and have really noticed the plant with the smaller fruit set almost always has more large fruit. I have also noticed that very large clusters rarely produce any large fruit even on very large fruited varieties. I have also noticed that if you do cull the fruits for larger size it must be done very early after the fruit is set to have the most affect.

I have tried increasing the fertilizer on plants with heavy fruit set to see if I can get larger fruit but I'm not sure it does that much good. It does however increase fruit set further up the plant usually.

These are just my observations with no scientific backing whatsoever. Why don't you try two of the same variety side by side and experiment so you can see the affect on the plants of the different pruning and culling techniques on size.

Bill
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Old May 21, 2020   #3
lapk78
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Thanks for the response, Bill. What you say makes good sense. I just came back inside from trimming any trusses with fruit to have only two tomatoes per truss. Interestingly, nearly all of them already had only two fruit as it was, so I really only trimmed away the remaining flowers on the trusses.

This is my only non-cherry out of 8 plants, so maybe the experimentation will have to wait until a little later.

Last edited by lapk78; May 21, 2020 at 05:17 PM.
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