Grafted cherry tomato in container with too many stems!

brokenankle(5a)June 27, 2014

Hi friends,

This is my second year balcony/container gardening. I'm growing a blush Tiger grafted tomato, and its...well....growing!
(For what its worth, all my containers are Ikea-hacked sub-irrigated planters. The one in the picture is this one: http://goo.gl/y6bFRv , to give you an idea of size)

I was single-stem pruning it, but somehow several stems have shot up from the base of the plant, and it's becoming slightly unmanageable. I think I have about 4-5 stems in addition to the main stem.

So I have two questions:

1. Should I cut off the (very developed) stems, or at least their growth tip? If so, how many?

2. The main stem is about to reach the top of the stake -- do I just let it fall after it reaches the top?

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Looks great. I always leave the stems, although do I prune off anything that touches the soil. I'd suggest you build a taller trellis and let that thing go crazy. My cherry tomatoes usually go 9 - 12 feet.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:58PM
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brokenankle(5a)

Oh man! I definitely don't have space for 9-12feet....

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 8:10AM
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jujustad(7B-8A)

tie it up along the railing?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, you chose the wrong tomato for that spot :-)
In the future, I'd recommend determinate "Bush" or "patio" or "micro" varieties. Good luck.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I would let it grow up and over the railing and, as jujustad suggested, tie it to the railing. You could let some branches run horizontally along the fence before going over to hang down. Tomatoes are vines that can grow quite long. I wouldn't recommend cutting "suckers" or branches that have already grown more than 10-12 inches. You're just cutting into your potential yield, and it won't slow down the top growth.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 5:23PM
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brokenankle(5a)

Thanks for the advice guys! Sigh. I admittedly got over excited at the prospect of growing a grafted tomato, that has apparently won all kinds of taste awards. I'm going to have to plan this one better next year! These things better taste good! :-)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:52AM
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