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Produce => Edible Plants => Topic started by: terrier on May 01, 2021, 14:23:35

Title: Early tomato buds
Post by: terrier on May 01, 2021, 14:23:35
I picked up a comment on YouTube last night about pruning tomatoes. It was suggested to take off any early buds from the plants to promote a stronger growth habit. Does anyone do this? I've never taken buds of tomato plants early in the year. Is it worth doing? If this has been discussed before, can anyone point me in the direction of those posts, many thanks for reading.
 
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: ed dibbles on May 01, 2021, 16:46:39
In my experience the bottom truss, the first one formed hardly ever produces tomatoes anyway so there could perhaps be an argument for removing that truss. Not that I have ever done that, at least not so far.

This year I have three grafted tomato plants on order as well as some home made grafts. (I have a packet of rootstock only seeds). It will be interesting to see whether the grafted plants are any better at setting the first truss or if the idea of nipping off the first flowers really do give the plants more strength.
I feel an experiment coming on.  :happy7:
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Beersmith on May 01, 2021, 17:59:35
Well it isn't something I have ever tried. It sounds an interesting idea.

But I grow my tomatoes on my allotment plot. About one year in two potato blight spreads onto the tomatoes and once that happens another two weeks and it's all over.  So my aim is to get as much produce off as soon as possible. Some years I'm lucky and get a long cropping season, but it cannot be relied upon. So I would not want to delay the first pickings for later strong growth, but I'd certainly test it out if, say, I was growing at home or in a greenhouse.

Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Beersmith on May 01, 2021, 18:01:09
Well it isn't something I have ever tried. It sounds an interesting idea.

But I grow my tomatoes on my allotment plot. About one year in two potato blight spreads onto the tomatoes and once that happens another two weeks and it's all over.  So my aim is to get as much produce off as soon as possible. Some years I'm lucky and get a long cropping season, but it cannot be relied upon. So I would not want to delay the first pickings for later strong growth, but I'd certainly test it out if, say, I was growing at home or in a greenhouse.

Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Beersmith on May 01, 2021, 18:03:08
Twice?

How did that happen?
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: saddad on May 02, 2021, 10:33:02
Magic!
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: small on May 02, 2021, 20:15:19
I've got fruit set on the first truss on my early tomatoes in the conservatory, seems like a waste to take them off! Tomatoes grow so strongly if you can keep blight off them, I don't really understand this suggestion. Maybe it's stopping the tops for bush varieties?
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Paulh on May 03, 2021, 09:22:53
Looking at the various internet articles and discussions, the argument seems to be that doing this when transplanting allows the plant to build a better root system and grow more strongly in the medium term. It may reduce stress on the plant and as the first truss often does not pollinate because the temperature is too low, it is no loss.

These seem to be mostly US sites, so may be it reflects different weather patterns. The RHS site does not mention it.

For most of us, getting some sort of crop before blight sets in is the priority! But if you have a spindly plant which is in flower in its pot, it might be worth trying.
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Obelixx on May 03, 2021, 12:54:01
I've never heard of this either but confess to being something of a tomato novice as, in our last garden, we were surrounded by potato fields rotated with sugar beet, winter wheat and maize for cattle so never a summer without blight.  I gave up.

In our first spring here I planted loads of different tomatoes, bought as seedlings, and inside a polytunnel as well as outside in a border.  I now only grow them in the polytunnel as it makes watering easier, especially now I have seep hoses.   Others in the gardening club I joined do both and none of them has ever mentioned removing the first flowers.  They're all far more concerned about blossom end rot.   
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Tiny Clanger on May 03, 2021, 14:28:59
I don't remove buds on "English" style tomatoes, but I do remove on the "Oxheart" and other "Continental style" varieties.  I have found that I get a lot of first flowers can produce very malformed fruit.  last year I did not remove the first buds and one plant grew a tomato weighing aroung 1lb in weight and formed of around 150 small tomatoes.  It seems to happen on Heirloom varieties more.  :blob7:
Title: Re: Early tomato buds
Post by: Obelixx on May 03, 2021, 15:18:12
Some of the new, to me, varieties I tried produced loads of teeny tomatoes - Yellow Pear - and some produced whoppers like this weighing in at almost 700g.  The coin is a 1 so the same size as 1.