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SpecialistMichael
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 508
Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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Hello Mike. What is your opinion of pinching suckers on tomatom

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Hello Mike. What is your opinion of pinching suckers on tomatom plants? Do you prune tomatoes at all?
Thanks, Dave

FitnessSpecialist :

Dave are you available?

FitnessSpecialist :

Im here

FitnessSpecialist :

I will sit in chat here for a bit to wait just in case you stood up from the computer - if after a little bit you haven't returned i can leave you an answer to start with

Customer:

Here now

FitnessSpecialist :

Hey Dave, Im sorry I missed the request last time, I wasnt near a computer

FitnessSpecialist :

how did the frost end up going with your crop - i was concerned you would have pulled everything based on the other answer another expert gave you

FitnessSpecialist :

I saw you were typing something did i go through? If we get glitches with the chat let me apologize beforehand - if so i can just switch us over to regular format

Customer:

Here's my question;

Customer:

Hello Mike. What is your opinion of pinching suckers on tomatom plants? Do you prune tomatoes at all? Thanks, Dave

FitnessSpecialist :

I do prune tomatoes sometimes and ill give you some examples

FitnessSpecialist :

so in situations of light frosts or wilted leaves from burns, i will just pinch them off

FitnessSpecialist :

if its something like suckers you mentioned about I tend to keep that pruning to the lower portion of the stalk, like maybe up to the first group of flowers or fruit

FitnessSpecialist :

really though dave if you felt compelled to and the planted situation was good, tomatoes are darn good plants and will continue to produce

FitnessSpecialist :

there are sometimes where you can literaly do nothing and have a great amount of tomatoes from them

Customer:

I've read many mixed opinions on the topic and thought I would ask you.

FitnessSpecialist :

yea its really depending on who you ask - i literally have done both, with other variables involved and probably never once had an issue

FitnessSpecialist :

is this your first time with tomatoes?

Customer:

About my tenth year but always eager to learn

FitnessSpecialist :

i love tomatoes - i always tell people i just eat them like apples.

FitnessSpecialist :

have you pruned in the past or do you generally just plant and weed and inspect them periodically?

Customer:

My thoughts exactly...can't wait for the first batch!

Customer:

The one year I pinched, it didn't do well. It was later in the season on my second planting, it almost seemed to stunt the plant.

FitnessSpecialist :

well generally speaking any extra energy and nutrients a plant has to spend, or anything that needs to be shuttled to the suckers, once they develop should in theory take away from the main stalk and the other branches

FitnessSpecialist :

Not always the case though - its tough to say. Generally though you should be pinching when they are small, but when the plant is dry. You shouldn't cut with scissors

FitnessSpecialist :

My habit(northern US) is to plant and inspect, make sure the soil is the right dampness but then if my gut tells me to pinch a couple suckers or if i see dying wilted leaves, i pinch.

FitnessSpecialist :

just so the plant doesn't need to spend its energy trying to grow or revive those little things that would take away

FitnessSpecialist :

but if youre in a place where it gets hot and dry, don't go crazy with it.

Customer:

Where are you in the northern US? NC here.

FitnessSpecialist :

Great lakes area, so we definitely see a winter and a hard frosts and hot nasty summers

Customer:

Good chatting with you. Thanks for the 411. Talk to you next time

FitnessSpecialist :

You got it Dave, always great to work with you.

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