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 Post subject: Tomato Plants
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:30 pm 
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My tomato plants have produced wonderfully but look horrible. I really think its a combination of grasshoppers, disease, and heat plus I had them too crowded and they began to fall over one another in the wind. I've done all the organic spraying, etc. but they are so bad, I would like to cut them down. If I prune them severely, will they come back out?


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 Post subject: Re: Tomato Plants
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
It depends partly on what variety of tomato you planted. I have Super Fantastic and they're still loaded with fruit, though I think they got sunburned (at the very least) in the last couple of weeks. They are "indeterminate" so they will bear fruit all season ("determinate" has a crop and is finished.) I've managed to keep the spider mites and such under control, but there could be some kind of blight involved.

Sometimes I'll let the plants stay put, ugly limbs and all, and they put out new foliage in the fall. With large established root systems, it means I may get a good fall crop on the new foliage. If you plant new, you have smaller plants and may not get as much (but if they're free of problems, it may be on a par, so it is a judgement call.) Sometimes I cut a few branches off and let it send out new limbs. They will - depending on how and when you cut them back. You might want to experiment; trim a few, leave a few alone, and see what happens.

I do keep adding Garrett juice any time I do foliar treatment (for tobacco hornworms, for mites, for whatever) and I include a liquid fertilizer and molasses. Every so often I pour water on that has epsom salts dissolved in it. Don't treat them like they're already dead and maybe you'll get more life later. And even if you don't, the things you are adding will just keep the soil healthier for the next crop.

Not very scientific, just based upon similar experience. I hope it helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Tomato Plants
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:29 pm 
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I've been thinking about the problem you mentioned earlier about your tomatoes: I've been fighting flea beetles this year, they were really hard on my eggplant plants, and this afternoon I took a closer look at a number of plants in the garden - I think the problem on my tomatoes is that the flea beetles moved from the eggplants, and tomatoes are a plant they attack.

I did a drench on the plants and soil with 2 ounces of neem per gallon of water this evening (the bottle says 2 to 4 ounces, but I wasn't sure if I'd have enough, so I used the lower amount). Earlier in the morning I used the DE puffer, but later realized that the beetles were so widespread I decided I'd use need to try to interrupt the live cycle and not just kill the insects on the plants.

I'll do the drench again next week also and see if I can't knock out a couple of generations of these beetles. The neem only kills bugs if they eat the plants, so in theory they won't harm beneficial bugs that are there to pollinate, etc.

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