Author Topic: Dealing with overly tall tomatoes: topping vs. flopping  (Read 252 times)

neilweinstock

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Dealing with overly tall tomatoes: topping vs. flopping
« on: July 12, 2021, 01:45:44 pm »
My tomatoes have predictably grown above my staking kit, and above the top of my 6' enclosure (on my patio).  They're both indeterminate cherry tomatoes (one Sungold and one Sugar Plum Grape).  They're right about at the height that they become difficult to deal with.  They seem healthy and have set lots of fruit so far; just about to harvest my first ripe Sungold.

I have read many pages and watched many videos and I *still* cannot understand the nuances of topping tomatoes.  I get that topping them 6-8 weeks before first frost is a good idea, but it's only mid-July and we're still a few weeks away from that.  In those three weeks the plants will get to be Too Tall.

Each of my plants has two or three "main stems" that are reaching up to the sky.  If I top them, will that limit my crop to flowers that already exist, or will there still be an opportunity for new flowers on lower branches?  I'd hate to needlessly limit my crop, but then again once they're 8' off the ground they become problematic anyway.

As for letting them "flop over", I can't visualize how this works.  They'd have to get quite tall before they flopped, and then it seems like the stems would have to fold, which doesn't seem good.  I don't think I've seen any pictures that show how this would be done in practice.  Even if they did fold over, the folded stems would have no where to go other than to just crowd the rest of the plant.

Any advice appreciated.

PS I know I have some pruning to do :)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 02:34:21 pm by neilweinstock »

gardendoc

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Re: Dealing with overly tall tomatoes: topping vs. flopping
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 02:49:46 pm »
Pick a height and top those plants. Being indeterminant the topping will release buds down the stem and keep growing. Should only interrupt production a couple of weeks.
Why Google, when you have me?

neilweinstock

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Re: Dealing with overly tall tomatoes: topping vs. flopping
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2021, 09:38:47 pm »
Thanks, I guess I'll give it a try.  Don't seem to have much alternative.