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Old 2 Days Ago   #1
mobiledynamics
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Default Pinching Flowers before transplant

What camp do you sit in. By pinching flowers before transplanting or you just let mother nature decide it's course ?

Most of my seedlings have developed flowers already. I pinched them all. I've got another 2-3 weeks before I start hardening off.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #2
taboule
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I usually leave one or two flowers on a couple of the largest plants that I put in the ground. More years than not, they produce the first full-size fruit. I consider those specimens sacrificial, if they die after, or produce nothing, they would have been worth the chance.I grow many more than I can easily manage.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #3
Ricky Shaw
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The reasoning behind cold treating seedlings is to promote stronger stalky plants that set more fruit and earlier. If you're a believer in cold treating, pinching first truss blossoms would be counterproductive, and why I don't bury additional stalk or leaves when transplanting.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #4
Gardeneer
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I have come to the d3cision to let the nature to take its course. If the plant cannot suppor fruit, it will abort it.
I don,t think that it will slow down vegetative growth of plant. In my view tomato plants grow/expand root , grow foliage and fru8te all at the same time, all season long.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #5
NarnianGarden
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Agree. Plants are able to decide when and what to produce.. My job is to observe and enjoy.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #6
zipcode
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Depends on how the transplants look. If they are sturdy and you transplant them in good conditions (like, not cold soil) you can leave them.
If they are rather stunted due to too small cups or you kept them too long, removing them is beneficial if you care about the overall production of that plant.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #7
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiledynamics View Post
What camp do you sit in. By pinching flowers before transplanting or you just let mother nature decide it's course ?

Most of my seedlings have developed flowers already. I pinched them all. I've got another 2-3 weeks before I start hardening off.
Best I can say is that some do and some don't and there are those who have actually experimented.That means planting out young seedlings, maybe 4 of each of one variety and then taking off the blossoms on 2/4 and letting the other 2 not taking off blossoms and seeing if it makes a difference.

And in most reports back that I remember it made no difference at all.

But also know that not all varieties form roots and shoots in the same way re a timeline.

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Old 1 Day Ago   #8
DonDuck
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I planted a couple of plants this year with small tomatoes on the plants. One of the plants was a Moravsky Div which is an early variety. I don't remember the other variety. They were planted out eight weeks after germination while still small. They formed a few blooms under lights. The Moravsky Div tomato has grown to almost full size, but hasn't started changing color. I can't tell the plant is any less vigorous or more vigorous than an identical plant which did not set any fruit under lights. I believe the other variety which was planted with a small tomato already set was a purchased Big Beef seedling. That plant and small tomato are growing well.

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Old 1 Day Ago   #9
edweather
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Me no pinchee.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #10
GrowingCoastal
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Last year I left all early blooms on my tomatoes and had a lot of fused blossoms as a result of the cold temperatures. So, depending on the weather, I will likely remove all the first flowers this year as the fused fruits were awful to deal with, made a lot of waste, were no earlier than regular fruit, and must take a lot of energy out of a plant to produce. Some of the later fused fruit took ages to ripen unevenly.

Maybe temperature is where it makes a difference?
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Old 1 Day Ago   #11
Anthony_Toronto
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For me its 50/50, sometimes the tomatoes formed are great, other times they either don't get to full size or have no taste. I haven't seen any noticeable difference in overall plant performance for those that were pinched vs. not. Given the short and fickle growing season here, I'm more apt to leave any early blossoms on, and at least once or twice in the last few years that's made the difference between having a crop or not having one.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #12
joseph
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I don't pinch flowers. And I don't prune leaves, or suckers.
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Old 20 Hours Ago   #13
bower
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I never pinch and I've never seen it affect the production of the plant overall. I mean, every indeterminate plant produces a cluster at a time every 3 leaves and continues to grow and set over the length of your season - if the plant is not setting or not growing you have a problem, and otherwise, as long as they set properly I don't see the point to compare them with a plant that was pinched! You will have a cluster less, that's all.

OTOH I have seen last year, how leaving the plants in a beer cup for (12? or more?) weeks really did stunt them. It was a row of extra plants that were left at the farm, that didn't get put in with the others but were stuck in the ground much much later after lots of stress of all kinds - they stayed small, stopped growing after producing a few fruit in the first cluster or two, and then died a horrible death of whatever got em. I don't know if pinching would have helped...
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Old 16 Hours Ago   #14
DonDuck
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I'm like Joseph! I grow the seedlings to the tallest height they can achieve under lights in about eight weeks. I plant them outside as early as possible with plenty of covers around in case a late frost or freeze is anticipated. I plant them as deep as I can with a bulb planter to dig the holes. After they are in the ground, I don't do anything to them except watch them grow and support them as they grow and produce. Since most of my varieties are open pollinated, indeterminate varieties; my biggest concern is supporting them when they reach seven or eight feet in height. I've never done it in the past, but this year I plan on topping the plants at about six feet in height after the spring/summer harvest. I don't know if it will kill the plants, stop any fall production; or improve the fall production. I hope to learn something new this year.
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Old 16 Hours Ago   #15
mobiledynamics
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Interesting responses sofar. I was always under the impression removing let's the plant grow , let's it acclimate better during transplant, as all the energy is focused there. There seems to be a majority of the responses sofar that follow the triple P rule - no pinch, pluck or prune ;--
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