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General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

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Old January 9, 2017   #1
murihikukid
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Default Pruning and Repotting...

Hi...My recently acquired Tasty Toms require Pruning and repotting ...and I feel I need guidance on both facets....In my opinion the plants are top heavy but I will let photos tell the story....I presume I need to start off pruning in the lower region and deciding on how many stems one should decide on ....

Cheers Ron
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Old January 9, 2017   #2
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Ron, you are right. The first thing that you have to do is to remove all of the leaves that are showing signs of yellowing and browning. This seems to include all of the lower leaves. Be sure not to touch any foliage other than that which is being removed because you may then be further contaminating your plants. I would also like for you to use rubbing alcohol on your pruning tool between each cut as well as on your hands. Be sure to bag all of the debris and dispose of it far away from your plants. Either send it to the dump or burn it.

These plants are full and it is difficult to see. Plant #1 appears that the grower already has removed the lowest growth and allowed three stems to grow. That is just fine. You can easily work with that. While I do see some very strong laterals growing above these, I do think that they should be removed to keep you plant balanced. The other way to go would be to remove the lowest lateral and then allow the next up to grow. I definitely would try to keep your plants to no more than 3 stems. Most greenhouse growers here on the forum will suggest only 1-2 stems per plant. So let's hear what they have to say. I am only allowing you to have 3 stems because I know how you hate to limit your plants productivity. Many growers will tell you that you have better production when you have just one main stem.

Plants #2 and #3 are difficult to see. Remove all infected leaves and then perhaps we will have a better view of your plants structure.

Plant #4 Remove all spotted and browning leaves. Then also remove the laterals that are growing at soil level. Do NOT try to grow these laterals into plants. If you wish to grow some from laterals you will still be pruning healthier ones out after we can see what you have growing.

You need to re-pot these very soon. I would wrap them with twine or a blanket quite snugly. Place them on their sides. Then step on the sides of the pots firmly to compact the soil. Gently grasp the bottom of the stems including the support and pull. Since you loosened the root ball from the pot with your foot, it should slide out easily. If it still has resistance, then roll the plant 1/4 of a turn and step on the pot again and continue to do this until it slides out. Then gently lift it by the root ball into it's new home.

TT's from my experience this past year are a lanky plant. So keep your pots down as low as possible to the ground so that these have less of a chance of getting too tall to work with.

Do some pruning and then let's see where to go from there.
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Old January 9, 2017   #3
murihikukid
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Patti..Thanks for the prompt reply ..I actually thought that these plants have never been pruned ...Its what secondary stems I allow to grow that worries me...The bottom stems have to come off because of the depth that the plants will be repotted at...So I will remove the infected branches and see what is next in line and work my way up....They have huge laterals on them...some have tomatoes on them ..They will be potted at ground level ...I am trying to find a plastic basin or something that the washing machine drums can sit in off the concrete...If I find something these drums could be self watered ...
I have just finished the roof and washed drums again...so I am now ready to Prune and Repot....Rubbing Alcohol ?? is that different to the alcohol one buys in a Pharmacy?? I have plenty of 3% Peroxide if thats any good for sterilizing..

There is one other factor here ...I bought a heap of special Super grow Garden soil from a garden centre..its specially formulated and they say excellent for Tomatoes especially with perlite so I have to take a risk and use it in my repotting drums....I winder if I should use equal parts of perlite with it and water it with Seasol before I put the plant in the cavity that will be "pre made" for the plant to sit in..
There is hardly a cloud in the sky but its blowing and that spoils which would otherwise be a great day..
Regards Ron
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Old January 9, 2017   #4
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Rubbing alcohol is that which you get at the pharmacy. 3% Peroxide will work as well but will also ruin your clothing if you get any on it.

I really do not know anything about your new soil. Do what you think is best. I would still check it for ph prior to planting. I would also add some calcium. Yep, you can water your plants in with either the Seasol or the Miracle Gro unless of course this mixture already has nutrients added. If that is the case, then I would wait to see how the plants adjust to the mix. If you have Myco's now would be a good time to use them.

Sitting a pot in a bin of water is not really considered a self-watering system. It is asking for wet and rotting roots. Many container gardeners here use great self-watering systems. Read other threads right here in this very forum to find what works well for many greenhouse growers.

Once you have the plants re-potted, they will need some better support and they will also need to have the black ties or tape loosened that are holding them too tightly to their little supports.
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Old January 9, 2017   #5
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Patti..These Plants are all laterals ..Each has a main stem and then aprox 1/2 way up is another secondary stem nearly as thick as the main stem and both have tomatoes on them ..meantine underneath the secondary stem is about another 4 to 6 laterals with a head on each ...Remove them and it would have basicly no lower branches...I will try and photograph it outside by itself...

Regards Ron...
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Old January 9, 2017   #6
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As expensive as plants are in your area, you might try rooting the cuttings you remove. Damp sand or vermiculite should be good enough to root a cutting. There are many other methods.
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Old January 9, 2017   #7
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Default Photos all of the same plant..

Patti here are three photos of the same plant with the spotted lower leaves which I have removed ...The Photos have been taken at three different positions round the plant ..Its too windy for me to go biking except up to the Garden Centre ..If they have alcohol I will buy it if not peroxide will have to do..

I think you will see the two main stems I am referring too...Would it be a good idea to grow laterals below the secondary stem ....they would grow into more stems ?? So I have a main stem and a secondary stem...thats two so If I wanted a third stem would it be best to grow if from above the secondary stem ...I think knowing that would make it far easier for me...
Regards Ron
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Old January 9, 2017   #8
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Ron, I'm sorry, but I do not see any photos at all. I think that the best choice would be to keep them at two main stems. If you really need a third, without seeing them, my choice would be to grow one above them.

I agree laterals are a great way to get more cheap plants. So is starting from seed. Ron's problem is not finding new plants, it's getting him to resist growing more plants. He has room for 25 full grown plants at the most. Currently he has 100 plants to fit into his greenhouse. This is a problem...
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Old January 9, 2017   #9
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Patti..I will need to buy some supports ...Those ones are far from adequate...I will need to buy an exact sized pot as the ones they are in...to make my first indentation in the soil in the growing drum so as I can simply lower the plant minus its pot into the indentation....So I have to go biking..If it was not so windy I would bike out to the furtherist away garden centre and take photos of their display tasty tom and how they have it staked ...its in a teepee ...3 stakes tied at the top together..
What do you think about the perlite mix ...would one part to one part be alright...hopefully the roots will branch out to get at the new soil ...
Regards Ron
PS The Photos have arrived..I sent them and realised I had not rotated and cropped them so I had to edit my post ,fix the photos and resend them
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Old January 9, 2017   #10
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Patti...There are 4 big Laterals below where the secondary stem leaves the main Stem ...I think there might be one branch ....so those laterals as I understand have to be completely removed ...Then We can worry about whats above later ...These plants are all laterals...i cannot understand how a 35 year tomato gardener can tell me ..."Leave them alone ,do not do anything to them apart from watering" ????
Cheers Ron
PS There is 34 pottles of new plants inside under lights plus still seeds to come that are in the propagator .....There has to be a clean out but I will leave it til its absolutely necessary....Its the varieties that matter most to me so I can see a lot of Tasty Toms being given away ...

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Old January 9, 2017   #11
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Patti..Have my photos shown up ...If not I would think iy you refresh the page they should show up...Regards Ron..
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Old January 9, 2017   #12
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I'm sorry I was busy and not on the computer for awhile. Yes, the photos are here. From looking at the latest pics, I would remove the lowest non-blooming branches first. I see four main stems at the top of the plant. I would like to see this plant limited to three. Prune out the lowest and let's see what you have.

Have you thought of using rebar or metal fence posts for stakes. They would be much sturdier than the bamboo that you are using and would last much longer. You could also make cages out of fencing. Some people prune to one stem and just use string. Take a look at AK Mark's greenhouse. He does an amazing job of pruning and staking his plants.
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Old January 9, 2017   #13
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Default Oh Dear ..I forgot?

Patti..I was in that much of a hurry to transplant my first plant especially when I had help to do it...I forgot about the calcium and the Myco...I wonder if I could mix some plantmate up with water and pour it on....I could try and scoop out the soil around the root ball and put calcium round it...I wonder how much it would require....These drums take a lot of soil and perlite...I used a 2 part to one mix ...Soil to perlite..and its not cheap...I would say I have to get more perlite ..i put 4 litres of water with a spoonful of MG to bed down the new soil mix..

Better take a photo ....I cannot get stakes long enough up the road.....I will have to make some enquiries tomorrow on what I am going to do about stakes...
Regards Ron

Ps I put another supporting stake in ..I did not prune the bottom because at that point i had not heard from you ..basicly the first 4 side shoots will have to go ..
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Old January 10, 2017   #14
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Good job on the plant move! No damage at all and the plant looks quite happy. At this point I would leave well enough alone. Skip the calcium and the mycos. You can leave the plant as a control to see if the calcium and mycos are working at all.

I think that 4 liters of water was a little too much. For your next attempt may I suggest using just one liter with the MG will suffice. Do not use this towards the stem but wet the medium with this on the edges of the root ball.
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Old January 10, 2017   #15
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Patti ..I have a 2nd one done ...but thats it ..I am just too tired and I have to have something to eat ....I still do not like the lower leaves on these ...I could be mistaken but I see the beginning of round yellow balls on them...and I found another plant that I have put with the others that have been sprayed with Thiram ...So thats a job to do tomorrow ..

I have to do one more job..tonight ..do a Ph test ...on my soil...I have the recipe for it somewhere on a photograph....?? I must find it...

Regards Ron..
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