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I know this question's often asked... but when do you pinch out the tops of your plants?

My various vine tomato plants are generally 5 - 6 ft tall currently, with on average about four/five trusses with tomatoes on, starting to ripen now. clearly fresh flowers are still coming too but, realistically - even with warm temperatures now forecast in the SE of England for the next few weeks - should I pinch out so the plant concentrates on the fruit already there?

Also, do you pinch out black russians? the fruit on these seems somewhat more randomly spread, not in obvious trusses, plus the stems have divided into two and three some cases so there are potentially several tops to pinch out.

thanks all!

Italophile

At this late stage of the season, pinching out the growing tips isn't going to make a lot of difference. Any more fruit that sets won't have time to mature and the existing fruit that is starting to ripen needs nothing more than warm temperatures.

ok cool. well, if the forecast is right and it'll be warm for the next few weeks, hopefully that'll ripen everything!

 

I always cut out everything above forming fruit out completely, including leaves. It seems to encourage ripening, stop any fungal issues developing and allow plenty of ventilation at this misty time of year
figrat

A bit grumpy as I was snipping off yellowing leaves off my pink brandywine and cut off one of the still rebarbatively green fruits. If not ripe by weekend (currently snuggling up to very ripe bananas in kithchen) guess it'lll be fried green tomatoes with saturday breakfast.

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Italophile

Oh no! I've done that. And snapped entire branches by twisting off fruit because I was too lazy to go and get the secateurs.

If it has started to change from its dark green it will ripen inside. Give it time, even a couple of weeks. It would be a shame to turn a Pink Brandywine into a fried breakfast!

My Romas are now ripening apace - the fungus-addled plants look shot to pieces, mind! Sungolds also doing well, although another bloomin' stem is going black. Lots of fruit On super sweet 100s and pale green so hopefully comin soon... Black Russians,which have never grown before, more of a concern. Some decent sized fruits but resolutely green.

Hopefully this late warm spell in the UK will do the job tho?
figrat
My neighbours had the lowest growing branches on their towering beech trees lopped off yesterday, means the toms should get another hour or so's sun in the late afternoon. Current harvest to date: 1 Gardener's delight ( and see post above!)
Next year, I'm definitely coming on to this forum before I start growing...
Italophile
Bf206 wrote (see)
My Romas are now ripening apace - the fungus-addled plants look shot to pieces, mind! Sungolds also doing well, although another bloomin' stem is going black. Lots of fruit On super sweet 100s and pale green so hopefully comin soon... Black Russians,which have never grown before, more of a concern. Some decent sized fruits but resolutely green.

Hopefully this late warm spell in the UK will do the job tho?

It's your best chance. Temperature is the key. Ultimately, though, you can always ripen them inside. In fact if the temp drops to about 15C outside, it's by far the best bet. Given that it's warmer than that inside. Providing they've begun the change from their dark green they should only take a couple of weeks to ripen.

And a tip: for the larger varieties, sit them on their shoulders.

right, thanks. i'm half wondering whether to bin the romas and just leave the fruit outside to ripen? the plants are now something of a mess. i'd just about kept them going after a bout of fungus but then was away for a week and didn't arrange for anyway to do the watering - although was some rain - and they're pretty gnarled now.

 

Italophile

If the plants are close to dead, you're better off removing the fruit. It won't be getting any value from the plant. It also depends how far the fruit is along the road to ripeness.

ok, thanks. will have a closer inspection tonight and see how close to death i think the plants are! i guess the sun we're now having may give them a new lease of life.

i wish the super sweet 100s would hurry up and ripen. lots of them, very light green...

Italophile

The sun won't help the plants. The warmth will help the toms ripen.

right, yes you were saying about any new growth not having time to mature by this time of year...

 

 

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Italophile

That, and if the plants are close to curtains via disease, there's no helping them.

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