RE: [tomato] Tall Tomatoes (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 11:36:33 -0400

Michael wrote:
My Sweet 100s are now nine feet tall and have grown over the top of their
cages and are heading into some overhead tree limbs. It occurred to me today
that if the tomatoes are in the trees it could encourage the birds to eat
them and I was thinking maybe I should chop the tops off so they don't grow
any taller. I'm very much a novice at tomato growing, so any thoughts would
be appreciated.

Like the open-pollinated version of Sweet 100 that's no longer commercially
available, the hybrid Sweet 100 makes a huge plant, easily able to reach 10+
feet in height. It's common practice to snip off the top of an indeterminate
variety like Sweet 100 when it reaches the top of its stake, trellis, etc.
This type of pruning  forces the plant to concentrate its energy into
develop side growth and ripening fruit. It does result in a lower yield per
plant -- but if you can't harvest the fruit because you can't reach it in an
unpruned plant, the "loss" is moot!

Some people are able to get their tomato plants to cascade down the sides of
cages when the plant reaches the top. I can't every get it right....and end
up with a jungle mess! So, I don't hesitate to "top out" plants when they
grow too tall for me to harvest without a step ladder.

Catharine/Atlanta, zone 7b