Out of control tomatos - Knowledgebase Question

Cahokia, IL
Question by plumivy
July 1, 2007
My tomato vines are out of control! They are over 5 feet tall and have so many tomatos on them they are starting to bend completely over(yes they are caged). The tomatos are not ripening so I can not give the vines any relief. They are Cherry, Jellybean, and Better Boy variety in a raised bed. It's looking more like a jungle than a garden. I thought about pruning them back but was afraid I would damage the vines. Any suggestions?


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Answer from NGA
July 1, 2007

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Indeterminate tomato vines can certainly grow huge over the course of the summer. They need large, sturdy supports spaced generously far apart for that reason. The little two ring wire cages are best for determinate types that stay smaller. You can allow the vines to sprawl, it will not hurt them to do that. Use organic mulch to cover the ground and keep the tomatoes clean. You can prune suckers or small side branches that develop between the main stems. This will reduce the amount of foliage somewhat and prevent too much shade on the tomatoes so they will ripen better. But, it's still early to be looking for ripe fruits!

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