Ask a Question forum→Early Girl tomato. Which stem is main?

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Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 12:37 AM CST
Hello,

I want to grow "Early Girl" tomato with a single stem. One stem has flowers (left hand side). Second is not.
Is stem without flowers a main one? If not I assume I can prune it.

Please advise.

Thank you

PS I just starting gardening ..

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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
May 19, 2020 12:50 AM CST
Welcome! The main stem is the one the flower is coming out from. Look above the flower, the big leaf stem going out to the left is part of the main stem, and that smaller leaf stem just at the top and slightly right of that is the sucker. That is what you would/ could pinch out. Some people leave the suckers on; this will produce lateral stems and branches and will eventually produce more fruit, but it is also more work because you have to tie each stem to the stake. I'm racking my brain about Early girl: isn't it a determinate? With determinates it's not as important to pinch suckers as it is on indeterminates because determinates usually reach a set height and quit growing. If this were my plant, I would let the growth get a little bigger, then pinch out the sucker. This is easily done with the fingers. Also it will become more apparent to you which is the sucker. I've been growing tomatoes for 20 years, and I pinch out suckers at the micro size stage, but I'm familiar with where they are. Suckers almost always come out between a leaf stem on the main a ranch and the branch itself, often right above a fruiting stem.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 2:39 AM CST
Thank you gardenfish for your help!!!

I have uploaded another picture just to make sure I pinch out right things Smiling I placed crosses on the picture that's what I think to cut based on your feedback.

Early Girl is an indeterminate tomato and since I have limited space on my balcony I have decided to grow my tomato vertically with one stem.

I placed numbers for convenience to identify stems

Thank you again!






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[Last edited by stg68 - May 19, 2020 3:13 AM (+)]
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
May 19, 2020 3:24 AM CST
You are most welcome. This is what I would do. I'm not absolutely sure exactly which one the sucker is. Don't clip #4, leave that one. Take that largest leaf stem not numbered to the left and attach that to the stake. Let it alone for awhile. Watch how it grows. It should be apparent then exactly where and which one the sucker is. The sucker will grow out laterally. You can leave it until you are sure. Post another pic at that point. Thumbs up
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:04 AM CST
Thank you so much!!!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 19, 2020 11:11 AM CST
I think you are cutting off leaves, not suckers. I went out and took a couple photos of my Early Girl. First photo, whole plant. See how the leaves on this variety look like they're branching? There is one sucker coming up right in the middle of the photo. The sucker is located in the node (leaf armpit). The second photo is just a little closer - the sucker is just under the flower.

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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:47 AM CST
Thank you for information! So far I have decided to keep # 1,2 and 3. Still debating about #4 worrying that main stem with flowers no numbered will not continue to grow. Ps my goal is to have 1 stem
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 19, 2020 11:54 AM CST
You have one stem. I don't see ANY suckers in your photos. The one you have labeled as 'sucker to be removed' is the main stem - all the rest are leaves.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
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gardenfish
May 19, 2020 1:18 PM CST
Thanks Daisy! It's been a long time since I grew early girl.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 19, 2020 2:15 PM CST
Thumbs up

I haven't grown an Early Girl for years but, I wanted to plant my tomatoes out too early so used the Early Girl (picked up from Home Depot) as my sacrificial lamb. It obviously has done well. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
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gardenfish
May 19, 2020 3:52 PM CST
Yes it has. Thumbs up
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 19, 2020 4:21 PM CST
Daisy is.right. It's too soon to look for.suckers. Do not cut.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 5:48 PM CST
Thank you guys! Will hold on
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 19, 2020 6:46 PM CST
Are you growing your tomato under red/blue LED lights? Are you planning to move it outside? In Mountain View, you could have planted them out about 2 months ago.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:13 PM CST
Will grow on balcony. Nowhere to move:). I have led light 5x100w for 10 hours a day. In average 3-5k lux per plant. Approx 1 hour direct sunlight a day. I am growing persian cucumber, brocollini, tomato: early girl, cherry yellow hybrid, kumato, sungold, sweet 100, little napoli, mini bell pepper, radish, celantro and etc. I have no space that is why I want vertical garden. The most problem is low light. So, this is my first year I am trying. Will see how it goes
Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:21 PM CST

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Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:22 PM CST
:)
Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:23 PM CST

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Mountain View, California
stg68
May 19, 2020 11:25 PM CST
I hope I am not wasting my time to grow these plants with such a low light;)
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
Image
gardenfish
May 20, 2020 12:53 AM CST
I don't think you are.Ive not had a lot of luck with leds, but I know a lot of people use them. I prefer fluorescents, myself.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa

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