Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tomatoes and suckers.

Tomato: a sucker

a cut sucker

a cut sucker

a cut sucker

I thought this extract is worth to read because it explains sucker deeper.

As a tomato grows, side shoots, or suckers, form in the crotches, or axils, between the leaves and the main stem. If left alone, these suckers will grow just like the main stem, producing flowers and fruit.

Suckers appear sequentially, from the bottom of the plant up. The farther up on the plant a sucker develops, the weaker it is, because the sugar concentration gets lower as you move up the plant. On the other hand, side stems arising from below the first flower cluster, although stronger, compromise the strength of the main stem. For a multi-stemmed plant, your aim is to have all stems roughly the same size, although the main stem should always be stronger, because it has to feed the entire plant for the next five or six months. Here's how I achieve this. click for more;   Pruning Tomatoes

We did prune suckers early on. But once flowers start to appear, gardeners like me, will pay the cute flowers and little fruits that appear later more attention. We tend to forget about suckers for a while, then the plants get very bushy. A little gust of wind and a heavy downpour will bring the branches down. By then we are back to our senses and start to look for suckers that have to go.

Putrajaya Malaysia


  1. Hello,

    What great information. I need to go check my tomato plant for suckers now :-)

  2. This is the first time I'm seeing a tomato plant. I can't believe it. Somehow I imagined tomato plants are creepers. I love tomatoes. I should know how the plant look like. Thank you Bangchik.

  3. Thank you for the information. Pat and i are planting our first vegge garden this year. jim

  4. Terrific information. Thanks! I am planting my tomatoes next week..

  5. You can pot the side shoots up once you've pinched them out, and they will grow and become a new tomato plant. I might give it a go myself this year.

  6. Thanks for this Bangchik - I will remember it for next summer when I try again with some tomatoes!

  7. Thx for sharing this valuable info. We hardly ever prune our tomatoes in the yard. will give in a shot soon. We have a lot of teeny-tiny cherry tomatoes growing in our yard at the moment. Informative post.

  8. Noelle
    Ocean Girl
    Jim Groble
    Ever Green Tree

    Thanks everyone.
    Pruning is never easy. You don't feel a thing to pinch a little sucker. But once the sucker grow longer and start producing flowers, not many has the heart to cut. In our case here, allowing too many suckers growing, make the foliage too dense, and the sun can penetrate deep to the leaves.

    Pruning is good I think, the keep the bush manageable and making sure the food/nutrient enough for the fruits.

    Putrajaya< malaysia

  9. I'm not much of a gardener, but I have just published a fun compendium of info about the tomato business that seems to fascinate tomato gardeners and tomato fanciers. The book is called Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato. You can purchase it on Amazon and at your favorite bookstore. Not sure whether it's available (other than by mail) overseas yet.

    Arthur Allen

  10. Thank you for the information, it will be very useful when the tomatoes are planted outside soon.

  11. Arthur Allen ~ thanks for the visit and info.

    balconygarden ~ thanks for the comment. Many reasons for pruning tomato plants. To avoid having a top heavy plant is reasonable and fair without going into the scientific element.


  12. your tomato doing great! Bangchik you have any tips to grow Tomato? everytime i sow the seeds a tiny plant wil emerge...but it stay at the very same size for mths.....

  13. ~Malar
    A difficult question indeed. I will treat it as simple as I can. Success of germination depends so much on water, soil, temperature and seeds quality. It would be best to germinate more than needed and vary the success parameters. It will be experiential. I fail too at times. No harm in trying to understand better.



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