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Shortening Tomato Plants

If your tomato plants get too large to set out, just cut off the top go ahead and set out. It will make you have good strong vines. Just as long as they have roots they will grow.

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By mamacrafter from TN

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 216 Posts
March 15, 20110 found this helpful

Good tip for small spaces. But be careful not to do this until the plant is as tall as you want, because this will stop it's growth. If you have a tomato plant in a pot, try putting some tall bamboo from the garden section, or even thin, long, fairly straight branches from your yard, in the pot. Put in 3 or 4, evenly spaced. As the tomato grows, tie it loosely with soft cloth ties (old nylons are great) to the sticks. This will confine the plant to growing upword instead of outward, and will save some space.

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March 18, 20110 found this helpful

My mother, a great gardener, would lay a tall tomato plant in a shallow trench and bury it, leaving only the top 3-4 leaves sticking out. The buried stem would take root, making a very large root system and thus a strong plant.

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The shallow trench absorbs the heat from the sun better than a deep hole too.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
March 19, 20110 found this helpful

I do sort of like claygirl does. I just plant it deeper than you normally would. It really does make strong roots that way.

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May 28, 20130 found this helpful

You've lost me. Why do you not do this until the plant is as tall as you want it? I stake and tie my tomato plants all the time; I've been doing it for over 3 decades. My plants are indeterminate and never stop growing - vines that grow until they die.

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(Determinate tomatoes are bush tomatoes that are bred to only grow so tall.)

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