Comments for Pinching

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by: Anonymous

What would a tomato plant do without pinching? Would it branch?

It Depends...
by: Jacki

That would almost entirely depend on the variety of tomato plant as well as if it's a determinate or staking type.

Determinate tomatoes have been bred over the centuries to be much more bushy and tend to grow to a certain height (pre-determined by genetics) and then form the flower trusses, which of course ripen into the fruit (tomatoes).

The staking types don't have this self limiting ability.

They'll just keep growing one long stalk, as long as the weather is warm enough. I've seen this type (Sweet Million is one variety) going all around a greenhouse, flowering and fruiting all winter. These don't do anything different if pinched.

The determinate types do - they'll become extremely bushy with new branches emerging from each and every axil (where the leaf joins the main stem).

If you don't want to pinch your tomato plants, then choose the determinate type, which will stay compact for their whole life. This information is usually on seed packets, and in many vegetable seed catalogs and growing guides.

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