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To make the tomatoes work. Stepsons don't belong here

To make the tomatoes work. Stepsons don't belong here

Tomato bushes have the ability to branch strongly. Additional shoots appear in the leaf axils of the main stem. They are called stepsons. These shoots begin to grow rapidly immediately after formation, flower brushes are laid on each of them.

It would seem that the more of them, the greater the harvest. But this is not the case. The more flowers there are on a plant, the slower the fruits grow and mature. Excess shoots consume a large amount of nutrients and greatly delay the ripening of the crop.

Many novice amateur vegetable growers are familiar with the feeling of resentment when in autumn they have to pull out and remove plants strewn with green ovaries, since the first frosts have already passed and summer is over. But the plant spent a large amount of nutrients on the formation of these now useless fruits to the detriment of the main crop.

The removal of excess shoots is called pasing.

This agrotechnical technique allows you to get good early tomato harvests in the middle zone of the country, where the last spring frosts last until June 8-10, and the first autumn ones are possible even in early September.

It is necessary to carry out pasting in several steps — 5-6 times during the growing season.

Stepsons should be removed until their length does not exceed 4-5 cm. At this time, the shoots easily break out without leaving a large wound, and the place of their breakage in the leaf axil quickly overgrows.

Removing stepsons when they are already large and the visible formation of flower brushes on them has begun is an exercise of little use. By this time, they had already managed to extract a significant amount of nutrients from the mother plant.

By pasticulation, plants can be formed into one, two and three stems. The fewer the stems, the earlier the fruits are formed on the left stems and the sooner they ripen.

Stepsons begin to be removed 12-15 days after planting seedlings in the open ground.

In the case of formation in one stem, all lateral shoots are removed, and then flower brushes are formed only on the main stem.

When forming into two stems, one lateral shoot is left under the first flower brush, and all those formed in the future are regularly removed.

In warmer regions of the middle zone, such as Penza, Samara, and Tambov regions, it is possible to form three stems. Then another side shoot is left, located below the first one, preferably on the opposite side of the stem from it.

When growing indeterminate tomato varieties (that is, varieties with unlimited growth) of the Bull's Heart type, De Barao has to additionally apply another method of formation — pinching the top of the main stem.

The purpose of this technique is to limit the further growth of the central stem to accelerate the onset of maturation.

Pinching is usually done over the third or fourth flower brush. This procedure is carried out no later than the beginning of August, that is, three to four weeks before the onset of frost.

When pinching, 2-3 leaves are left over the flower brush. They are necessary for the nutrition of the fruits of the upper brush.

Tall bushes are formed into one stem, i.e. all stepsons are plucked «on the stump».

Low-growing bushes are formed into two stems. All stepsons are removed before the first flower brush. The stepson is left over the first flower brush. Then all the stepsons are removed from above.

Only very early tomato varieties, such as Moskvich and Otradny, are grown without pasing.

Novice gardeners are advised to start growing tomatoes from these varieties, since they are determinant, that is, with limited growth. The height of their bushes is no more than 45 cm.

These varieties not only do not require pinching, they do not form unnecessary side shoots, therefore there is no need for pasing. These varieties belong to the stem group, that is, the plants have a thick central stem, which means that the garters to the peg are well worth it.

Such tomatoes can be grown even by those gardeners who do not live permanently in suburban areas.

In order for you to have time to ripen as many tomatoes as possible, you need to remove them in a timely manner. The first fruits are removed red, and the next ones — when they are browned and even when they have simply reached the size characteristic of the variety and have acquired a whitish-green color. It is this gradual harvesting of fruits that accelerates the maturation of the remaining ones on the bush.

It is important to do stepsonization correctly and on time.

Tall tomatoes lay the first fruit brush after the 6th-8th, and sometimes the 10th leaf. An additional stepson twig appears from the sinus of each leaf. There are 6-8 or even 10 additional branches on the plant before the first brush. And they all need nutrition. And since the stepson stems have grown below the fruit brush, they will receive more nutrition, moreover, much faster. Then the fruit brushes are laid through the leaf, and the stepsons are placed near each leaf. If you do not regulate this process in any way, then lush plants with small fruits are provided for you.

But we know that it is the tall varieties that are famous for their large-fruited and high yields. And it is in our power to achieve this. Therefore, we begin to stepson tomatoes during the flowering of the first brush.

Since this operation is time-consuming, we combine it with the first garter of plants to the supports.

Stepsonation cannot be done mechanically. Therefore, decide in advance for yourself how many stems you want to leave on the plant.

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