Pinched Off

The backyard...

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It was only after the tomato plants grew over my head that I realised I had an indeterminate variety. I'd been feeding them Seasol and keeping them trussed and partly shaded and hydrated and protected by a layer of pea straw. These were some healthy, in-tune with nature tomatoes. Too healthy, it seems. Doing everything right had backfired. Long limbs are a source of weakness in plants. They need a strong trunk to be balanced. The best method? Pinch them off at the top. Only once the plant stops growing up will it dedicate its energy to the existing structure to thrive and produce healthier, heftier fruit. It's a little bit of pain for a lot of potential. Don't overthink it. Just find the top shoots, squeeze between your finger and thumb and squeeze. Don't worry if you get one wrong. The frost will kill them come winter regardless.


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