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Aug 2, 2014 10:37 AM

Tomatoes "clustered" on our plants...

We have five heirloom tomato plants (2 Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, Bloody Butcher and Black Prince), and one Beefsteak plant. All of the plants (except the Mortgage Lifter)have clusters of tomatoes at a point about 16 inches above the soil. All of them also have a second wind, and blossoms covering the top third of the plants. Can any garden 'hounds explain why these plants grew their fruit in clusters?

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  1. Other than the fact that some people want clusters of fruit, I might hazard a guess that it has to do with how you pruned along the way. Have you cut sideshoots? How have you checked the overgrowth?

    1 Reply
    1. re: healthytouch101

      Thank you for your reply, healthytouch.

      These were about eight inch plants when they first went into the ground. None of them had buds at that time. And we have not pinched any buds off either. Wife has used a delicate hand trimming away leaf overgrowth, and the "sucker" branches are removed. So the plants are getting some good attention as well as adequate water.

    2. Tomato plants are vines and will continue to grow new flower clusters along the stem as long as the plant is alive. In greenhouses, fruit clusters can form along the stem as long as 25 feet away from the roots. Also, temperature will affect if the flowers set fruit, if it's too hot or too cold, the flowers will just fall off, so often during a heat wave, my tomato plants will all lose flowers at the same height.

      1 Reply
      1. re: earthygoat

        Great information, earthygoat. Thank you.

      2. When I buy plants, I take all leaves off about the bottom 4-6 inches and then bury the roots AND that amount of stem (laid along a "trenchlike" scraping in the earth) and then heeling them in well. This makes the plant hardier in my windy location. It could be you have trimmed off a few branches that might be ones that could fruit.

        Like this:

        And more here about deep planting:

        I use a french trellis method I read about years ago, that keeps plants upright so I can walk among them and better yields. Here is a photo/description but my plants are in the ground and I even tie them up to a handrail on the long steps to the porch:

        1 Reply
        1. many of my tomatoes resemble this

          fruits on the bottom - then growth without fruits and then fruits gain

          I generally think it has something to do with temp fluctuation - is a heat wave that caused blossom drop for awhile then fruit set resumes - also the plant may take a break after the first fruit set - grow some and then set again.