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Growing vegetables in greenhouses or greenhouses indoors requires special knowledge and skills from the grower. This is due to the fact that when using a limited space, plants need to create optimal comfortable conditions for growth and fruiting.
When growing a tomato, one of the mandatory techniques is the removal of lateral shoots from the plant, it is they who are usually called stepchildren. Let's try to figure out how to pinch tomatoes in a greenhouse and how necessary is this event or is it just a tribute to traditions?
- Why do you need to pinch tomatoes and what will happen if you skip this event
- How to remove stepchildren from greenhouse tomatoes correctly
- Removing stepchildren from a tomato with limited and unlimited growth
Why do you need to pinch tomatoes and what will happen if you skip this event
When growing a tomato, in addition to the main stem, several additional ones are formed and the plant most often grows in a bush form. In addition, lateral shoots from the leaf axils, the so-called stepchildren, can form on each stem. In turn, additional branches will appear on the stepsons.
It is believed that removing the stepchildren will strengthen the main stems and form the bush correctly. For greenhouses, it is optimal to grow tomatoes in one, two, or three stems. In addition, tomatoes from which the stepsons were removed on time will bloom a little ahead of time and the harvest will also ripen earlier than prescribed by varietal characteristics, and the fruiting period will also last.
You need to remove stepsons on time. For greenhouse tomatoes, the removal of additional shoots must be carried out once a week. The size of the removed stepson should not exceed 5 - 7 cm. If time is missed and the shoot exceeded this size several times, then it is better not to remove it, because the plant has already expended energy on it, and the wound on the stem can weaken the bush.
If you do not remove excess shoots from tomatoes in greenhouses at all, this will worsen the illumination of the lower part of the plant, increase the load on the bushes and lead to their growth, which will negatively affect the harvest. But one of the main goals of tomato production in a greenhouse is to prolong fruiting and increase the yield from a small area, which leads to the efficient operation of the greenhouse structure.
Important! If you are going to plant tomatoes indoors, immediately decide on the number of main trunks, inspect the bushes weekly, removing all unnecessary stepsons.
Given that the first stepsons may already be on tomato seedlings, then as soon as two weeks have passed after planting, the first procedure to remove them can be carried out. Thus, in order to avoid uncontrolled growth of tomato bushes in the greenhouse, stepchildren should be removed in a timely manner, until they are overgrown and their removal will not damage the plant. We will try to figure out whether it is necessary to prepare the plant for the procedure or remove the stepsons at any time.
How to remove stepchildren from greenhouse tomatoes correctly
No special preparatory work is required before removing excess shoots from a tomato. Perhaps the procedure will be easier if the bushes are well watered in 10 - 12 hours. In order for the wound from the remote stepson to dry out in the light during the day, it is better to remove them in the morning.
Video on how to pinch tomatoes in a greenhouse:
You can delete stepchildren in two ways:
- manually, without the use of tools
- with a knife or scissors
In the first case, no additional equipment, except for a bucket for collecting removed stepchildren and gloves, is required to protect hands from plant sap. All unnecessary and unnecessary stepsons are removed by a simple pinch one centimeter from the main stem. Leaving a part of the stepson is necessary in order to avoid a wound on the main stem and to delay the appearance of a new process in this place.
In the second case, you will need very sharp scissors or a knife. You will also need a solution of potassium permanganate to disinfect the instrument. The use of scissors can make the procedure easier and shorten the time it takes. You need to cut off the stepson in one motion.
An important point for growing a tomato in a greenhouse is the selection of a variety, and although the basic technique for removing additional shoots is the same, you can still pinch tomatoes with limited and unlimited growth in different ways.
Removing stepchildren from a tomato with limited and unlimited growth
How to remove shoots - stepchildren of a tomato with limited growth
Growing determinant hybrids and varieties of tomatoes in greenhouse conditions is most beneficial if the plant has one stem, since in this case the tomato can be harvested a couple of weeks earlier than when grown in several stems.
Therefore, it is necessary to remove excess shoots from the first weeks and carry out this procedure radically, sparing no green shoots. After all, growing a tomato in a greenhouse for at least four to five months, and without removing the stepsons, the main forces of the plant and nutrients from the soil will go to the green mass.
However, in this case, one shoot under the first inflorescence must be left behind so that growth does not stop completely. As soon as leaves and several inflorescences appear on this shoot, pinch off its top. You also need to take care of the backup shoot and leave the stepson, who departs from the leaf axils under the second or third inflorescence.
Removing stepchildren from indeterminate tomato varieties in greenhouses
In a tomato with unlimited growth, the formation of a flower brush at the end of the shoot does not mean the end of growth, and when grown in one stem, all stepsons must be removed. When the plant forms a flower brush at the top of the shoot, and this happens above the ninth leaf, then the stepson begins to grow from the axil of the leaf closest to the inflorescence.
When a brush with buds appears on it, then a stepson begins to grow from the bosom of the upper leaf again. This continues throughout the growing season. Since the goal of growing vegetables in a greenhouse is to obtain a harvest, and not green mass, it is imperative to pinch greenhouse tomatoes during the growing period.