Should i top my tomato plants?

Hi everyone, i sowed my tomato seeds a little late (april) as i didn't have a greenhouse then. Anyway they have come on  a treat since & are flowering nicely, they keep throwing out trusses despite having quite a few already, should there be a point where i decide i have enough trusses & start topping them so the plant can concentrate more on what's there?


  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,199

    Depends on the variety, but most people say top them out after 5 or 6 trusses, to let them concentrate on the fruit that is there.  Having said that, i never count trusses, but top them once they hit the GH roofimage

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • Waz200Waz200 Posts: 56

    The variety of them are "Sweet Millions" cherry toms & some of them are just throwing out a third truss.

  • TaraMaidenTaraMaiden Posts: 46

    Don't forget, note importantly, to remove side-shoots sprouting from the axils. You want lots of red, not more of the green!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,279

    I stop them at the roof level.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Hello all. I'm growing 5 cordon cherry tomatoes this year on a roof garden in central London. There's plenty of air circulation at this height (effectively, the 4th floor) so I'm hoping I won't suffer from blight. It's very bright and because of the elevation, the tomatoes get full sun from 10 am until sunset. Now, all 5 plants have already got 6 trusses bearing flowers and some fruit and 3 have 8 trusses already, although not all in flower. I have removed most side shoots but have allowed each plant to grow 2 stems and am about to allow each of those to split again i.e. each plant will have 4 stems at the very top, altough they will only have 1, maybe 2, trusses.

    The optimum height for them, so that they still receive wind protection from the chimney breat they are sitting next to, is 2 metres. They aren't quite that high yet. 4 are in 39 litre cloth grow bags so the roots have plenty of soil and air to enjoy. 1 is in a smaller but still large regular plastic pot.

    Now the point of my post - an experiment. I'm going to try to get 10, yes 10!, trusses on each plant before I top them. There's enough space left before they reach 2 metres for that to happen. They are staked and caged so have plenty of support. I'm hoping that being so far south, surrounded by buildings but with plenty of sun and airflow, this will allow 10 trusses to form successfully before it gets too cold. I don't expect all to ripen before the frosts kick in, although it's normally deep winter before the roof is affected by frost, but I do want to make chutneys anyway. One with ripe fruit, basil and Scotch Bonnet chilli and, with the later tomatoes, a regular green chutney. 

    Fingers crossed!

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