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Topping off tomato & no. of trusses?

So I'm very pleased with my first years attempt, my plants are all bout 5-6ft high right now and have green toms on. I've read a bit of contradictory comments on topping off, some seeming to put it in a negative light. My greenhouse is only a little over 6ft tall, however I could try and train them up the roof to the middle, is it okay to just chop the tops of the stems off when they're 6ft, or should I try and let them grow taller?


Trusses wise, some seem to talk about limiting it to a certain no. per plant, is this necessary or can I let them just make as many as they produce, but potentially have slightly smaller tomatoes? (the one with the most has 7 trusses atm, albeit not all bearing fruit).


(I have been pruning side shoots though have let them all have two main stems)



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,872

    A lot of it is down to climate.
    The plant is stopped to prevent it wasting energy producing flowers that will never get time to turn to ripened fruit in the UK

    I let 6ish trusses develop on my g/h plants and 4-5 on the outside ones.

    I find the g/h toms are about 6ft when they get 6-7 trusses and outdoors about 5ft - then I pinch the tops

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    It's a good point about working out how much of the fruit will actually make it to maturity. Unless you're keen to try out your green tomato recipes, you're better off letting the plant concentrate its energies on the fruit that will mature. It means knowing your growing season, calculating roughly when your temps are going to drop below a viable level.

    As a rule of thumb, a tom that is just starting to change colour from its dark green to a paler green will take, under average conditions, another 3 or 4 weeks to mature. 

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    I would take the tops out now because of space and ripening.
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 797

    Sorry to jump in, but may I ask when you pick the tomatoes? is it when they are pale green and then bring in and ripen off on window sill? Can i cut off the vine with toms on or do I have to pick fruit off? sorry for so many questions image  

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    I stop my tomatoes when I have 5 trusses (Scotland). I normally still have some green tomatoes at the end of the season but make loads of green tomato chutney with them.

    Leave the tomatoes on the plant until they are ready to eat then just pick them off singly. And enjoy!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    If your tomato plants have 2 main stems (one is the norm), I would stop them at 5 trusses even if it means cutting the top trusses off.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Meomye, you can leave the fruit on the plants until either (a) they ripen; or (b) the temperatures drop to the point where it's warmer inside than outside. Optimum temps for ripening are low-20s and above. Lower the temp, the longer they will take.

    You also need to factor in overnight temps. Once the daytime temp gets down into the low teens - with even lower overnight temps - they will probably ripen quicker inside. Bear in mind that toms don't need direct sunlight to ripen. It's all down to temperature.

    Fruit that is still solid dark green will take a long time to ripen inside. Fruit that has started its transition to a lighter green can - provided it's warm enough inside - take about the same time it would have outside on the plant.

  • plumtasticplumtastic Posts: 11

    My tomatoe plants are 3ft tall they have 5 trusses each, I trim off smaller unwanted leaves, I have tiny toms forming too as I noticed two of the flowers had fallen off imageimageimage  this is my first attempt at growing tomatoes,  should I get ri of any new trusses or just let them grow?  my profile pic is my tomatoe plants which I took today imageimage 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269

    If they're cordon tomatoes and growing outside 5 trusses is usually as many as I can get to ripen in one season so I'd pinch the tops out of the plants to stop any more developing.

    However, 5 trusses on a plant 3 ft tall is a lot - is yours one of the mini varieties of tomato?  If so it may well produce more quite happily ............ what do other people think?


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Depends on the variety. What's the variety, plumtastic? For starters, I'd get the plant into a bigger container.

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