Monday, May 16, 2011

The real Sucker?!

I knew my veggie plants are growing but when you see them everyday you don't realize just how quickly they are growing. This is a picture of the tomato plant (early girl 50) 3 weeks ago.
And here is the tomato plant today!
I'm so proud  \\(^_^)//
I have been pinching the "suckers" (not too many) as it grows since the early girl is an indeterminate variety. A couple of days ago we had a thunderstorm and the plant was starting to lean sideways. After the storm, I went to tie the stem to the support bamboo pole (the metal tomato cage was all wobbly so I switched to the bamboo pole) and I couldn't tell which stem was the main stem.
I originally thought the branch with red arrow was the main stem. But after stepping back, I think this is just a big sucker (haha) and the blue arrow is in fact the main stem. I am not sure if I should cut the red arrow stem and try to root it in water or something or leave it be. Both stems have flowers on them now. I've read it is OK to keep 1-2 suckers but I feel like I should allow the plant to concentrate all its energy on the main stem (especially because it is confined to a container). Any suggestions?
One of the lettuces in the mesclun mix is starting to flower (bolt). It seems to early to do this.
Here is the package picture:
And here is my planter of mesclun:
Looks good but not quite like the package. I may need to find another location where it can get more sun but not direct sunlight....I think I might have a small salad tonight anyway! My first real harvest??


  1. If it were me, I'd keep both the stems. Maybe add another bamboo pole and form the two into a V, attaching one stem to each. I could never cut off anything with blossoms!

    Your mesclun mix looks really nice. I planted all of my mesclun seedlings outside, and the birds ate everything except a kale. I think you'll find the red leaves won't be as bright when grown inside, or in warmer weather. They get very red in the cold. I've taken red leaf from outside and set it inside in a bright window, and it would turn green in just a few days.

  2. Always great to meet another balcony gardener. The tomato looks pretty healthy - I agree with Annie's Granny, keep both stems and add more support. The planter of mesclun looks great. And for your next seeding have you tried a spicy mesclun mix? - it's interesting to switch between spicy and sweet or mix up the seed and grow your own special blend. Enjoy the harvest.

  3. Granny - thanks for the comment. For sure I would have problems cutting off the flowering stem. I will keep it and provide the support it needs.

    Kim - thanks for stopping by. I was thinking I will have to start a new pot of lettuce. I'll look into the spicy mesclun mix.

  4. Like Granny I would keep both of the stem. I am looking forward to see your containers with your plants growing as I garden a lot with container as well.

  5. The mesclun packet photo is of more mature leaves, yours will get there. If you've had a sudden increase in temperature after cold or several very warm days in a row that would explain the sudden bolting.

    I would keep that sucker, it's large enough that it might shock the plant more to remove it. Early girl grows fairly big tomatoes doesn't it? I've been advised to have at least two main stems for larger sized fruit plants because they can take so long to grow and ripen. Both stems look very beefy, the plant should be strong enough to support both. I would limit it to those two stems now though due to the size of the pot.

  6. Malay-Kadazan girl - I also can't wait to see how my veggies do. I'm happy I am having a lot of fun though!

    Mary, thanks for the info! The weather has been erratic going through cycles of kinda cold to really hot. As for the tomato, I thought that my big container was quite big but now with the plant being so big it feels really small!

  7. I've not had any luck growing the larger tomato varieties in containers, they get root bound, but there are a lot of dwarf varieties that do very well and taste really good. I'm quite sure I still have some seeds for them, and they should be viable for a few years, so remind me next winter and I'll send you some to try.

  8. Thanks Granny. You are too sweet! I will be sure to ask you come winter time:)

  9. Actually, I could send them to you any time. They'll keep just as well in your refrigerator as in mine! One, Minigold, is so early and prolific you could probably start it now and it would bear as long as you could keep it from freezing. I was going to take mine to AZ with me last winter, but I broke it off trying to secure it for travel. I have a bunch of volunteers coming up where it grew last year, and I'm going to keep one and hope it matures. It was my earliest tomato last year, tiny gold cherries with not much taste to begin with, but got better and better as the summer progressed. I am assuming I still have some of the seeds :-)