What is a tomato sucker?

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Hi everyone. My friend and I have a running debate about what is the sucker on a tomato plant. She says it's the small growths that come out above the large leaves, and I say that the sucker is the large leaf (the ones that hang down). Who's right? Mary p.s. her tomato plants are pitiful and mine are great (so I think I'm right!)

-- Mary Fraley (kmfraley@orwell.net), August 21, 2000


Hmmm . . . How do I put this tactfully? Well, here goes: She's right. Sorry!

-- Laura Jensen (lauraj@seedlaw.com), August 21, 2000.

Yep,she sure is. I don't remove my suckers that way my plants have an abundance of coverage to protect them from sun scald.We have very heavy clay, certainly not ideal tomato growing soil,and yet our plants have produced bushel after bushel this year.I've had loads of three pounders and even a few five pound tomatoes this year.I'd say the difference in your plants involves differences in soil fertility. Usually,our plants look terrible.However this spring I amended my soil with rock phosphate,greensand,kelp meal and chicken manure. What a difference! Blessings, Tracy

-- Tracy Jo Neff (tntneff@ifriendly.com), August 21, 2000.

The "sucker" is the growth that emanates from the juncture of a main stem and a leaf. It grows from that junction and will produce another stalk that will have buds, flowers and eventually, tomatoes. If you pinch them out, so goes the theory, your remaining tomatoes will be larger. Perhaps so, but I have never worried about them. Oh sure! I pinch out a few early in the season, but my garden is of a size that pinching becomes a very low priority, and I usually ignore them.. If it gives you a warm feeling, pinch them! Otherwise, don't worry! GL!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), August 21, 2000.

The suckers that are pinched off can be rooted to make new plants. Just stick them in a pot of damp soil in a shaded area until new roots form.

-- Green (ratdogs10@yahoo.com), August 22, 2000.

Neat info green!Maybe I'll pick off a few suckers next year...Lord willing. Thanks-Tracy~~~

-- Tracy Jo Neff (tntneff@ifriendly.com), August 23, 2000.

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