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Well my photo diary of the Tomato Chronicles has just payed off. I walked into the greenhouse Saturday morning and was surprised by how few little growths I could see that needed pinching. I felt triumphant at first, thinking I had trained the plantlings well. That I had made them realize that their energy would be better spent in growing lots of little blossoms that would soon give rise to juicy, tasty tomato globes. Ha! I was so wrong…

 

But first things first. This was last week’s tomato status pic:
 

Tomato Chronicles Week 2

 

And here is this week’s update:

 

IMG_5277_edit

 

And again for the side-by-side comparison:

 

Week 3 Comparison

 
They’ve pretty much been doubling in size every week. It’s pretty crazy to see and honestly really fun to follow the progress through this blog series.

 

Week3 c

 

But back to the growths that need pinching. I showed you guys this picture last week.

 

Growth to be Pinched 2

 

That little leaf popping up between the main stalk and the side branch is what needs to be pinched off. If you let it grow you end up with a plant that has more than one main stalk. It ends up getting bushy and leafy and produces less fruit since so much energy goes into growing those secondary stalks. Well what I didn’t realize is that in less than a week a little leaf like that can turn into this:

 

Week3 Cartoon

 

Yea… woops… In my defense I have photographic evidence thanks to this blog that that leaf/branch wasn’t there when I was doing my primping and pruning last week. All that growth went down during the work week while I was away. I wasn’t sure how my mother-in-law was going to feel about these twin-headed beauties.

 

Week3 b

 

She actually came back from the Czech Republic last night and her first stop when she arrived home was the greenhouse. Luckily she was quite pleased with the state of affairs in the garden. As for our double-stalked friends, she said we could just pinch the tips of the secondary stalks. They would still bear fruit but not grow out any further and weaken the plants. So all’s well that ends well and we should be looking forward to some tomatoes in a few weeks…

 
For those of you who may have missed it, you can catch the first and second installments of the Tomato Chronicles here and here.

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