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High Tunnel Tomatoes - Early Pruning Pays off

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 2, 2018

greenhouse

May is an insane time around any NY vegetable farm and it's a challenge to prioritize the mountain of tasks each day. But a little time spent pruning and training your high tunnel tomato plants now can really pay off later. Not only will they yield better, your labor will be more efficient during harvest since workers won't be plowing through a dense tangle of leafy stems to get to the tomatoes.

Here's a quick review:

Remove lower leaves up to the first fruit cluster. Bend the leaf up, then down and it should snap off cleanly, making quick work of this simple but important task. Why? It increases airflow around the plant to discourage disease and makes the plant easier to work around.

Strong Y - whether you are training determinate or double leader indeterminate (see below) start both with the Strong Y. See the photo to locate the weaker suckers to remove and the co-dominate sucker to keep just below the first flower cluster. Allow only the main leader and co-dominate leader to develop, removing all the other suckers and leaves up to this ‘Y' junction on the plant. Why? The lower suckers are less productive. Removing them sends the plant's food energy to the remaining stems, shoots and fruit.

Determinate tomatoes - train them to the ‘stake and weave' aka ‘Florida weave' system. Set a post between every 2-3 plants and start the horizontal twining early so the plants can grow up through the support. Why? This level of support will keep the aisles open for efficient worker movement and will keep the fruit up off the ground for easy harvest.

Indeterminate tomatoes - For large slicing tomatoes some growers prefer single leaders, some prefer double. When in doubt, the double leader system works well in most situations.

In our cherry tomato trial we found the double leader system was the best option in terms of labor efficiency and yield, compared to a single or multi leader system.




Check out these helpful factsheets for more photos and details:

 

tomato2


 

 

 

 This article is from the May 3, 2018 edition of ENYCHP Vegetable News.  To read the full newsletter,CLICK HERE.



more crops
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Apples

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Beets

Beets

Blueberries

Blueberries

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

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Turnips

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Upcoming Events

June Produce Field Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

June 5, 2024 : June Produce Field Meeting
Fort Plain, NY

Come join us for a discussion on greenhouse production, IPM techniques in the greenhouse, and a discussion of IPM strategies for tomatoes, cole crops and cucurbits. 

Meeting is free and open to the public.

2 DEC credits in categories 1A and 23 are available. 

View June Produce Field Meeting Details

Weed Management in Perennial Fruit Crops - Field Workshop

Event Offers DEC Credits

June 20, 2024 : Weed Management in Perennial Fruit Crops - Field Workshop
Tivoli, NY

Join us on the morning of June 20th as we hear from Cornell University weed management specialists Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie and Dr. Yu Jiang, who will discuss their recent research on autonomous orchard weeding systems.  

We will also hear from Mike Basedow of CCE ENYCH and learn about the ongoing results of herbicide research trials he is conducting.  Bryan Brown of NYS IPM will discuss pre-plant preparations and mulches that could be useful for controlling weeds without herbicides.   

Identifying the differences between weed species and key differences between annuals and perennials that factor into management will also be covered.     

This workshop is FREE to attend, but we ask that you please register ahead 

View Weed Management in Perennial Fruit Crops - Field Workshop Details

Champlain Valley Orchard Weed Management Field Trial Review

Event Offers DEC Credits

June 21, 2024 : Champlain Valley Orchard Weed Management Field Trial Review
Peru, NY

Friday June 21, 9-11:30AM

Meet at the Northern Orchard Walker block at 688 River Rd, Peru, NY

Join the ENYCHP on the morning of June 21st as we hear from Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie and Dr. Yu Jiang about their recent research looking at autonomous orchard crop management and weeding technologies.   We will then visit three of Mike's active herbicide research plots to see firsthand the level of control the trial treatments are providing during the critical weed free period. 

2.5 DEC Credits are available for this meeting in categories 22, 1A, and 10. Free to attend, but we ask that you please register ahead 

View Champlain Valley Orchard Weed Management Field Trial Review Details

Announcements

2023 Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring/Management

All berry farmers are watching for monitoring reports that indicate Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) adults are in their region. Mid-season berry crops should be sprayed as soon as berries begin to ripen unless you've elected to use insect exclusion netting.

- For general information about SWD, and to enroll for free monitoring reports, visit the Cornell SWD blog https://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/.
- Click here for the 2023 Quick Guide for Pesticide Management. 
- For some great instructional videos and fact sheets on insect exclusion netting, visit the University of Vermont's Ag Engineering blog.


Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

Winter Greens Grower Interviews in Northern New York

October 22, 2022
In this episode, vegetable specialist Elisabeth Hodgdon interviews Lindsey Pashow, ag business development and marketing specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest New York team. They discuss findings from a series of interviews with winter greens producers in northern New York. Lindsey shares production and marketing challenges associated with growing winter greens in this cold and rural part of the state, success stories and advice from growers, and tips for those interested in adding new crop enterprises to their operation.

Funding for this project was provided by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The episode was edited by Miles Todaro of the ENYCHP team.

Resources:
• Crop enterprise budget resources available from Penn State Extension (field and tunnel vegetables: https://extension.psu.edu/small-scale-field-grown-and-season-extension-budgets), UMass Extension (winter spinach budgets: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/outreach-project/improving-production-yield-of-winter-greens-in-northeast and field vegetables: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/fact-sheets/crop-production-budgets), and Cornell Cooperative Extension (high tunnel vegetables: https://blogs.cornell.edu/hightunnels/economics/sample-budgets-spreadsheets/). Use these budgets as templates when developing your own crop enterprise budget.
• The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, by Richard Wiswall
• The Winter Harvest Handbook, by Eliot Coleman

For questions about the winter greens project discussed in this podcast, reach out to Lindsey Pashow (lep67@cornell.edu) or Elisabeth Hodgdon(eh528@cornell.edu).

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