This time last year I had lots of green fruit still to ripen in March. This year the plants are pretty much done for now.
This is the main tomato patch in the front yard.
As you can see there are still a few tomatoes to ripen, but its few and far between.
There are still a few green tomatoes, and occasionally an optimistic flower.
I'm not sure that these are mature enough to properly ripen. Over the long Easter weekend I'm thinking of pulling these out and seeing if they will ripen indoors. I may even try fried green tomatoes.
The raised bed veg patch tomatoes are no better.
There are very few tomatoes going on here now. These will also get pulled out this weekend to make way for winter crops.
So with the tomato plants on the way out, it feels apt to wrap up the trial of to pinch out or not to pinch out. My assessment is that pinching out tomatoes is not worthwhile in my garden. The pinched out tomatoes were much less protected from the sun and dried out much earlier, despite being in a more shaded position. This may partly be due to the raised beds they were planted in, but not entirely.
That said, I think there is a place for judicious pinching out of lower leaves. The not pinched out tomatoes grew much more strongly, but they were also more diseased, and I think they were crowded which limited fruit set a bit.
Plan for 2015/16 tomatoes:
- Plant out wider apart - at least 60cms between plants
- Don't pinch out lower leaves UNTIL the plants start to set fruit