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What do you think of "tomato growing magic"

 
Gilbert Fritz
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Location: Denver, CO
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What do you think of this? http://www.growingtomatotips.com/organictomatomagic.html

I am tempted to think the whole thing is a scam, given the emotional language and the fact he is selling something. Also, there are a lot of errors in it. But that does not mean he is all the way wrong. It may not be as good as he says. Is it any good at all?

Here are my favorite goofy lines from it:

Before we get into the number one tomato growing secret, let's define what a real tomato actually is, this way, we can create a mental image of what we're trying to grow!.

The bottom line is, the tomatoes he grew were absolutely mouth watering, splendid, and delicious! What is the difference between the tomatoes you see sold today and these tomatoes?

The first thing was their evenness. Every tomato was exactly the same size. This is almost impossible to believe today. Look at tomatoes on the shelf today, they're all difference sizes. This isn't natural, it’s genetic deformation. Even the tomatoes you grow in your garden will have some kind of deformations.


Somehow, the heirloom tomatoes in my garden are all different sizes! AND SHAPES!

Today, When You Cut Open a
Tomato, What Happens?

You get this thing, or a couple of them, you cut them open. The first thing that you’ll see is segregations in the tomato, as if it had walls, or veins, it’s rather scary if you think about it.


The tomatoes in my garden have these too! Monsanto must have got me, or something!
 
Matu Collins
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Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Even if he has great ideas, this style of marketing really turns me off.

My tomatos are delicious and fragrant. He's got a point about supermarket tomatoes, though, yuk!
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Yes, his style is horrible. And he makes a lot of mistakes.

The main claim I am interested in is that only three leaves are needed for a tomato plant. Anything else is a heavy drain on the plant's resources, and will make the tomatoes taste sour.

In which case, exactly why would the plant produce them? Of course, some pruning may be required; but THREE LEAVES!?
 
Craig Dobbson
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Sounds like bunk to me.

I grow some pretty decent tomatoes from time to time and I don't think I've ever had two that look the same.
Three leaves? What? Maybe you'll get one decent tomato from each plant with only three leaves. I can't see how the plant would obtain the energy to do the work for any more than that.

I only snap off the bottom few leaves that touch the ground as well as all the side runners. All other foliage stays. Once they get to the point where I know the top tomato won't ripen before frost, I chop it and all others from there up off and feed them to the chickens. I'm thinking that the plant can put more energy into the remaining fruits. I also keep in mind that the whole plant has value, not just the fruit. I mean, you can have a lot of biomass from one tomato plant. That can be composted or fed to animals or just left on the ground. I can only eat so many tomatoes, but the chickens pigs and rabbits will eat them as well as other parts of the plant.

Maybe I'll set a few plants aside for an experiment. I always plant too many any way. Why not chop the hell out of a few to see what happens. I suspect that I'm missing some secret that is only available if I buy the product he's selling so...
 
Johnny Niamert
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Location: Colo
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Thanks for the laugh!
The funniest line:"it's the FRUIT that needs the sun-light, not the leaves."


 
Gilbert Fritz
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It definitely can provide some provide some laughs, anyway!
 
Johnny Niamert
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I'll be honest -- "defoliation" is big on cannabis boards with hydro growers who know nothing about actual plant biology. I'm definitely no expert, but from what I know the leaves produce energy from the sun and this is moved through the stem to help produce seed. Fruit is just an exciting bonus we get. Leaves are also a 'storeroom' for some nutrients that can be translocated if needed.

I have seen this recommendation before, however it was more of a way to encourage existing fruit to ripen before a hard freeze occurs in the fall. Like if the weather guy says in September "it's gonna be 20 next week" some people will go defoliate their plants to get the fruit to 'ripen faster'.

I've also seen the recommendation to keep tomatoes to 2-3 main growing stems by pinching/pruning throughout the season. That's 2-3 apical meristems, not actual leaves though. I've tried to do this, but much into the season I lost interest and stopped doing it diligently.
Kinda along the same lines as this is to limit N for tomatoes. High N fert/compost/amendments will encourage lots of vegetative growth. My old boss always put lots of straight turkey manure on his plants and said he only would get a few tomatoes from each plant. I kinda tried to tell him it was the high N, but then he got fired so I'm not sure if it helped him.

I would definitely not encourage you to try this on 100% of your crop this year. Maybe a few test subjects. TBH I get good enough tomatoes just letting the plant do it's thing.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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