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Should I prune off late season tomato/squash flowers to redirect energy to existing fruit?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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It's getting to be late summer in my climate.  Frost is a month away.  But my tomatoes and squash are still flowering like crazy.  Should I prune off the new flowers so that the plants spend their energy on the fruit that has already set?  If so, should I also prune the ends of the vines/branches as well?

Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Depends on how variable your climate is I usally don't bother as we are having progressively warmer autumns, last year and had tomatos until around november had I followed the conventional advice I would not have got them.
 
steward
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My opinion is Yes/Yes.
If there isn't enough time left to mature the new fruit, you wouldn't get to use it anyway.
Tip pruning should help deter more energy being spent trying to set more fruits.

 
gardener
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I'm with Henry.  As the weather gets increasingly random there's no telling which season will unexpectedly be two or three weeks longer.  Green tomatoes ripen on your counter after frost, as do many squashes.  I prefer to let my plants set fruit as long as they will, and keep my fingers crossed for a fall windfall in a unseasonable year.
 
Mike Jay
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Thanks guys!  I'm sure our first frost is fairly variable and I can cover them if I really try (6' tall for the tomatoes, 15' diameter for the squash).  I guess I'm not sure how fast they go from setting fruit to ripe.  So maybe I'll do an experiment and prune some and not prune others and see if I notice a difference.
 
gardener
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I can't predict the weather. Therefore, I allow frost to kill my plants rather than doing it myself. Last year, I harvested two crops of squash. One crop at my typical frost-kill date, and an  even bigger crop 6 weeks later because the first frost was light enough to only slightly damage a few leaves.
 
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