Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Five is the magic number.

Three years ago, when I first built the greenhouse, I really had no idea of how to use one. I quickly found that it was not a simple matter to putting plants inside, and letting nature take its course.

Since then I have been sputtering along mostly on trial and error, however, this year I decided to finally invest a few bucks and purchase a number of books on gardening, and greenhouse gardening in particular.

One of the books stated that it is a common practice with commercial greenhouse growers to limit the number of fruit on a truss to five. The reasoning being that it would produce larger fruit, more uniform in size. Additionally, that if all the flowers on the truss were allowed to form fruit, the truss may become too heavy and break off, and you would lose all of the fruit.

When the time came to begin removing all of the small developing fruit, in excess of the magic number five, I was tempted to ignore this piece of advice. Now, I can see the results, and I am satisfied with my decision to follow the book's advice.

The greenhouse plants are indeterminate, and will continue to grow throughout season, so there will be plenty of trusses yet to come.

Thinking back, I can recall tomatoes the size of a golf ball, or pea, at the end of a truss, at the end of the season. It simply makes sense to remove these fruit before they develop, so that the plant can redirect its energy into the remaining fruit.

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