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#1
Posted June 7th 2008, 8:12pm
HELP! I have cute little tomato and pepper plants, maybe between 8" and 12" getting flowers already. Should I pluck them off???
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#2
Posted June 8th 2008, 7:28am
Conventional wisdom says to pluck early flowers to encourage more growth. I've never done so.

If your plants are indeterminate (I don't know if pepper plants are), it shouldn't make a difference, because the vines will keep growing anyway, so long as conditions are good, and this weekend certainly is with rain and heat.
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#3
Posted June 8th 2008, 9:06am
Thanks, appreciate your help. by the way, heat we have, rain pretty much missed us!!
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SAVING ONE DOG MAY NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT IT CHANGES THE WORLD FOR THAT ONE DOG.
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#4
Posted June 8th 2008, 1:13pm
Two reasons underlie the conventional wisdom which dictates plucking early flowers:

1) later flowers will produce bigger fruit;

b) when transplanted, plants should busy themselves developing nice root systems instead of expending energy (lots of energy, as it turns out) making and ripening fruit.

Geo
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#5
Posted June 8th 2008, 6:42pm
Peppers take a big hit in total production if the very earliest flowers are not removed for reason number two that Geo stated. The plants just will not reach their size potential.

Tomatoes have a tendency to drop early blossoms/fruit when night temperatures are below 50 F, so the first blossoms often self-prune in Chicago. With indeterminate tomatoes in Chicago removing blossoms is unlikely to pay off. The big issue is that the tomatoes must have a good root system when they start blooming. This is a major part of why I grow my own seedlings and keep them growing continuously. Too many purchased plants have a small root mass and are too old when you buy them.

With determinate tomatoes the issue is that they must keep growing continuously and usually set most of their fruit in a short time period. The most extreme cases are canning varieties bred for machine harvesting where the vines are ripped up into the harvesting in one shot.
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