[Market-farming] Tomatoes: Post-flower cluster growth affects brix?

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 13:55:25 EDT 2011

Agreed that a hand-held refractometer is a convenient way to determine
brix (soluble solids).
For $42.50 (plus shipping) we got ours here:
Or call 888-680-7969

Been using ours for a couple of years; older kids are comfortable with it.

Richard Moyer
In need of rain in SW VA

From: "William H Shoemaker" <wshoemak at illinois.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Tomatoes: Post-flower cluster growth
> To: "'Market Farming'" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <1B804D92C1E34AC18451FF44325CC110 at STCHARLES>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
> That's a good example of how plant breeding brings about unintended
> consequences. In this case, it probably has no negative impact, unless the
> tissue gets in the way of managing the crop. It could actually contribute a
> little to building sugar in the fruit. It might be worth a little
> experiment. You could trim the extended shoots off of a few plants and use a
> refractometer to measure soluble solids (mostly sugars) in the juice of the
> tomatoes at harvest. It would tell you whether those extended shoots help
> boost sugar levels when they are left on the plant.
> If there are grape growers near you or wineries, they might have
> refractometers. They are handheld tools and run about $125. Share some
> tomatoes with them and they'll probably be happy to measure sugar levels.
> It's a simple test.
> Bill
> William H. Shoemaker
> Sr. Research Specialist, Food Crops
> University of Illinois - Crop Sciences
> St Charles Horticulture Research Center
> 535 Randall Road, St Charles, IL, 60174
> 630-584-7254, FAX-584-4610
> wshoemak at illinois.edu
> -----Original Message-----
> From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Richard
> Robinson

> Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:13 PM
> To: Market Farming
> Subject: [Market-farming] Tomatoes: Post-flower cluster growth
> My Juliet tomatoes often begin to grow an extensive vegetative shoot out
> past the tip of a
> flower cluster. I've seen this type of growth in at least one other variety
> as well.
> Should this be pruned off, or does it help the tomatoes in that cluster?
>   Richard Robinson
>   www.nasw.org/users/rrobinson/
>   Hopestill Farm
>   www.hopestill.com

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