Cluster Thinning For Better Tomatoes?

When I wrote about cluster thinning to improve wine grapes, it got me thinking about tomatoes. Could the same technique improve the quality of tomatoes (and wine made from them)? I always have a problem with blossom end rot on my Romas, and I think that may be clue.

This rot occurs because the plant can’t fully ripen it’s fruit, and it can be caused by improper watering, nutrient imbalance, or over cropping. I’ve tried to correct this problem by more careful watering and closer attention to the proportion of nutrients in my fertilizer, but with no success at all. Maybe I’m just not doing it right, or maybe those weren’t really my problems. Thinning has worked for me every time, and this makes me think that it might improve the fruit on other tomatoes, like the Gold Nuggets that I’m going to make wine from, that aren’t hit by blossom end rot.

Tomatoes aren’t grapes, of course, so there’s a limit to how much knowledge of one I can apply to the other. I’m not even going to try limiting fertilizer or water to my tomatoes, for example. I’ll probably try thinning, though, and maybe some other grape pruning ideas. I’ll keep you posted.

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