KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
In the 1960s Dr Allen Cooper, a British researcher trying to find a way to reduce the massive amounts of labour needed to prune and train tomatoes, hit upon a novel idea. Why not simply pinch out the tops of the plants after they had set their first truss (bunch) of fruit, turning them from rampant vines into squat 50cm high munchkins? Little staking or further pruning is needed, and, as these dwarf plants can be packed in far closer together, their total yield in a given area stays the same. Bingo!
The unexpected side effect of this one-truss training technique was that without the need to generate masses of new leaves and fruit, the plants’ resources were focused 100% into swelling and ripening the fruit, creating much larger tomatoes with a far superior flavour (pictured left).
These short plants also make more efficient use of light by not shading each other out, creating fruit with excellent compositions of sugars and acids, even under low-light conditions.