Damage plants to increase yield

At first casual glance I was taken aback. But then I thought of two common gardening techniques.
1) Pruning 2) Thinning 3) ???? 4) ????
I do not know of a third except for maybe small holes that starve or force roots to spread out versus a large hole with nutrients all about.
In the world of humanity we have adversity builds strength sort of a take on Frederick Nietzsche "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche
But I am a nurture kind of guy and I nurture my plants funny how pruning and thinning come into play.
This inspired by
Peter Cundall
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Cundall

:-)) Well Peter Cundall always says to treat tomatoes badly so they think they are going to die and thus flower early. I assume his reasoning for that is to get crops from them. Whatever Pete says is good enough for me as his advice has always been woth following so I'd never think of deflowering at planting.
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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Pruning, in this group, would be to insure that all the fruit the plant sets, will ripen

Thinning gives a single plant the maximum of nutrition and sunlight. It must be admitted, though, it salutatory effect on the plants that are thinned, is much less. 3) Setting Plants on Fire Setting fire to your manzanita plants, occassionally, is helpful to their proliferation, but isn't generally considered beneficial to other plants. This technique is especially effective in coastal canyons. ;O)

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- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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In article

Hmmm... Looking for a single word ?
3) Burning ? 4) Pinching (Deflowering) ?
--
Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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Bill who putters wrote:

As long as the treatment is getting the plant to do what you want without weakening it too much. For example pruning at the wrong time may ruin flowering instead of encouraging it. Cutting asparagus too long in spring will weaken the plant and not allow it to store energy over summer so the harvest next spring will be reduced.

I wouldn't want to generalise this concept too much.

Cundall is pretty good. In this case you are treating the plant harshly in the short term to turn a metabolic switch. Once that is done you need to treat it well so it has lots of energy to put into fruit. Continued harsh treatment will just give you a stunted plant.
The converse might be a pumpkin plant. A healthy plant in full sun will produce fertilised flower numbers in excess of what the vine can support to ripeness. Treating it harshly will get you nowhere. In this case you to maximise yield you should be nice to it, give it lots of water and fertilser. Don't generalise too much.
David
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I've noticed that digging around the roots of fruit trees seems to increase the yield the next year, much like pruning, although I've never done a scientific measurement with controls and such. My theory is that when plants are injured, they try to reproduce their species as much as possible in case they don't survive. But that's probably attributing too much conscious intent to the plants.
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote:

You are right that it isn't wise to attribute too much to plants but this behaviour isn't so complex that it implies thought or conscious intent. As I understand it the damage (and other actions that the plant is able to detect) cause the production of hormones (gibberellins) which control various aspects of growth and development.
So for some plants cutting the top off causes production of new shoots lower down, disturbance of roots produces suckering, a certain period of cold breaks dormancy and stressing tomatoes can switch them from vegetative growth to flower and fruit production. Some of these substances can be extracted or synthesised to produce the same effect when applied by the grower without taking the action that generates it naturally.
The trick is if you are going to influence the behaviour of a plant in such a way that you need to understand what the consequences are likely to be in that particular case. For example, to encourage fruiting by pruning fruit trees you need to know which wood on each type of fruit tree bears the flowers, it isn't all the same, so your pruning shouldn't be the same for all.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

<snip>
I'm repeatedly struck by how poorly taken care of tomato plants set fruit, it has to be survival of the species reaction. Billy has mentioned how you don't want tomatoes to believe it is the eternal summer of bliss. But you don't want to produce plants that yield a poor or damaged harvest.
It seems to me that some species, like cucurbits, don't need the cues to reproduce. Tomatoes sure do.

Every plant seems to fill a little different niche, and is adapted differently. Perennials think beyond the current year in ways that aren't always obvious.
Enough rambling from me! I've exhausted my knowledge base!
Jeff

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