I have to confess, when I first started growing tomatoes I never used to prune them. Then my hubbys friend Tom literally told us to start doing it or stop growing them. lol. Any how, fast forward a few years later I think we have mastered the art of pruning tomatoes.
Why would you want to prune your tomatoes? Well, doing so promotes earlier harvests, higher yields and most importantly plants which are very healthy. It is important to note though, that the tips shared below work well for indeterminate tomatoes. They tend to vine and keep growing throughout the season, producing more suckers until the frost kicks in.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- tomato plants
- pruning shears
Tip #1: Spacing
Pruning the plants makes it possible to grow your plants closer about a foot apart. This is because each sucker is essentially a brand new tomato plant. Your plants will also be able to get more light and have unrestricted air flow.
Tip #2: Energy Conservation
Prune your tomatoes to conserve their energy and focus it on the important stuff such as flowering and growing new blossoms. This is how you promote early harvests and fruit that are larger than the norm.
Tip #3: Remove Smaller Suckers
Try to only remove the smaller suckers, as these tend to harm the plant less. Removing the larger ones may leave the plant more exposed and susceptible to infections.
Tip #4: Prevent Early Blight
Target the suckers that are closer to the ground, anything below a foot from the ground should be removed to try and prevent early blight. This disease attacks your plant leaves, and any affected leaves should be removed. Do this when your plants are at least 4 feet tall.
Tip #5: Top Off Plants
This is the only way to stop their growth, especially if they have outgrown your trellises. The plant will not stop growing and may start to grow over the rest of the plant. Avoid this type of growth as it promotes disease and infections. Top off your plants just above the top of your trellis.
It is not recommended that you prune determinant tomatoes, it may reduce their fruit production. Also you do not necessarily have to prune your indeterminate tomatoes, but as you read above it is highly recommended. The decision is yours, choose wisely.
You can watch the video below on how to prune tomatoes…