Pruning Tomato Plants: A Quick How-to Guide
The first thing that you need to know about pruning tomato plants is this: determinate and indeterminate tomato plants have different pruning needs. To find out what kind of plant you have, check your seed packet, or the small plastic stake that came with your tomato seedling. Before you move on to the tomato pruning guide, learn more about determinate and indeterminate tomato plants.
Once you’ve determined (no pun intended) that you need to prune your tomato plant, here are some basic pointers:
- Remove all of the suckers from your tomato plant when you begin pruning. Suckers are little wanna-be plants that start growing at the crotch (V where two stems meet) points of tomato plants. When pruning a tomato plant, suckers are the first thing that need to be taken care of. Suckers rob tomato plants of energy and sugar, which results in poor growth and smaller tomatoes. To remove a sucker, use your forefinger and thumb to pinch them off. If they are already thick and too difficult to pinch off, use a razor blade (not scissors or clippers) to cut off the sucker.
- Once the tomato plant is about 12″ tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 3″ of the plant. This will protect your plant from fungus and other diseases.
- Once the plant reaches 18″ or more, always keep the bottom 6-8 inches of stem free from leaves.
- Remove stems that look thin and sickly. This occurs when the plant is too full and bushy, causing some of the leaves to be in the shade of the other stems, unable to get any sunshine. Rather than have those weak stems sucking energy from the plant, it’s best to pinch or slice them off.
Originally posted 2009-08-17 06:59:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter