Can you prune tomato plants

How and Why to Prune Tomato Plants

can you prune tomato plants

Why I Always Prune Tomatoes (and how I do it)

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Not all plants are fussy about pruning, though. Most annual and perennial plants are much more laid back when it comes to pruning habits. Forget to deadhead them? Cut it back too short? One of my favorite forgiving plants to care for are tomato plants. Yes, you can. Many years ago, before I really knew anything at all about plants or gardening, I bought a small starter Sweet tomato plant.

The intrinsic vigor and hardiness of tomatoes almost always guarantees a successful harvest. However, the rapid growth of a healthy tomato plant can also lead to problems. For the first month or so, all of the sugar it produces is directed towards new leaf growth. During this stage, tomato plants grow very rapidly, doubling their size every 12 to 15 days. Eventually, the plants make more sugar than the single growing tip can use, which signals the plant to make new branches and to flower. This usually happens after 10 to 13 leaves have expanded, at which time the plant is 12 to 18 inches tall. In the next few weeks, the entire character of the tomato plant changes.

Your browser's Javascript functionality is turned off. Please turn it on so that you can experience the full capabilities of this site. Left on their own, tomatoes will grow into shrubby, multi-stemmed plants that topple under the weight of their fruit. Fruit and foliage are more prone to attack by pests and disease when they're sprawled on the ground. Pruning and using plant supports can help create healthier, more productive tomato plants.

Some controversy exists over whether or not tomato plants should be pruned, and the reality is that if you don't, it will not cause problems. Plenty of people do not prune at all and still grow good tomatoes. Tomatoes are not one of those plants that require pruning or deadheading in order to thrive, but shrewd pruning can improve the quality of the fruit you harvest.
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When growing tomatoes, the ultimate goal is to help the plant yield as much ripe fruit as possible. If you're growing indeterminate or "vining" varieties Big Boy, Beef Master, most heirlooms , pruning your plants to remove unwanted shoots and leaves ensures that all the nutrients are going to the tomatoes. If you're growing a determinate variety Biltmore, Heinz, Patio , too much pruning is counterproductive. To prune tomatoes, wait until the leaves under the first set of flowers start to turn yellow. Then, use your fingers to pull off any suckers that are growing under the first cluster of flowers, which will help your tomato plant grow strong and healthy.



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The answer to this question is actually a personal one. Some people assert firmly that pruning tomato suckers improves the production and health of a plant. Others claim that pruning tomato suckers damages the plant unnecessarily, opens the plant to disease and does nothing to help the plant. So, scientifically speaking, who is right? A study at Iowa State University PDF published in showed that pruning tomato suckers sometimes makes a difference and sometimes it did not in terms of the size the fruit.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Lotario Z. says:

    Should I Prune My Tomato Plants?

  2. Testraguako1994 says:

    How to Prune Tomatoes. When growing tomatoes, the ultimate goal is to help the plant yield as much ripe fruit as possible. If you're growing indeterminate or.

  3. Kristen B. says:







  4. Varinia B. says:

    How to Prune Tomatoes

  5. Silvina G. says:







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