Pruning Tomatoes The Right Way

One of the keys to growing the biggest and most mouth-watering tomatoes on your plant is grooming. The art of pruning tomatoes the right way cannot be over stated – it is essential to successful tomato growing. Follow these tips and steps for success.

The Importance Of Good Pruning

The aim of correct pruning is to get rid of unnecessary leaves so the airflow around your plant can give it full growing power. Also those extra leaves are taking vital life-giving energy away from the tomatoes. Don’t feel like your plant needs to be bushy or green, quite the opposite. In fact you only need three or four leaves on the entire plant, which should be right at the top absorbing sunlight and assimilate CO2. The rest can go! There is no need for the nutrients to go to leaves or branches that aren’t bearing tomato fruit flowers.

Use Your Hands!

If you groom your plant the right way you will save it from fungus and rot. The first tip in doing this is to pinch and take off branches and leaves with your hands, not cutters. This avoids leaving stumps of branches, which in fact only act to draw more nutrients in an attempt by the plant to heal them.

So don’t use scissors or a knife to prune your plant. Use your fingers – with gloves if necessary – and break off the branches right at the base, snapping them off up against the main stem. Definitely do not break branches in half, leaving hanging branch stumps.

Which Branches To Prune

When a flower patch appears you can prune the leaf branch below it. The sequence of a tomato plant growing tends to be a first branch with leaves, the next with tomato flowers – the first tomato-bearing branch. Then another leaf branch, and so on in this sequence. So the main aim of pruning tomatoes is to remove these bothersome leaf branches in the neatest way possible.

And be persistent in your grooming. Keep pruning in this way for the life of the plant. It will lead to straight, strong plants that do not lean or look for support. Which also helps them keep isolated from other things, and therefore less likely to be invaded by bugs, pests, fungus or ants. These branches can grow surprisingly quickly, especially if you are following the guidance in this site for the best planting, watering and general tomato plant care – so keep up with it and prune it well.

With the point where you have removed a leaf branch, your aim is for it to heal up and not grow any more. If you see a new sprout appearing, wait until it is big enough to break off cleanly as explained before, before you re-prune inch or two should do it.

If you live somewhere with a long summer and you can grow a late harvest. Wait until these new stems reach 3 or 4 centimeters and then break them off and save it in water until it grows its own roots. You now have a completely new tomato plant in the making and can have a second, late harvest!

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