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Published on Jul 14, 2011
How to Prune Tomato Plants? - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
How to Prune Tomato Plants
I'm going to show you how to prune a tomato plant. We're going to take off the suckers. Now, how do you identify a sucker? Well, first you look for a leaf, and then above that at a forty-five degree angle there may be a feathery-looking thing coming out. That is a sucker. And, the more suckers you take off, the larger your tomatoes that are left on the vine will get. So, I take off all but one sucker on most of my tomato plants. Except for Brandywine and Cherry Tomatoes. Those I only allow maybe two or three suckers. And, the reason I take off all these suckers is to help to give the plant more energy to put toward fruit production, rather than green gross production. Because, these suckers, all they do is produce more and more leafy material and, correspondingly, less tomato actual production.
Well, the most important thing to do is to take the suckers off, but sometimes I take off the leaves if they look diseased or turning into blight. What you have to remember, though, is to leave on the plant enough leaves to shade the tomatoes, because don't like to be out in full sun, they get a thing called Sun Scald. So, it's okay to remove some leaves as long as you leave enough that the tomatoes are in shade. The plant will produce clusters off of the main stem, and the first fruiting clusters usually are at somewhere between a foot, a foot and a half up on the main stem. And then, the main stem will keep producing fruiting clusters off of it, and the first sucker that you allowed to stay on will get just as big and produce fruiting clusters off of it. And, each stem will provide a nice amount of tomatoes, except for Brandywine and that's why you allow three or four suckers to stay on the plant. They all get about the same size as the main leader until you don't know which one was the main leader anymore.