Pruning tomato plants helps enhance airflow, prevents disease, and results in larger and juicier fruits (yes, tomatoes are fruits!). Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to prune your tomatoes effectively and enjoy these benefits – and more.
Trim Suckers Below The First Fruit Cluster
Suckers are new growth stems that usually appear from the bottom of the plant and grow upward. They weaken the main stem and can impair the proper growth of tomatoes if left untreated, so trimming them is a good idea.
The best option is to trim side stems and suckers below the first fruit cluster. This ensures that the main stem is strong, and also allows your plant to develop plentiful fruit.
Remove Flowers Until Plants Are 12-18 Inches In Height
Trimming away flowers while your tomato plant is growing allows it to direct more energy into the roots, making it healthier, stronger, and more resilient. Once your tomato plant reaches your preferred height, it can begin to flower and make fruit!
Also, if you’re planting a new tomato plant, make sure to remove any existing flowers before you plant it. You may also want to remove some of the lower leaves so that you can bury it further in the ground. This helps it hold up to the summer heat more effectively.
Trim The Ends Of Your Stems Near The End Of Growing Season
When you think you’re about 4 weeks away from the end of the growing season (first frost, for example), it can be beneficial to trim the ends of your tomato plant stems. Why? This process, called “topping,” stops your plant from developing new flowers and fruits.
Instead, the sugars and energy that would have gone into developing flowers and fruit will be sent to the fruits that are already developing on the plant. This makes them grow more plump and ripens them more quickly, ensuring you can get a final harvest of delicious tomatoes before the growing season ends.
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At The Soil King, we have a passion for gardening, and all of the online supplies you need to grow your own tomatoes. Shop online or find a dealer near you to get what you need. Want more information? Contact us online or browse our blog for more gardening tips and advice!