Pruning tomatoes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-02-2011, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there!


I'm in my 3rd year of gardening and have learned primarily through experimentation.  I have just learned about "pruning" tomato plants and am thinking this is why I have never had that explosive yield that most people talk about when it comes to tomatoes.  Problem now, is, that my plants are already HUGE. Can I prune them now?  I am reading conflicting info out there on the interwebs.  Some say yes, some say it will stress the plant.  What to do?  Most people I know are JUST now getting fruits around here so I'm hoping I'm not too late to increase my yield.  Thanks!



S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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#2 of 3 Old 07-03-2011, 05:42 AM
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I'd like to hear more about this too. I'm on my third year of tomatoes. First year I let them grow unpruned, second year I pruned them back to the tomato cage width (anything outside the cage for pruned, a la Victory Garden). I don't really know if it made much of a difference.



Married to my favorite man in '07. Our firstborn came along in April 2012 (HBC), and our second is on the way, due sometime in May 2014 (planning an HBAC).
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#3 of 3 Old 07-03-2011, 02:51 PM
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I pretty much only grow indeterminate tomatoes. I don't "prune" them, per se, but I do remove most of the suckers. Those are the new shoots that form in the crotch of a branch and a main stem. If you let all the suckers grow in an indeterminate tomato then pretty soon you have a huge, messy tangle that gets completely out of control. . Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow and out out new flowers for the whole season (unlike determinate) so it is rather necessary to keep most of the suckers in check. Removing them won't affect the yield an helps make a stronger, more easily harvest-able plant.

You don't need to sucker your determinate tomatoes. Since those plants grow to a certain size and stop growing you want all the branches right where they grow, otherwise you decrease the yield.

I do remove the branches close to the ground once the plant is established. We have moisture issues in my area, and any branch that touches the ground is pruned off.
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