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!
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.
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.