Pruning Tomato Plants

by SAM.O
(Steelton, Pa)

Question:


Hi,

My tomato plants have these shoots that seem to be looking for something.
They are at least two feet higher than the rest of the plant. Should I
prune them? I have very large tomato stands plus I've run strings at
about three foot heights intersecting to hold everything off the ground.
I put grass cuttings on the bed as suggested. Anything else? I'm getting
production on the lower stalks of some. I staggered planting so I can get
tomatoes till September.

Help
SAM.O

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Answer:

Good job with the supports. Also, staggering is a terrific idea to get fruit more throughout the year.

I think it sounds like you're referring to topping. Topping of tomato plants is a hot topic with some gardeners. Some say to top, some say don't top!! I would advise to NOT top. In the end, you're the final judge. But, I personally, have never seen much, if any, benefit of doing it.

Tomato plants are more similar to trees when it comes to topping...verses flowers. When you cut off portions of flowers, they fill out and produce more buds, etc. Tomato plants act more like a tree. If you've ever seen a tree with the top cut out or blown out by winds, it just never looks the same again. Odd shaped and malformed. No benefit. (However, don't get topping mixed up with suckering and pruning. It's always a great idea to pull of the suckers and a small amount of pruning can benefit as well. But I almost never prune once the plant is in a more mature state. I prune when the plant is young...for shaping, etc.)

Your progress sounds really similar to mine. So all seems well. Just keep up good watering and feeding and you should see good results.

Great job in all that your doing...you sound like a natural!

Brad




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