Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Thinning Tomatoes (My Tomatoes' Journey - Part 7)

If you have been following along My Tomatoes' Journey, you know that I started some tomato plants from seed this year and am tracking their progress on my blog. I planted my seeds in mid-February, and now it's time (although I may be a little late) for thinning the tomatoes.

Now, thinning is not the process many of us go through to get ready for swimsuit season. Rather, I'm referring to a gardening term. When I sowed my seeds, I planted two seeds per container. Sometimes the seeds are duds, so you plant multiples to ensure success [hopefully]. You don't want to keep both plants growing, so you need to "thin" the plants by cutting (NOT pulling) the weaker plant. If you kept both plants growing, you wouldn't yield as much fruit from the plant later on. You snip the plant and not pull because the root systems are intertwined, and you risk killing the plant altogether if you pull out the root system.

Jagged-Shaped "Tomato" Leaves

Use scissors to snip the stem.
The "weaker" stem is on
the right, so I snipped that plant.
You know it's time to thin the plants when you no longer see only the initial rounded leaves but also jagged-shaped, "tomato" leaves. So, grab a pair of scissors and clip the weaker, thinner, stem at the base of the soil. Note that the stronger plant may not always be the taller plant; keep the plant with the thickest, strongest stem. 

Continue to water your plants when the soil is dry, and keep the plants in as much sunlight as possible. I'll probably be transplanting my plants outdoors in the next two or three weeks. 

Check out more posts on My Tomatoes' Journey
and keep me posted on how your tomatoes are doing!

Check out more posts on my 2014 A to Z Challenge!

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