Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Tomatoes' Journey: Pruning - Part 12

One mistake that is easy to make (and I have made for most of my years growing tomatoes) is to not prune your plants. I'm beginning to learn that bigger is not always better when it comes to tomato plants. One of the main reasons to prune is so that more nutrients can go to fewer fruits, which will produce larger, better tasting fruit. If a plant has many, many stems, then the plant's energy will be diverted to all the stems rather than a focused few. As a result of pruning, your plant should produce larger fruit longer into the growing season. 

So, how do you prune your tomato plants? First, prune with sharp pruning sheers or scissors. Do not tear or break the stems off by hand; you can potentially snap the main stem and kill your plant that way. There are two areas that I prune: 

  1. The Stem: I don't want large vines shooting out from the base of the plant, so I prune all the vines from the bottom 8" to 10" of the main stem. 
  2. The Crotch: I'm really sorry to use this terminology, but I didn't know what else to call this area. I asked my husband, and he didn't have any idea what to call it either. So, I did what any normal person does, and I googled it. It's the best term I could find (or perhaps the most entertaining). So, now I am giggling like a middle schooler over my newfound tomato plant term. Anyway, I prune the area where there are little shoots from where a "V" forms. Hopefully these pictures clarify the "crotch" area. Sorry...still laughing. LOL. 

So, take time to prune your plants. You won't regret it, and it'll pay off in the long run.

Check out my other posts on My Tomatoes' Journey.

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