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Confused on pruning tomatoes

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Confused on pruning tomatoes

Post  Maya Papaya on 6/8/2010, 10:37 pm

Howdy folks,

As I've stated before, I'm a newbie first timer in the garden. I've planted my Tom's like Mel suggested - laid them down, trimmed the roots a bit and removed all but 3 stems. However, I am confused as to what and where I should be pruning as they grow. I've read in his book and a couple of other books stating that I should pinch off the suckers which are the leafy shoots that grow where the leafstalks grew from the stems. It still is not resonating with me - I'm more of a visual person and was hoping to find an illustration of where to do this. Every time I clip of some branches, I cringe! I already feel like they are taking to long to get taller - in fact my lettuce is creeping along to but that is another subject.

Do any of you have pics of how Mel's indeterminate system looks when done his way in full force? Any and all help is appreciated.

Maya Papaya :scratch:

Maya Papaya

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Re: Confused on pruning tomatoes

Post  pattipan on 6/9/2010, 12:09 am

Here's an excellent video on pruning tomatoes from Johnny's Selected Seeds.


I don't have pictures of the tomato plants from last year at full height. I will definitely take more this summer.

I've been growing tomatoes for years (we'll not say how many!) and have always made a habit of pruning the suckers and lower leaves off. I learned from my dad growing up, so I understand how seeing it can really help. I try to prune the suckers off before they get too big, but I've also
removed some rather large ones too without the plant suffering (just go on vacation for a week and see how fast they grow!). I think the
most important thing to remember is to not mess with them when they are

I've also broken MORE than a few stems over the years -- and it's more than a few now with SFG'ing! In the process of weaving them in and out of the trellis netting, I always seem to break stems. If that happens, I just let one of those suckers grow and I'm back in business! Indeterminate tomatoes are very tolerant of the pruning.



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re: confused about pruning Tom's

Post  Maya Papaya on 6/9/2010, 12:57 am

Wow Patty! Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you sooo much! I guess I need to be a little more patient - newbie gardener excited for them to grow already.


Maya Papaya

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Re: Confused on pruning tomatoes

Post  martha on 6/9/2010, 11:38 am

I don't know what it is, but this year my plants have huge numbers of suckers. Maybe it is the varieties I have planted, many of them new to me. Last year was the first year I knew about pruning. It is a nice opportunity to visit with my tomato plants, but my goodness!


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Re: Confused on pruning tomatoes

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