Tomato plants need to be consistently pruned in order to produce the optimum amount of fruit. Pruning is beneficial because it removes any dead or broken branches using energy that could be directed to healthy areas, provides more sunlight and circulation for fruit to develop and controls wild growth. Regular pruning of tomato leaves will provide you with an abundant, delicious harvest.
Things You'll Need
- Gardening gloves
- Pruning scissors sterilized with rubbing alcohol
- Plant ties
Prune back tomato plants to maintain their size, depending on whether you want a small container tomato plant or a sprawling bush. Prune back any dead, broken or diseased branches at any time during the year.
Pinch off the tomato branch tips during the growing season, removing the last set of two leaves and stem. This will encourage tomato plants to grow bushy and full.
Prune back any branches that you noticed didn't bloom or produce fruit during the last harvest season. These leafy branches will just suck energy from other parts of the plant that need it. Make sure to not cut back more than one-thir of this foliage though, as tomato plants need leaves for some shade.
Train tomato plants to grow on a trellis. This not only saves space (if you desire) but also make sit easier to locate and harvest the fruit. Use plant ties to secure the branches to a trellis that is secured next to the plant. Tuck in stray edges in and out of the trellis if you are using a lattice style. Continue to cut the branches that you notice aren't producing fruit or blooming that same growing season.
- Photo Credit Tomato plant image by Trombax from Fotolia.com