How to Prune Early Girl Tomato Plants

Early girl tomato plants must be pruned quite vigorously because they are an indeterminate variety. That means that they continue to grow until the first frost of fall. They can get very tall and leggy if they are not pruned back. Pruning tomatoes helps to increase fruit size. The tomatoes may not be as numerous as on plants that are not pruned, but the tomatoes that do remain will reach a substantial size and the plant's energy is not used on numerous limbs which only produce tiny tomatoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Early girl tomato plants
  • Pruning shears

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Step 1

Pinch off all leaves and suckers that are growing from the main stem below the first flower cluster. Use your fingers to remove these.

Step 2

Find the two stems which are growing right above the first flower cluster. These two will be allowed to remain and bear fruit.

Step 3

Pinch off all suckers which appear above the two stems growing above the stem which contains the first flower cluster. When you remove suckers and leaves pinch them off with your fingers flush with the main stem. If a limb has grown too big to be pinched you will need to use the pruning shears to remove it from the stem.

Tips & Warnings

  • All other indeterminate tomatoes are also pruned in this same fashion. Determinate tomatoes, which have a determined growth do not require such a vigorous pruning. They only need to be pinched so that all suckers that show up beneath the first flower cluster are removed.


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