When should you prune your tomato plants? The type of pruning you use varies at different points in the growing season.
Simple pruning: this method allows you to cut back suckers that produce weak fruit and drain energy away from the main plant. Simple pruning is best done early in the season when plants are working hard to put out leaves, blossoms, and fruit, allowing them to concentrate their efforts.
Missouri pruning: this modified version of simple pruning allows you to pinch off sucker tips rather than at the base of the shoot, thereby reducing shock to the plant.
pruning: this approach lets you to strengthen a tomato plant by pruning its roots with a spade, a few inches from the base of the plant, forcing the plant to mature. The best time to root prune is after fruit has developed but just before it begins to ripen.
Top pruning: this is best done towards the end of the season, about a month before frost. Clip the top of the tomato plant above the last blossom, which prompts the plant to finish producing the fruit already on the vine.
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Tomato Growing Tip #30: When to Start Simple Pruning