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[Tomato Dirt #202] Should You Prune Your Tomato Plants … and If So, When?
May 21, 2020
Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Two horticulturalists combine forces to give you advice about the right way to prune, fertilize, water and stake tomatoes. You’ll be able to diagnose pest and disease problems using step by step priceless information, illustrated with 260 full color photos.
Image: Tomato Dirt
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.
Root 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.
Good soil is the single most important ingredient for a good garden. Raised beds and containers give you an immediate advantage over a regular garden, because you can fill them with a blend of soil that's superior to the native soil in your yard.
But it can be confusing to know what to mix (and how much) into your containers and raised bed. Enter our good friends at Gardener’s Supply. They provide you with this nifty online calculator to help you compute the amount of soil you need for your raised bed or planter. Just enter your container or bed’s measurements and POOF! – you’ve got a list of proportions.
You’ll find plenty of other handy information on the Soil Calculator page, including how much compost to use, tips about re-using potting soil, and how to mix your container or raised bed soil together. Plus, it’s free. Check it out (and how much) into your containers and raised bed!
Image: Tomato Dirt
Get more tips for growing tomatoes on our Tomato Growing Tips Pinterest board.
|Felco Pruners: THE standard garden pruners and ergonomic, too!
|Eco-Smart Work Gloves: breathable, stretchable, long-lasting
|Pocket Pruners: compact, ergonomic, handy
|Simple Pruning for Tomatoes: What It Is, How to Do It
|3 More Types of Tomato Pruning
|Pruning Tomatoes FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
| Review: How to Choose Garden Clippers for Pruning Tomatoes