Back to Back Issues Page
[Tomato Dirt] Pinch Me! How to Know If Your Tomatoes Need Pruning
June 07, 2014

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 4, Number 11

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

Tomato Growing Book

Follow Me on Pinterest

Tomato Dirt is on Pinterest!

Join us on Pinterest! Browse our 100+ boards (and growing) for all kinds of tomato inspiration and practical information: growing tomatoes, tomato seeds, cold frames for tomatoes, tomato books, tomato greenhouses, , indoor tomatoes – even crafts to do with a tomato theme, now that cold weather is here. Happy pinning!

Feature: Pinch Me! How to Know If Your Tomatoes Need Pruning

Image: Tomato Dirt

Pruning tomato plants can maximize the number, size, and flavor of your tomatoes. You can also prune your tomatoes to encourage earlier production.

Use this guide to know if your tomatoes are begging you for a pinch … or not.

  • Do your plants put out plenty of side stems? Suckers – those new branches that grow out of the tomato’s main stem, just above a leaf branch or side stem (in the “crotch”), pull away energy from the plant’s blossoms. Pruning them puts more energy into the fruit.
  • Is your tomato plant a determinate variety? Determinate tomatoes set the bulk of their crop at one time. Each plant will produce a limited number of fruit before ceasing production. Avoid pruning tomato determinate varieties or pinch back only suckers that appear below the first flower cluster.
  • Do you live in a hot climate? If so, be careful not to over-prune. Too much sunlight or steady, intense sunlight can lead tomatoes to develop sunscald.
  • Are lower leaves yellow? As a tomato plant matures, its lower leaves begin to yellow. Pinch or prune yellowed leaves to prevent disease, improve the tomato plant’s appearance, and help the plant keep its energy focused on fruit production.

Find out more advantages and tips about pruning tomatoes so you can have healthy, productive tomatoes all season long.

And check out how other gardeners stake tomatoes on our Pruning Tomatoes Pinterest board.

The #1 Question about Pruning Tomatoes

Is pruning tomatoes required?

Nope. You may choose not to prune your tomatoes and still have a good crop. Tomatoes require only sun, water, and nutrients to grow. Pruning enhances production – more tomatoes, bigger tomatoes, and more flavorful tomatoes. But your tomato plants can produce excellent fruit if you choose not to prune.

Learn about 4 other areas of tomato care when growing tomatoes so you can get your crop off to a good start this season.

Check Out These Helps for Pruning and Staking Tomatoes

icon icon icon
Pocket Snips icon Garden Hod icon Tomato Cages from Gardener's Supply icon

More about Pruning and Growing Tomatoes

Different Kinds of Tomato Pruning Pruning Tomatoes: How and When to Do It Top 4 Areas of Tomato Care Why Staking Tomatoes Produces a Bigger Harvest

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
Find us on Facebook!

Back to Back Issues Page