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7/11/2008 Growing Wisdom:Pruning Tomatoes
Pruning tomatoes is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to ...
increase fruit size and help lessen the chances of disease. First, let’s talk about which tomatoes to prune. Indeterminate (
Tags:flowers,gardening,growing,horticulture,How to prune tomato plants,how to prune tomatoes,organic,plants,shrubs,tomatoes,vegetables
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David Epstein: Hi, I am David Epstein. Welcome to Growing Wisdom. In my home state of Maine what a pleasure to be here with Howard Anderson. We are standing up in – I will be in Maine, Johnny selected seed and these are all tomatoes behind us.
Howard Anderson: Yes.
David Epstein: You want to tell a little bit about how and when we should prune?
Howard Anderson: We prune throughout the seasons starting when the suckers on the plants can it be about two to three inches long and we do this to increase yields and to help reduce decease pressure on the plants. We prune to two leaders and take all the suckers off in between and as plants go up we will trellis them on the stakes.
David Epstein: Take about this leader business?
Howard Anderson: Okay, this is your first leader comes off the main stem. Below your first flower cluster this first sucker now become your second leader so we are going to leave this two as your main growing points and then we are going to take that all these other suckers their in leaf axles long down the stem.
David Epstein: How would you do that?
Howard Anderson: You do it with fingers. You pinch that sucker out of the leaf axles.
David Epstein: And you go through and do all the rest?
Howard Anderson: All the rest. All and go down to the base.
David Epstein: What is that doing for the plant?
Howard Anderson: That would in vigor and support more growth into these leaders and put more fruit on.
David Epstein: How often would I have to do this in sort of normal growing seasons?
Howard Anderson: Every week to ten days.
David Epstein: Should I do this in the morning, the evening, does it matter?
Howard Anderson: It does not matter long to leaf at wet so not spreading disease.
David Epstein: Should we prune all types of tomatoes?
Howard Anderson: Determine tomatoes are more bush type tomatoes because do not require pruning. They grow about three foot tall and most of these here are called indeterminate which continue to grow through that the seasons until froze comes. They listed as determining or in determining most seed got looks.
David Epstein: And so the in determinate once are the once we have to stake and we also have to take the suckers out?
Howard Anderson: Correct.
David Epstein: What is this that we are doing here?
Howard Anderson: This is called basket weaving. You take the string and go around the stake and weave get around the plants. When you get to the far end, you turn around and come back and we got other side of plant and the fact making a trellis for the plants grows up through. As the plant grows, we will add more strings to the stake.
David Epstein: And speaking of that grows it might get very high during the course of the year. Is there a point when I suggest stop it from growing any higher?
Howard Anderson: At about 30 days before your first cross you want to take off the growing points that end that leader grow pruning and they will force the plant into making those last set of fruit ripen enough before frost.
David Epstein: Howard, this has been great and I really appreciate your time here. Beautiful setting. We hope you been enjoyed all of our tips here on tomato pruning and growing. We will be come back every week for all of our tips and help at GrowingWisdom.com.