Staking and pruning tomatoes

Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 09:12 AM.

Pruningis the process of removing the small shoots that develop between the leaf stems and the main plant stems.  Removing these shoots, or suckers, reduces the total number of fruit that your tomato plants will produce.  But this procedure causes the fruit that are produces to be larger.

Tomatoes should be pruned about once a week.  When you prune, leave two or three main stems for plant development.  Be careful not to disturb the fruit buds, which appear just above, or just below, the point where the leaves are attached to the leaf stems.

Staking and pruning are beneficial steps in tomato culture.  As I said staking certain varieties keeps fruit off the ground, reducing some disease problems.  It helps conserve space in the garden.   Pruning removes the small side branches, called suckers, which forms between main stems and leaf stems.  While pruning reduces the total number of fruit, it stimulates development of larger tomatoes.

For more information on staking and pruning tomatoes contact the Gulf County Extension Service at 639-3200 or visit our website or www. and see publication SP 103: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide.

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