How to go about pruning in tomatoes plant?

29.07.18 01:47 AM Comment(s) By Admin

For those who are new to the tomato plant, both to the way it looks, and the way it grows, here is an insight - this plant grows in foliage quite a lot and can occupy a lot of space. The space occupied by the plant should be ok if all the plant growth supplements the fruit growth and multiplies the yield. However, this is not so.

Sunlight energizes the tomato plant in a way that all its inputs received are channeled towards growing foliage. The main component made by the plant is sugar. These Sugars eventually are produced to such a large extent that they are more than what the plant tip needs. So, then the plant automatically uses all these excess sugars and gives rise to more branches and flowers. The more the growth, the more is the extended weight on the plant, forcing the plant to bend and be around ground level.

One important point is that while pruning, only prune the indeterminate varieties (where plants will tend to produce leaves and flowers throughout its growing season). If you are pruning determinate varieties, it may lead to less number of harvests.

If left unattended, the plants become more like an overgrown mass of leaves and shrubs, defeating the purpose. The plant sugars must be channelized towards better fruiting, generating a higher yield, and better quality of the fruits. Pruning of unnecessary growth in tomatoes can achieve this objective. The key is to prune enough, but not too much. Pruning should be done in such a manner that the fruit receives adequate sugars and protection from the leaves against sun scorching.

How to prune tomatoes

We can prune tomatoes once it starts producing flower clusters.

  1. Start by removing old and yellow-colored leaves at the base of the plant.
  2. Remove all suckers and their leaves before the first flower cluster. Do this irrespective of the type of tomato plant until the plant reaches a 12-18-inch height. 
  3. Check for the thinner leafy sucker and pinch them off from the leaf axils to direct the reserve for growing fruits.
  4. Prune yellow, old, diseased, and pest-infested leaves and shoots as and when these are spotted.
  5. To get the best out of the last growth, prune 'top of the plant' (remove the plants terminal portion) when plant hits the roof of your greenhouse.

Pruning Indeterminate Varieties

In indeterminate varieties, we should remove all the fruit-bearing shoots leaving only 4-5 stalks as more shoots lead to small and scanty tomatoes.

Pruning Determinate Varieties

Determinate type of tomatoes already has a pre-determined number of stems that will grow naturally, so pruning is not required above the flower cluster.

Pruning ensures that the essential parts of the plant use the nutrients supplied. Further, the plant's energies are concentrated more towards the production of flowers and fruits than towards the production of foliage. 

Happy Gardening!


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