Many people are unsure when or how to prune their indeterminate tomatoes. This guide will show you the best time to prune and how to do it!
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Why You Should Prune Indeterminate Tomatoes
Pruning indeterminate tomatoes is important for a couple of reasons. It helps the plant to direct its energy into producing fruit, rather than foliage. It also prevents the plant from becoming too large and unmanageable.
Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to grow and produce fruit until the first frost of the season. Because of this, they can benefit from being pruned throughout the growing season. Start pruning when the plant reaches about 18 inches tall. Continue pruning every few weeks until the plant flowers. At this point, stop pruning so that the plant can focus its energy on producing fruit.
When pruning, remove any leaves that are yellow or brown. These are usually indicative of disease or pests. Cut off any branches that are growing vertically, as these are not productive. Also, remove any suckers that are growing along the stem of the plant. These are small, auxiliary branches that will not produce fruit.
Pruning indeterminate tomatoes may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually very easy to do. A little bit of effort now will pay off later in the form of a bountiful harvest!
When to Prune Indeterminate Tomatoes
Indeterminate tomatoes, also known as vining tomatoes, continue to grow and produce fruit until the first frost of the season. You can increase the yield and quality of your crop by pruning indeterminate tomatoes. It is important to know when to prune indeterminate tomatoes so that you do not damage the plant or decrease its fruit production.
The best time to prune indeterminate tomatoes is in the late spring or early summer. At this time, the plant will have had a chance to put out new growth but will not yet be bearing fruit. Pruning later in the season can decrease the amount of fruit that the plant produces.
To prune your indeterminate tomato plant, start by removing any dead or diseased leaves or stems. Next, cut back any side shoots that are growing from the main stem of the plant. These side shoots will take energy away from fruit production if they are allowed to grow unchecked. Finally, trim back any remaining leaves or stems that are longer than 18 inches. This will help to keep the plant compact and discourage pests and diseases.
How to Prune Indeterminate Tomatoes
When it comes to pruning tomatoes, there are two types: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate varieties produce fruit all at once and then stop growing.Indeterminate varieties, on the other hand, keep on growing and producing fruit until they are killed by frost.
Step One: Determine Which Branches to Cut
Once you have a good handle on which branches are bearing fruit and which are not, it’s time to make your cuts. As a general rule of thumb, you should only prune off about 10-20% of the total plant. Any more than that and you risk stunting the plant’s growth or worsening its yield. When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and take off less rather than more.
Here are a few more specific guidelines to help you determine which branches to cut:
-If a branch is weak or spindly, it’s likely not bearing much fruit and can be removed.
-If a branch is crossing over another branch or rubbing against it, it may be causing damage and should be removed.
-If a branch is growing vertically instead of horizontal (like it’s supposed to), it likely isn’t bearing much fruit and can be removed.
Step Two: Cut the Branches
After you have identified the suckers, use pruning shears to cut them away from the main stem of the plant. Make your cuts just above where the sucker meets the main stem, being careful not to damage the main stem in the process.
Step Three: Fertilize and Water the Plant
Water the plant deeply, using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to apply water directly to the roots. Pull back any mulch that’s covering the root area, so the water can soak in and won’t just run off. Fertilize regularly throughout the season with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Apply according to package directions, based on the plant’s size.