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How Do I Prune Tomato Plants?

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Pruning your tomato plants can help you avoid diseases and pests getting to them. It is a simple task that can be done with a pair of snips. In the video below Amanda shows how to prune the


Pruning methods are dependant on the variety of tomato plant you have (determinate or indeterminate)

  • Determinate tomatoes require very little pruning

  • Indeterminate tomatoes require more pruning to keep them under control and growing in the desired direction

  • If your growing space is limited vertically and you would rather more bushy plants than less pruning is needed. Plants can then fill out

Prune/Stake method (Growing vertical)

  • Lower yield per plant but higher yield, space-wise because you can grow more plants

  • Plants grow up rather than out

  • Pruning lower leaves on the stem creates more airflow and reduces the chances of diseases and pests because the leaves aren’t touching the ground

  • Pruning up 15-18 inches off the ground will help prevent the transfer of diseases from the soil to the plant…spoors and bacteria can splash up from the soil when it rains or when the plant is being watered, and land on the low-lying leaves.

Common tomato plant diseases?

Sunscald, Catfacing, Blossom End Rot, Blossom Drop, Fruit Cracks, Poor Fruit Set, Leaf Roll, Viral Leaf Roll, Herbicidal Leaf Roll, Puffiness (Hollow Tomatoes) Tomato Pith Necrosis, Bacterial Canker, Anthracnose, Early Blight, Late Blight, Septoria Leaf Spot, Powdery Mildew, Fusarium Wilt, and Verticillium Wilt

Common tomato plant pests?

Hornworms, Potato Beetles, Spider Mites, Tomato Cutworms, Aphids, Whiteflies and Stink Bugs.


Tomato Diseases and Problems.docx
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Topping your Tomato Plant

  • Basically, cutting the top off the main stem of your (indeterminate) tomato plant

  • Tells the plant to stop growing leaves and to focus on ripening the fruit that has already developed

  • Top tomato plant if it has become too tall for its supports.

  • Top tomato plant if it is near the end of the season and the potential for frost is 2-3 weeks away. This will allow the fruit that is already set to ripen.

Did you know?

“Keeping leaves (side stems) pruned up off the ground is important, reduces the risk of diseases and pests attacking plants………….However, if you don’t have mulch around the base of the plant to help keep moisture in the soil than leaving the bottom leaves on the tomato stem can act as a sunblock and wind block, helping to keep the sun/wind from drying out the soil so"

Check out the video below of Amanda showing us how to prune our tomato plants and be sure to follow for updates and more.

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