When it comes to tomatoes, there are a few things you need to know about pruning in order to get the best yields. Unfortunately, many new farmers continue to make the same mistakes when pruning their tomatoes. Below are the 11 most common tomato pruning mistakes, along with advice on how to avoid them.
Table of Contents
1. Not pruning indeterminate tomatoes
When growing indeterminate tomatoes, it is important to prune them correctly in order to maximize yields.
Many new farmers make the mistake of not pruning their tomatoes at all. This can result in plants that are overloaded with fruit, leading to smaller and less-ripened tomatoes.
It is also important to prune indeterminate tomatoes regularly, as this will help keep the plant healthy and productive. Failing to prune can lead to problems such as disease, pests, and poor yields.
2. Pruning Too Early or Too Late in the Season
Tomatoes should be pruned early in the season, before they start to flower. Pruning at this stage will help promote growth and stimulate the formation of more flowers.
Pruning too late in the season can lead to the formation of fruit that is too small and shriveled. It can also reduce the yield of your tomatoes and make them more susceptible to infections.
3. Cutting Stems at an Angle
When pruning your tomatoes, don’t cut the stems at an angle.
Cutting the stems at an angle will cause them to rot and the plant will die. Instead, cut the stem vertically, just below the node. This will allow the plant to continue growing healthy stems.
4. Failing to Sanitize Pruning Tools
Before you start pruning your tomatoes, make sure you sanitize your pruning tools. Otherwise, you’ll just be spreading disease from one plant to another. Use a solution of bleach and water (10g bleach to 9 liters of water) to sanitize your tools. Soak them for 5 minutes, then rinse them off with clean water.
5. Removing Too Many Leaves
You’re probably removing too many leaves. Leaves are essential for the photosynthesis process, which is how the tomato plant converts light into energy. If you remove too many leaves, the plant will not be able to produce enough energy to thrive.
Instead of removing leaves, try training them. The leaves should be trained to grow in the direction you want them to go. This will help you keep the plant tidy and organized, and it will also help the plant produce more tomatoes.
6. Cutting the Wrong Stems is one the most common tomato pruning mistakes
Don’t make the same mistake that so many new farmers make when pruning their tomatoes. Cutting the wrong stems can seriously stunt your plants’ growth and affect their yield.
7. Not Thinning Fruit Clusters
You may be wondering why your tomatoes are not producing as many fruits as you expected. The answer may be that you are not thinning the fruit clusters.
When you allow too many tomatoes to grow on a single stem, the tomatoes will compete for nutrients and space. This will result in smaller tomatoes and fewer total fruits.
Thin out the fruit clusters by removing some of the smaller tomatoes. This will allow the larger tomatoes to grow and produce more fruit.
8. Not Removing Suckers
You may be wondering why your tomatoes aren’t producing as much fruit as they should. The answer may be that you are not removing the suckers.
Suckers are the small shoots that grow between the main stem and a branch. They consume energy from the plant, and so should be removed regularly. If you don’t remove them, they will continue to grow and take energy away from the main stem, resulting in smaller tomatoes.
9. Not Removing Diseased or Damaged Leaves and Stems
Not removing diseased or damaged leaves and stems can cause the infection or damage to spread to other parts of the plant. If you’re not sure whether or not a leaf or stem is damaged or diseased, take a closer look or consult an expert.
10. Letting Vines Grow Too Tall
You may be making one of this mistake too. When tomato plants are allowed to grow too tall, they become difficult to manage and are more susceptible to disease. To prevent this, keep the vines trimmed to a manageable size.
11. Not pruning tomato plants at all
One of the most common tomato pruning mistakes is failure to even attempt removing unnecessary suckers. Many new farmers decry how tedious it is to prune their tomato plants.
Why is it so important to prune tomatoes
- Pruning helps the plants to reach maturity much faster
- Provides excellent air circulation while maximizing space
- Promotes good healthy plants through reducing diseases occurrence
- Removing unnecessary leaves and suckers helps to prevent overcrowding, thereby easing sunlight penetration
- Pruned plants produces bigger and high quality fruits compared to unpruned crops
Tomatoes are popular vegetable crops due to their flavour, consumption rate and productivity. If you want to be a successful tomato grower, learning the best methods of tomato pruning must be in your book. However, most new farmers fear tomato pruning mistakes they might experience while performing this task.