Readers ask: Can You Prune The Tops Of Tomato Plants?

Top the tomato plant when it grows to the top of its cage or stake. By doing this, it allows more of the plant’s energy to be directed at growing the fruit as opposed to the stems. Cut off each top vertical stem with shears, removing the stem 1/4 inch above where a side shoot diverges from the main vertical shoot.

What happens when you cut the top of a tomato plant?

Called “topping,” this type of pruning causes the plant to stop flowering and setting new fruit, and instead directs all sugars to the remaining fruit. This way, the fruit will ripen faster, plus it becomes more likely that the green tomatoes you pick before frost will actually ripen when you bring them indoors.

How do I stop my tomato plants from growing too tall?

ANSWER: You can prevent your tomatoes from growing too tall by pruning them. Pruning also encourages the plant to grow fruits instead of creating more foliage. Always use clean, sterilized shears when you prune to avoid spreading disease in your garden.

Can you prune tomato plants that are too tall?

Prune (Top) Your Indeterminate Tomato Plants. Your indeterminate tomato plants may just be too tall, and you cannot give them the space they need to grow. In that case, you can “top” them, or prune the top part of the plant away. This will prevent them from falling over after they outgrow their supports.

Can you cut the top off a tomato plant and replant it?

With sharp pruners, cut about 6-8 inches (15-20.5 cm.) of the sucker or new growth at the tip of the branch. Then, you can simply immerse the tomato cutting in water or plant it directly into some soil medium. In water, the cutting should root within about a week and will be ready to transplant.

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Should I trim lower branches on tomato plant?

As the plants grow, revisit them regularly and keep the bottom 6 to 12 inches bared. Trim away these lower leaves and stems while they’re small, rather than letting them grow. This conserves the plant’s resources, and a smaller pruning wound creates less opportunity for disease to enter.

Should I prune indeterminate tomatoes?

Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow, producing new stems and fruit through the end of the season. Indeterminate tomato plants are the only ones that need regular pruning. If you prune off all of the suckers, you will have a strong, vigorous plant with fewer but larger fruit, reveals Fine Gardening Magazine.

How do you prune a bushy tomato plant?

the shoots that form in the axils where side branches meet the stem. Remove suckers when they’re small by pinching them off or snipping them with pruners. If your goal is to maximize the harvest, prune suckers sparingly. A good compromise is to remove all suckers that grow below the first flower cluster.

How do you prune an indeterminate tomato plant?

The ideal is to limit the plant to no more than 3-4 stems. Gently pinch off, the little suckers when they are small and easy to remove. (If you turn your back for a day or so, they can quickly grow to shocking proportions, so be vigilant!)

Should I top my tomatoes?

The first thing to understand is that topping plants is simply an option. If you do nothing and allow plants to grow, they will eventually flop over the edge of whatever is supporting them and continue to grow. The main downside is that fruit laden branches can kink and potentially impact production.

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When should I pinch the top of my tomatoes?

Many gardeners pinch out new blooms and immature fruit by late summer because the tomatoes are not likely to mature and ripen before frost. Pinching them out at this time channels the plant’s energy into the existing fruit and may increase their size.

What is an indeterminate tomato?

Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow for what seems like indefinitely. Depending on the variety, they can grow from 6′-20′ tall. This type continues to produce tomatoes all growing season until a hard frost hits and stops them in their tracks.

How do you get thick stems on tomato plants?

The best way to get thick stems on tomato plants is to provide them enough sunlight, water, nitrogen, and aeration. The main reason to get spindly stems is a lack of sunlight. So make sure your tomato plants get at least 8-10 hours of direct sunlight.

How do you keep indeterminate tomatoes small?

As a young plant, prune these tomatoes to one main stem, removing suckers as they develop. Because plants are pruned to grow vertically, they take up less space, making this a good option for small space gardening.

Will leggy tomato plants produce fruit?

Sometimes, tall plants become spindly and weak and are unable to produce or support fruit. Although the problem is more common in seedlings grown inside, it can strike mature plants in the garden. Before you can treat your tomato plants, you need to determine the cause of the weak vines.