Should we prune the tomatoes? Two schools remain, choose your side! Discover the advantages of each method and learn how to simply prune your tomato plant.
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- Growing tomatoes well
- Caring for tomatoes throughout the seasons
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We prune a plant for several purposes: to beautify its silhouette, to keep it in good health, to promote the production of flowers or fruits. In the case of tomatoes, the objective is clearly to ensure good fruit production.
The main thing is not necessarily to have an industrial quantity of tomatoes, but to obtain fruits of good diameter and well developed. The size also helps to ventilate the foot and prevent the proliferation of fungal diseases.
Two schools: the pros and cons
- Thefor argue that pruning promotes rapid fruit production and limits the occurrence of late blight.
- Theagainst believe that the foliage increases photosynthesis and protects from the sun.
The ideal being to test both techniques at home, to see which one works best for your region and your approach to the vegetable garden.
Remove the greedy
What is a foodie? It is a small shoot that appears in the axils of secondary stems. You can then see it at the junction of the main rod and a secondary rod. It is advisable to remove these small stems which draw a lot of sap to the detriment of the growth of the plant. Thus, the plant will distribute more sap to the secondary fruit-bearing stems. You then guarantee a better harvest.
How to remove greedy tomatoes?
If they are small, you can remove them by pinching them between your thumb and forefinger. On the other hand, if you have let them develop, it is better to use pruning shears. Remember to disinfect it before use to avoid disease. Indeed, we must not forget that each wound is an open door to bacteria for your plant.
Top the tomatoes
Pruning is the cutting off of the top of the main tomato stem; it takes place during August. The more the plant grows and creates new stems, the more the sap is divided among these fruit-bearing stems. This takes longer and longer for the fruit to mature. Some gardeners recommend that you keep only 4 to 5 secondary tomato-bearing stems. Tomatoes are produced until October, before the first frosts. At the end of August, the fruits do not have much time to ripen. The purpose of topping is to concentrate the sap on the existing fruit so that they mature more easily. This prevents the plant from exhausting itself in producing new stems.
Cut the leaves of the tomatoes
Again, the gardener's focus is on the fruits. To ripen, it is heat that a tomato needs! In other words, the more sunlight hits it, the faster the tomato ripens. As such, it is possible to remove the leaves to bring light to the fruit.
Be careful, do not remove all the leaves, only those which hide the fruits from the sun or those which are in contact with the ground.
Do not prune tomatoes: an increasingly common solution
Nothing requires you to prune your tomato plants. After all, in nature without human intervention, no one takes their sweet tooth away from them! It is therefore necessary to reserve an important place for them because their development will be more consequent. Leave between 2m and 1.50m between each foot. Your vegetable garden will have a more natural look and you should not be afraid to lift a lot of stems to find your precious fruits. The use of a stake is not recommended because it will never be large enough to support the growth of your plants. Prefer a cage that will have the advantage of keeping the leaves and fruits away from the ground. Indeed, if they remain agglutinated against the ground, this creates a wetland conducive to disease.
Good to know : some varieties of tomatoes do not cut! This is the case with cherry tomatoes and varieties with a fixed habit, which do not grow endlessly.