Pruning tomato plants

Was wondering if anyone has pruned the bottom couple of stems from tomato plants with any kind of success? It seems to me that they never produce anything, are the first to get diseased, and probably take energy from the growing of the fruit. It would also help get air in and around the plant to promote drying of the leaves which would also help prevent disease. I'd like to try it this year if I knew it would be somewhat successful.
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rile wrote:

I do it automatically† -† every year.†† Just as i heap soil up the main stem a bit to encourage more / higher root growth. I also pinch out the sucker shoots that develop between the main stem and side stems.†† There are opposing schools of thought on this practice too, but my plants always thrive and produce well.
D †
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Do it. I do pretty much the same thing. Since I grow my own plants and have no greenhouse, the lower leaves are often yellowed and I take them off. I don't plant real deep because I plant through holes in black plastic. I don't allow new branches to form at the bottom either because I prefer to grow on poles with a single stem. How many plants are you growing? If you have several, use your plan on one end of the group and leave the other end natural. See if it makes a difference in disease problems. See if it makes a difference in production.
Steve
rile wrote:

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