I am new to this news group and I am hoping to get some pointers on the best
methods of pruning tomatoes, or places I can look to find more information.
I am in a northern climate with a short growing season. Any help would be
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learned not to do any pruning, and I've lived in zone 3 to zone 6. I find
that pruning cuts production and tomato quality. Leaves protect the tomatoes
from sun scald and also aid in producing larger tomatoes because the leaves
produce the food that adds to size. I like leaves and suckers.
Removing suckers and later fruit clusters will produce earlier fruit by
a few days, but will decrease overall production. If you're in a real
northern climate, you might need those few days for real vine-ripened
fruit, although if the fruit is almost ready it will ripen off the vine.
I think that ripening the fruit on the plant is best if you have that
option without hitting frost dates.
If you have several tomato plants, you might prune 20% of them and leave
the rest. This will give you an idea of how effective it is for your
I live in New Orleans where it's almost impossible to grow tomatoes - or so
it seems. I've found that *lightly* pruning my plants helps to combat
fungus problems (by letting more sun & air get to the interior of the
plant), but I do think the plants suffer in some ways despite my good
intentions. If you have a specific reason for pruning - like fungus - then
do so, but carefully. However, I would advise against pruning in most case.
good luck and happy gardening,
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