Sunday, 19 August 2007

How To Grow Tomatoes Tip 1 - Pruning Your Tomato Plants

Pruning your Tomato plants

When growing tomatoes, it is important to maximise the efficiency of photosynthesis and limit the amount of disease. To do this the plant needs lots of light and airflow around it.

If a plant is properly pruned and supported, nearly every leaf will have access to the sun. Most of the nutrients and sugars produced are directed towards the newly developing fruit as well as the growing tip. Fruit production does not stop (unless the plant is affected by weather or is lacking in water).

As more and more growing tips are produced, via branches, the plants resources become more divided. This usually results in ever decreasing fruit size in indeterminate tomato varieties. Determinate varieties are self limiting, mainly because of their shorter growing season and more defined fruit setting period.

Those varieties that mature in less than 70 days normally should not require pruning. However, late-season indeterminate varieties often need some of their side shoots or their tops trimmed, to prevent them becoming too bushy or tall. With both determinate and indeterminate varieties, it is best to limit the number of trusses to six or seven in order to get good quality fruit.

Pruning also increases plant health. The leaves of a pruned and supported plant dry off more quickly, which means that fungal and bacterial diseases have less opportunity to spread.

Essentially, staked and pruned plants have fewer problems with fruit rots and leaf spots because their leaves stay drier, and the plant has good airflow around it. Leaves and fruit should never be allowed to sit on the soil.

Discover the two most popular methods of pruning in How to Grow Juicy Tasty Tomatoes.

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