Pruning Indeterminate tomatoes isn’t always easy. Indeterminate varieties, like many heirloom tomato plants, grow indefinitely and will continue to produce fruit throughout the season.
If you don’t prune them properly, your vines might become so unruly that they are difficult for you or passersby to see.
Pruning also optimizes airflow around the plant and removes any yellow leaves or diseased branches. It’s important to prune your tomatoes regularly to keep them healthy and happy.
Pruning doesn’t have to be a scary process, though it can feel like an overwhelming task when trying to manage such a large plant.
Follow these tips for pruning indeterminate tomatoes so that your garden remains tidy and healthy with plenty of fruit production remaining!
Choose Which Branches To Keep And Which To Cut
When you are pruning tomatoes, it’s important to keep the plant’s main stem in mind. This is the stem that will eventually produce the tomatoes.
If you prune or cut off the main stem, the plant will be unable to produce fruit. When you prune your tomatoes, always make sure to leave at least a couple of leaves on the main stem to ensure that the plant is able to continue growing.
When pruning tomatoes, try to decide where you want new branches to grow and which ones to keep. This will help you keep your plants well-organized. If you want to grow your tomatoes vertically, you’ll want to leave the branches on the main stem untouched.
Trim The Stems
When pruning your tomatoes, you’ll want to trim the stems on all the branches, not just the ones you’re growing new branches from.
This will help to keep the plant’s canopy smaller and make it easier to manage. Cut off any branches that are thinner than ½ of an inch in diameter to keep the plant healthy and disease-free. While pruning your tomatoes, look at the color of the stems.
If they are discolored, shriveled, or yellowing, you should cut these off. If you leave these on the plant, they can transfer to the leaves and cause them to yellow and fall off as well.
Remove The Discolored Leaves
While you’re pruning your tomatoes, you should also remove any discolored or yellowing leaves. Leaves that are diseased or dying will eventually fall off by themselves, but it’s best to remove them sooner rather than later, especially if there are other leaves below it that are still healthy.
You can also remove leaves that are on branches that you’re not interested in growing. If a branch has too many leaves, it won’t be able to receive enough sunlight to grow properly. Removing these leaves will allow the plant to continue growing.
Don’t forget to check the undersides of leaves as well. Many pests and diseases hide there, and pruning exposes them so that you can squish them or cut them off.
Shorten Shriveled Stems And Yellow Leaves
While you’re pruning your tomatoes, make sure to also look at the bottom of the stems. If they are shriveled or yellow, you should cut them off. Shriveled stems indicate that the plant is too thirsty while yellow ones are a sign of too much sun.
If you leave these on the plant, they can cause spreading diseases that will damage other nearby plants.
Some plants, like tomatoes and peppers, produce flowers and fruits on the ends of their branches. If there are some branches you want to keep, but they are too tall, you can shorten them to keep the canopy from becoming too large.
Tips For Pruning Indeterminate Tomatoes
Let’s see some important tips for pruning.
– Cut off any yellow or diseased leaves. If you see leaves that are yellowing and wilting, cut them off to reduce the spread of the disease.
– Remove any branches that are growing inward towards other branches. These cause a lot of problems and are difficult to remove once they’ve grown inside the plant.
– Trim the ends of the branches to make it easier to harvest the fruit. – Shorten long branches to grow smaller tomatoes.
– Prune the main stem early in the season to control the height of the plant.
– Keep the main stem between two and three leaves long.
– Prune the plant regularly to keep it healthy.
Finally, while pruning indeterminate tomatoes, remember to do it regularly. Like many other plants, tomatoes can become diseased if they aren’t kept clean and pruned regularly.
Make sure to clean up any leaves and branches that fall on the ground and prune the stem to make it easier to harvest the fruit. Doing these things regularly will help to keep your plant healthy and growing well.