Tips from Olle Garden Bed: Seven Tomato Plant Pruning Errors To Avoid
Pruning is an important component of plant maintenance. The right technology, coupled with perfect timing, can create miracles for crop prosperity and improve the chances of survival and prosperity. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
Tomatoes in particular can benefit greatly from proper pruning. Pruned plants produce healthy yields, have larger fruits, taste better, and are more capable of fighting disease. Therefore, if you are planting tomatoes in your home garden this year, please be aware of tomato pruning errors that must be avoided.
1.Similar prune practices for all varieties
Tomatoes are divided into two categories, known as certain and uncertain. The pruning requirements for these two varieties are greatly different. If you do not customize the pruning method based on a specific variety, you may harm your precious plants.
The identified or shrub tomato is a compact type that grows about 4 feet tall and produces all the fruit at once. They require minimal pruning, including removing branches that grow under the first fruit cluster and diseased leaves. Pruning vigorously can reduce potential tomato harvests as you may cut off the fruit stems.
Uncertain or rattan tomatoes can grow up to 20 feet tall and continue to produce fruit until they die of disease or frost. As they constantly produce new buds, they need to be pruned regularly to ensure healthier, larger fruits and a single or maximum of two main stems. In general, prune twice a week throughout the growing season and immediately remove damaged, rotting, or diseased leaves.
2.Missed suction cup
Suction cups are small buds or leaves that can consume plant energy and reduce the size and yield of tomatoes. They germinate at a 45 degree angle to the node where the main stem and leaf branches intersect.
It is best to remove the suction cups throughout the growing season. Remove any suction cups that are several inches long and trim the larger ones with clean scissors. If not controlled, they may produce low quality fruit at the expense of the health and quality of tomatoes grown on the main stem.
Pruning is good for the health of plants. It encourages plants to grow rich and mature fruits, enhances flavor, and ensures proper air circulation to help prevent mold, pests, and fungal diseases. It can also prevent flourishing tomato plants from becoming too large and difficult to manage.
However, over pruning is a mistake that should be avoided when growing tomatoes. Intense pruning can remove the leaves needed to shield against the scorching sun.
Therefore, do not trim the leaves directly above the fruit cluster, as they can protect the tomatoes and stems from sunburn. In addition, avoid removing the leaves directly below the fruit, as they provide sugar to the tomato to enhance its taste.
In addition, identify the main stem as early as possible to avoid accidentally cutting it. Otherwise, the plant will not grow vertically, but will produce leaves and fruit branches below the fracture. The main stem is the stem that produces branches or growth leaders, and is always the first to bloom. The suckers have already blossomed on the main stem and then blossomed.
"At the end of the tomato growing season, before the first frost date, you do not want your plant to sprout again.". At this point, the newborn will take away the energy needed to produce and mature the fruit. In addition, it is less likely to produce tomatoes on these new stems because frost can kill the plants.
Therefore, regularly remove any new buds to maintain plant health and vitality.
You can also maintain the desired height by pinching out any new growth tips from the top, ideally 4 to 5 feet. In about a week, the plant will stop growing new tips and focus on producing more fruits and buds on existing stems. However, leave two sets of leaves above the fruit and stem to protect them from the sun.
5.Trim at the wrong time
In addition to pruning frequency, you should also pay attention to the time of day.
The best time to trim leaves is in the morning or evening. Pruning at noon can put unnecessary pressure on your plants. In addition, it is best to prune plants when they are dry. Do not prune when it rains or plants are wet, as this increases the likelihood of illness.
6.Do not trim dying leaves
It is imperative to trim any dead, scorched, or diseased leaves you encounter. Placing them on the stem depletes the plant's energy as it attempts to restore dying leaves. All efforts by plants should focus on growing healthier fruits. In addition, diseased leaves can lead to the spread of diseases, which in the long run can affect the overall health of plants.
It is also best to remove any leaves or stems that come into contact with moist soil. If not pruned, they may become infected from the soil, attacked by pests, or rotted.
Use blunt or dirty tools
Using blunt or dirty pruning shears can be the worst thing you can do for a tomato plant. Blunt scissors not only make pruning difficult, but also harm plants. It crushes the stem, not cleanly. Dirty tools can cause diseases to spread between plants.
Before each trim, keep the scissors sharp to maintain optimal condition, and clean them with bleach or vinegar before and after use.
Practice perfect trimming
Pruning is very beneficial for tomato plants, especially for uncertain varieties. It maintains the appearance of plants, prevents disease, and helps to produce ripe, juicy tomatoes. Simple pruning errors can lead to substandard yields or plant disease.