The Q&A Archives: Pruning Tomato

Question: Enjoy your site, keep up the good work. I'm attempting a "square-foot garden" but space is lmited. Is there any way to prune tomato plants without extensively sacrificing fruit production? Same with eggplant. Any info is appreciated. Yvette Cocoa, FL

Answer: Glad you like the site! Thanks for the feedback! There are two schools of thought around pruning tomatoes. One test I know of showed that pruned plants produce fewer, but larger fruit, than unpruned plants. If your goal is to keep plants in control,clipping off suckers that sprout from the base is a good idea, as is pinching out crowded, new growth on the interior of the plant, and caging or staking the plants is a necessity. In a square-foot garden, you could grow tomatoes on a trellis or against a fence to maximize space, or try determinate varieties, which grow as compact bushes rather than long vines. I've never heard of pruning eggplants, but again, there are more compact varieties that do well in containers that may be more appropriate for your space needs. Hope this helps!

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