The Q&A Archives: pruning tomato plants

Question: My tomatoes grow tall and spread out and then fall down. I have them in cages. Should I prune them? Will it hurt them?

Answer: With indeterminate plants, you can expect they will require a six or eight foot stake or a trellis that high. There are different trellising methods that might be more appropriate for your needs, but a simple teepee style will work. Pruning is done as a matter of personal preference. It will reduce the weight and density of the vine, and can be used to keep the plant smaller; simply remove side shoots that form in the crotch where the leaf and stem meet, and remove any multiple stems that emerge from the base of the plant. You might consider trying some of the smaller determinate varieties if space is an issue.

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