The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes

Question: Does removing the leaves on a mature Tomato plant increase the the amount of blossoms that will

Answer: There always seems to be some debate among gardeners about pinching and pruning tomato plants. Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.

Pruning tomato suckers is sometimes recommended because the resulting new stem is competing for nutrients with the original plant. You may be setting more fruits if you leave the suckers to grow, but the fruits will be smaller and the plant will be more cumbersome. Pruning tomato suckers is really just thinning the plants.

Pruning tomato suckers is never required and many gardeners don?t bother with tomato pruning at all.

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