The Q&A Archives: Pruning Tomatoes

Questioner's Location: Conyngham, PA
Date: June 27, 2000

Question: Contrary to what I have always heard I recently read that it is not necessay to prune tomato plants. Is that true? If so what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Answer: It is somewhat a matter of personal choice. Some indeterminate plants grow so large and heavy that it is impractical to let them reach full size, or they may try to set more tomatoes than they can support, or more than can mature by the end of the season. Excessive pruning can reduce the amount of energy the plant can produce and thus reduce yield, can expose the tomatoes to excessive sun and thus cause sunscald. On the other hand, pruning can help increase air circulation within the plant to reduce disease problems and can speed ripening by allowing more sunlight to the interior of the vine. It's a matter of personal preference.

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