» When to Prune Tomatoes – How Many Stems are Good?

When to Prune Tomatoes – How Many Stems are Good?

Q. My tomatoes are doing great they have little yellow flowers popping out all over. I see small tomatoes also.

Frankly, with my brown thumb, I have been afraid to trim any of the branches.

Should I go ahead and trim all the side branches and leave the main stem? What if there are two main stalks growing, versus one. This is happening a lot.

A. Smart tomato growers prune the sucker stems when they are very tiny. This saves stress on the plant and the grower as well. It also allows all the strength of the plant to be used in growing the main stem, leaves, and fruit, instead of growing a competing set of those things.

An occasional plant with two stems usually won’t be a problem, but unless you are a skilled and diligent pruner, having more than one stem on closely planted tomato plants will cause overcrowding, and your yield will suffer.

Jim Kennard