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Monday, June 8, 2009

Pruning Your Tomatoes

The tomatoes in my garden are growing nicely. With nice growth comes the chore of pruning. I wrote a Knol that details how to prune tomatoes. Below is a bit of the article. Here is the link.

The Three Finger Method to Pruning Tomatoes

Why Prune Tomatoes?

You don't have too but I recommend you do. You will get tomatoes if you just let them sprawl across the ground. That is what they are designed to do. If you let your tomatoes sprawl, they will be more susceptible to disease and mildews. You will also need more garden space for a sprawling tomato and probably won't get any more tomatoes then a well pruned and tended tomato.

You prune a tomato plant to greatly reduce the risk of disease and mildews such as blights and powdery mildew. A pruned plant creates a gap between the soil and leaves. It is harder for spores to splash to the leaves and take hold. A pruned tomato plant has less leaves which allows air to circulate all through the plant. This circulation quickly drys leaves. Dry leaves are a good strategy in reducing the spread of disease and mildews.

You prune a tomato plant because you will still get a large harvest of tomatoes without sacrificing space in your garden. A tomato that grows up a stake and has its growth managed, allows you to plant more plants. In my book of a gardening the more space the better. You prune to have healthier tomatoes and more garden space.