June 7, 2011


My favorite thing to eat, plant, and cook with. Last year, we stuck with three varieties: Gold Medal, Wapsipinicon Peach, and Isis Candy Cherry. Got lots of the fuzzy little yellow peach tomatoes. They were delicious roasted with a little olive oil. Got a few cherry tomatoes. Did not harvest one single gold medal tomato. Sad! They were the ones I was most excited about. Unfortunately, we had a problem that is all too common. The plants went ape shit. They grew and grew and grew. I did a bunch of research and found out that my tomatoes were basically expending all of their energy on making foliage, and not making fruit.

This year, I am pruning. I want smaller, healthier, more productive plants. Much research on the interwebs, and a few You Tube movies later, I found what I was looking for. This is a great article that summarizes what you want to do. To give my own summary, you want one main vine with leaves and flowers. What happens is "suckers" sprout at the point between the leaf stem and the main vine. If left unattended, they will turn into entirely new branches, and your tomato plant will be a nightmare. So you cut those babies off!

This picture shows where suckers are located.
Photo Courtesy of "Three Finger Method to Pruning Tomatoes" by Gary Pilarchik
Another thing I learned was that if the suckers are large, you can grow new plants from them. Simply put the branch in water in the dark for a few days and roots emerge. I'll let you know how this goes, they are in my basement now.

What are your tomato tips?

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