Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Posts Tagged: Emily Bzdyk

Pruning: The Secret to Bigger and Tastier Tomatoes

When I first started growing tomatoes, I was reluctant and nervous about pruning my tomato plants for fear I would be doing it incorrectly. After 9 years of growing, I have learned that it is one of the best practices to include in your plant care. It is easy to do and produces better tasting and bigger tomatoes because you are helping focus the energy of the plant.

Here are a few simple tips for pruning your indeterminate tomato plants (determinate plants do not need to be pruned):

Removing suckers

  • Suckers are the stems/leaves that grow out of the “V” junctions on plants. They grow fast and keep growing all season. These are best snipped off when they are small.
  • Pinching can work as well but make sure you don't tear the tender stems. Before removing suckers wait until at least 2 leaves develop and pinch/snip just above that point.

Establishing the leader

  • The leader is the main stem of the plant which starts near the ground.
  • You may choose to allow additional leaders (or stems) to grow as well. There are advantages for each.
  • Plants with two or more stems produce more tomatoes and greater/denser foliage which protects the plants from the sun. Tomatoes can sun burn!
  • While the denser leaf canopy may reduce the incidence of black mold and cracking, it may also increase the incidence of other fruit molds such as gray mold.
  • Plants with only one leader will bear fruit sooner but will ultimately produce a smaller total crop and may increase the incidence of some diseases due to the lighter foliage.

Topping your plants

  • Pruning the top of your tomato plants once they have reached a desired height (usually about 5–6 feet) is perfectly acceptable and will push the energy down into the development of the fruit below.
  • I find I need to continually do this all summer.

“Good to know” tips

  • DO NOT Prune your plants when they are wet as this could spread diseases.
  • DO prune off any bottom branches that are touching the ground as they can provide a direct vector for soil borne diseases to move onto the plant.
  • DO prune off any yellowed or discolored leaves later in the season to keep the energy focused on the fruit.
  • DO keep your nippers sharp and clean to avoid damaging your plants.

Below is a link to more information about growing and pruning tomatoes from the UC Master Gardener site: 

https://ipm.ucanr.edu/home-and-landscape/tomato/cultural-tips/index.html?src=307-pageViewHLS#:~:text=Pruning%20tomato,-Pruning%20is%20not&text=Plants%20with%20two%20or%20more,the%20others%20as%20they%20develop.

Happy Growing!

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County (PDS)

 

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2023 at 7:00 AM
  • Author: Help Desk Team

Invasive Spotlight: Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Disease

Invasive Spotlight: Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Disease The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is a small, aphid-sized insect that poses a...

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2023 at 6:35 AM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

Talking Invasives over Lunch

June 5 to 9, 2023 (12:00 to 1:00 pm each day) -

Invasive Species Action Week Lunchtime Talks

Invasive species are arriving in California with increasing frequency. The best time to stop them is before they arrive, and federal, state, and local agencies are keeping their eyes out for new arrivals and threats on the horizon. When they do arrive, Early Detection and Rapid Response are critical to their management. Many detections are made by individuals not associated with any agency or university, and through community/participatory science programs, almost anyone can help to spot the next invasive.

Webinars are free, but registration is required for each day. Visit the California Invasive Species Action Week Lunchtime Talks websitefor more information and registration.

There are NO CEUs offered for these webinars. Please contact Randall Oliver (rdoliver@ucanr.edu) with any questions.

  • Monday, June 5 – Rapid Response and Eradication of Caulerpa in California: Lessons Learnedby Rachel Woodfield
  • Tuesday, June 6 – Participatory Science as a Tool to Monitor Invasive Tree Pests byDr. Beatriz Nobua-Behmann
  • Wednesday, June 7 – Proactive Biological Control of Invasive Pests by Dr. Ricky Lara
  • Thursday, June 8 – Early Detection and Rapid Response for Invasive Plants in California by Dr. Chris McDonald
  • Friday, June 9 – Rapid Spread of Invasive Aquatic Plants in the Changing San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuaryby Dr. Brenda Grewell

 

REGISTER NOW

 

 

Recordings of the past webinars are available on theUC IPM YouTube channel.

 

Thank you,

UC Ag Experts Talk team

 

 

 

acp wax
acp wax

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2023 at 6:19 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Invasive Spotlight: Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Disease

The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is a small, aphid-sized insect that poses a serious threat to California's citrus trees. This invasive pest can carry...

Posted on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 6:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

Tomatoes in Containers

by Donna Woodward The Tomatoes-in-Containers TrialWe gardeners who have space to grow plants are fortunate. Many people would love to grow some...

Posted on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 11:33 AM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Read more

 
E-mail
 
Webmaster Email: kmchurchill@ucanr.edu