Tomato plant suckers: When and how to prune tomato plants

When you grow tomato plants, you will come across the need to remove tomato plant suckers. Do you always have to do it? No, you don’t always have to remove tomato plant suckers. It depends on the situation. Continue to read this article and we will enhance your knowledge on the subject by providing more information.

how to prune tomato plants

What exactly are tomato plant suckers?

The tomato plant suckers will be produced on indeterminate tomato plants as well as on determinate tomato plants. It is a shoot that develops on the plant in the place where the stem meets leaf. If you allow the tomato plant suckers to grow, you will end up with getting fruits and flowers. However, this can also make the plant provide a dense growth. Due to the same reason, most people tend to go ahead with pruning tomato plants.

The process of pruning tomato plants is all about managing the overall growth of it. However, it is important to keep in mind that the tomato plant suckers will not take away energy that is in the plant. That’s because they are not suckers, but more of stems. In fact, tomato plant suckers are in a position to contribute towards the overall growth of the plant. If you want to end up with getting tomatoes that taste better, you should refrain from pruning tomato plant suckers. That’s because having more stems in the plant would help it to absorb more sunlight, and eventually convert that energy into sugar.

When you prune tomato plant suckers, you will end up with getting larger fruits. Otherwise, you will only end up with getting smaller fruits. This is something that you can experiment on your own and figure it out. Moreover, you will notice some differences in the overall taste that the fruit would offer as well.

How to deal with tomato plant suckers?

Depending on the type of tomatoes you have, the approach you should follow to deal with tomato plant suckers would differ. For example, if you grow determinate tomatoes, you can simply allow the suckers to grow. That’s because having more suckers would ensure that you get more stems, more fruits, and more flowers.

But if you are growing indeterminate tomatoes, you will need to adhere to a specific pruning strategy. In case if the plants have smaller fruits, you can get the plant to grow sturdy. Then you can proceed with pruning tomato plant suckers.

How to prune tomato plant suckers?

Now we come to the most important section of the article, where we learn how to prune tomato plant suckers. The small suckers would be around three inches in length. You will be able to snap off them with the help of your fingers. There is no need for you to use any special tools for pruning. In case if the suckers are large, you may think about using either garden snips or pruners for pruning. You should double check and make sure that they are clean. On top of that, you should be careful not to accidentally damage the plant as you prune.

How often should you remove tomato plant suckers?

Growing tomato plants is not so easy. That’s because you will have to think about removing tomato plant suckers on a regular basis. In other words, it is something that you should do in every 7 to 10 days. If you want to end up with getting maximum yield, you need to consider this as one of your responsibilities.

What can you do with pruned tomato plant suckers?

When you prune tomato plant suckers, you should not dispose them. That’s because there are few different things that you can do with them. For example, it will be possible for you to go ahead and root the tomato plant suckers. These will root pretty quickly. Hence, it is a proven method available for you to end up with getting more tomato plants at the end of the day.

How can you root tomato plant suckers? This is where you should take a look at your climate. If there is a favorable climate, you may proceed with it. As soon as you remove the suckers, you will need to place them in a clean water container. If you have more than one type of tomatoes, you will need to clearly label them as well. Then you will need to keep the container in a place in a bright location, where it doesn’t receive direct sunlight. Kitchen counter would be a perfect place to keep the suckers.

When the roots grow, it will be possible for you to plant them in a pot. We encourage you to buy a pot that has a diameter of around one to four inches. You will also need to fill up the pot with a moist potting mix before you plant. You can keep the pots in a shady place for a couple of days. Then you can continue to expose them to sunlight along with time. After the plants are exposed to sunlight for few days, you may proceed with planting them in your outdoor garden.

Alternative methods to prune tomato plant suckers

There are some alternative methods available for you to promote tomato plant suckers as well. For example, when the plants continue to grow, you will be able to remove leaves at the bottom of the plant. The number of leaves you should remove would vary depending on the foliage. Then you can keep the plants away from spreading soil-borne diseases.

In order to remove the leaves at the bottom of the plant, you should think about using clean pruners or garden snips. Then you will be able to toss all the clipped leaves to your compost bin.

Another effective method available for you to prune tomato plants would be to top them. This is something that you can do during late summer season. However, you may also di it before the plants grow beyond the top of stakes.

Final words

If you grow tomato plants, you should be mindful about taking good care of them. This is why you need to focus on the variety of tomatoes you grow. Based on that, you can decide to proceed with pruning tomato plant suckers. Follow the tips we shared on how to prune tomato plant suckers. Then you can end up with getting the best results at the end of the day.

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