2017 Harvest

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer tomato pruning

Today was the time for my summer tomato pruning. I do this to make more room for my tomatoes, and to keep them from getting too big. I know that  almost all tomato seeds say that one plant needs at least 1m of room but lets face it very few of us have enough room for planting them like this. Many years ago we realized that tomatoes grow excellent when you plant 2 seedlings together and leave only 50cm of room between poles.
I grow 100 seedlings per bed and beds are 12m x 1,2m.
Because of this I do this summer pruning.

Summer pruning is really easy. I just remove all the branches that will never produce fruits. When you look at a tomato plant it has all this branches coming out of the stem and we know that only few of them will have fruits.

And how can you know which ones will be fruitless? well you can never be sure but there are some that most definitely will never grow fruits.
When you look at the tomato stem you have to find the first tomato fruit. Everything under the tomato will be fruitless. Tomatoes never grow fruits under the ones that are already there.

You can remove all the branches under the fruit.  The next tomato flower/fruit will come above the ones that are growing now. By removing them the plant won't lose the necessary food on unnecessary branches and food will go directly to fruits. Also this is a good way to protect the plant from diseases, cause most of diseases come from lower branches. And of course another plus is that the plant will not grow too many branches and turn your tomato bed into a forest.

There can always be branches that are already really big and look like they will have tomatoes. This is why I do this in July. If a branch that is coming out of the main branch(the one with tomatoes) by the end of July doesn't have flowers

 or at least buds, then you can remove it. It won't have time to mature and make fruits.

After you clean your tomato it will look like this. You can see how everything under the tomatoes is clean and above are normal(untouched) branches.
After I pick up this tomatoes and new ones come I will clean the next level.
It's like cleaning the stairway...floor by floor.

 This is how all the plants look after the pruning

I guess by now everybody knows this but I will say this again. Pruning is only for indeterminate tomatoes. DON'T prune determinate tomatoes.
Ok now that I said that I'll say this you can prune them. Just not all of them.
There are some determinate tomatoes that grow like a bush(fruits come on new stems) and there are some of the tomatoes that grow similar to indeterminate tomatoes.
They grow big stem with just a few branches that get bigger and grow tomatoes on levels. Once they have reached their height they will stop.
For example this is Don Juan tomato. A determinate plant that can be pruned.

You can see how I have removed everything that will not produce fruits. It will still grow new fruits. Campbell is also one of this tomatoes.
The one you can't prune is for example Oregon spring. It grows stems with tomatoes like a bush. If you prune him you will end up only with fruits that are already there. It will not grow new ones.

Since I have lots of tomatoes it took me almost 6 hours to clean all of them. So the harvest today was really slim. I just harvested beans(to prevent them from overgrowing) and of course tomatoes.

I even had some "fallen soldiers." Tomatoes that fell while I has messing around the plants. They got a special place under the sun till they turn red.

In the end I just have to brag about my new flower.
This year my mum got us Morning glory seeds. And I have to say I'm amazed with it.

It started blooming yesterday and it's beautiful. I love it's blue color.

I will collect as many seeds as I can this year. I plan to fill my garden with it next year.


  1. You sure do have alot of healthy looking tomato plants. The morning glory is a great look plant to!

  2. I got interested in those fancy looking tomatoes you showed in picture 11, they're tomatoes 5 and 7 from left. What is the variety? Or maybe they're simply normal tomatoes that grew from deformed flowers? :)

    1. The weird shaped ones are called Reisetomate or traveler tomato http://lost-between-weeds.blogspot.com/2013/03/reisetomate-tomato.html

    2. Thanks, this year I have a similar variety Zapotec :)

      Leanan, wouldn't you be interested in seeds swaping with me? I could send you some Polish tomato varieties, peppers etc., you could send me some Croatian varieties :)

    3. Croatian seed database is very poor. But I do have lots o seeds from other countries that I can send you.
      Send me your address to my mail rolling-garden@net.hr and seeds will be on the way :)

    4. I've just sent you an email :)


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