Taming the Tomatoes: Part 1

June 19, 2009 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

tomato_takeover

Although they seem so innocent and tiny when you first put them in, by August, tomato plants grow up to be the huge frat boys of your garden. They will mindlessly push everyone and everything out of their way, bullying their way to take over your entire yard. 

But, there are a few things you can do to keep them under control, especially if you are growing in containers. I’m going to be writing about a few tricks you can use for tomato plants this summer, using natural and organic methods, starting with this simple pruning technique.

#1 Git those Suckers

The easiest way to prevent tomato plants from becoming a jungle is to remove the suckers (the new growth that sprouts up between two established limbs). A lot of people are afraid of pulling the wrong shoot, but once you know where to look, you’ll see how simple it is. Check it out:

suckers

See the arrow pointing to the new, smaller shoots between the L shaped limbs? That’s the one you want to grab. Removing these regularly will keep your tomatoes more contained, and reduce the sprawl. But, do it before they are established and flowers show up—-this can actually hurt the plant.

Next up: How to give your tomatoes The Florida Weave, an easy staking system used by heirloom tomatoe farmers James Weaver, and Tim Stark of Eckerton Hill Farm.

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