How To Prune & Tie Up Tomato Plants
If you have your own garden and you are growing tomatoes, you need to know how to take care of them. If you are growing them upright with stakes, you will need to prune them and tie them up so they are off the ground and easier to maintenance and harvest.
First, you need something to tie them up with. I use old socks, t-shirts, sweat pants, etc…anything that is a little stretchy. I cut the material into strips about an inch or so wide and 8 inches or so long. Long enough to go around the tomato and tomato stake and still be able to tie the ends together.
Then, you need to know how to prune your tomato plants before you tie them up. There will be several long stems, you need to pick two or three that you will make into the main stems…these will be the stems we leave on the plant and tie to the stake. So to prune your tomatoes, you will need to take the “suckers” off. Suckers are the stems that grow between the stems and branches of your tomatoes. It’s like a branch growing out of a branch.
Then, you just pick or cut the suckers off the plant. If you have not done this for a while, it may look like you’re cutting most of the stems off your tomatoes. But the whole purpose of taking off these suckers is to make your tomatoes produce larger, nicer fruit. You may not get as many tomatoes, but the tomatoes you get will be bigger, healthier, tastier and easier to find than if you just let your plants go. Pruning always your plants to put more effort into fewer fruit, you may get fewer fruit, but you may have more yield…if that makes sense.
After taking the suckers off and cleaning any bad leaves off your plant, you are ready to start tying. Start at the bottom and work your way up. After the initial tying, you will not need to tie the bottom again, just go up from where you left off the last time. Tie the stems snug, but not too tight, they still need to be able to get nutrients up the stem. If you tie them too tightly the stems may break or die.
When you get to the top, move on to the next plant. That’s all there is to it.
Let me know if you have any questions, it sounds more complicated then it really is!