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How to Prune Tomato Plants


Pruning tomatoes helps to keep the plants within a confined garden space. It can also help counter their sprawling nature, keeping the fruit off the ground and healthy. Diligent pruning will reward you with an abundant, delicious harvest.



Prune tomato plants when they are growing too large for their allocated area. Always use sharp, clean shears when working with vegetable crops to prevent spreading disease.

Prune Tomato Plants In Containers

Insert a 1-inch square, 3- to 4-foot long stake approximately 3 inches from the first bloom cluster in the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Avoid the root system when placing the stake in the soil. Staking the tomato plant supports it and helps it stay upright when growing. Allow the shears to air dry. Beginning 1 inch from the base of the plant, tie one end of an 8-inch piece of twine around the stake. Loop the other end around the main stem, just tight enough so it doesn’t slip. Tie individual branches in the same manner as the main stem. Prune the shoots growing in the crotch between the leaves and the main stem, with the garden shears or by hand.

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