How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

TomatoPruning your tomatoes

Pruning is not always necessary. However, when pruning your tomatoes, remember these main points:

Plants with two or more stems produce more tomatoes with better foliage protection from the sun than plants with one stem. However, tomatoes pruned to one leader will bear earlier but with less yield overall. Choose the stems you want to keep and pinch out the others as they develop. A dense leaf canopy may reduce the incidence of black mold and cracking but may increase the incidence of other fruit molds such as gray mold.

Severe pruning to one stem will reduce your total crop greatly and also is likely to increase the incidence of some diseases or disorders.

Before removing suckers or side shoots on a tomato plant, wait until two leaves develop and pinch above them.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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