Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:25 pm
Location: Fremont, CA

How to handle determinate bush of Roma tomatoes?


I know we are supposed to pinch out the suckers of vining tomatoes. Do we do the same to a Determinate bush variety? Last year (my first year of growing anything at all), I had purchased a determinate variety of Roma tomatoes that grew more like a shrub than a vine and gave off multiple stems that all looked strong that it was difficult to tell which was the sucker and which was the stem. I let it grow out of control but that did affect the harvest in terms of quality and quantity. Not sure how to handle this variety.....I bought it again :roll:

Advice appreciated.


Senior Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:59 pm

never pinch or prune determinate tomato, it will just decrease their yield.

even on indeterminate tomato, pinching suckers and pruning are of questionable benefits. cept for pinching the top 1 month before end of the growing seaon, so the plant can concentrate energy on fruiting.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

The tip of the branch on determinants turns into flowers, stopping any further growth, so your production depends on number of branches.

"Pruning" can means leaf pruning, or suckering (removing lateral branches). Leaf pruning of some lower leaves helps the bottom of the plant dry out faster in the morning and after rains, and thus cuts down on diseases, same goes for leaves crowding the interior of a cage. Suckering (indeterminant plants only) helps you fit more plants into a limited area, helps you space out harvesting if you are selling tomatoes, and helps you get more air flow into the interior of a crowded cage. Later in the season the suckers developing deep inside the cage are often pretty skinny/wimpy and won't fruit anyway.

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