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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:34 am
Location: Buford, GA - USA


To me it appears that the suckers grow more tomatoes, so if that's the case why trim them off? It looks like the thing below the sucker--the "leaf branch"?--is what needs to be trimmed off. So far most of the time I take people's advice and trim the suckers, but when the suckers have blossums or are a lot bigger than the leaf branch I leave the suckers and trim the branch. From my pov the branch seems like the sucker and the sucker seems like what we would want to keep. The sucker always seems to grow nice and strong, while the leaf branch seems to be sort of shriveled with poor leaves. Do those branches even grow tomatoes at all? Looking at mine I see several suckers with blossums, but I haven't noticed any on the other branches.

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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: South Florida


What kind of tomato plant do you have...indeterminate or indeterminate variety tomato? What is the name of the tomato?

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

It all depends on how crazy your plant grows. I don't care what anyone say's. I trim suckers, main branches, whatever and still my plants go flipping nuts, in reality I should have trimmed more. I was trimming some up today, boy I hate it when I trim a big branch thinking there are no fruit on it than when you pull it out there are. But that makes more room and energy for the rest of the fruit. If you could see my plants you would understand. It is literally a jungle.

But if your plant isn't insanely crowded due to WAY TOO MANY braches than I would leave it alone. Yes the suckers are a good source of fruit. It a hard call without seeing them, but i do what I feel is right in my gut.

Good luck


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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:34 am
Location: Buford, GA - USA

By now I'm convinced that only the suckers grow more fruit, except for the main vine which is also the same as a sucker, imo. I recently read that the leaf branches aren't really branches at all, but instead some sort of complex leaf. The suckers are what make more vines which gives smaller tomatoes but more of them. So it gets down to how many vines you want per plant. Some people say one. Some people probably have dozens if they don't trim suckers. I believe if the suckers are let grow and they succeed the leaf branch thing turns brown and dies. But if you trim the sucker the leaf thing helps the main vine produce bigger least that's my impression of it so far.

Super Green Thumb
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"Pruning" tomato plants is very controversial among gardeners. There are some who won't take anything off a tomato plant except for leaves at the bottom as they die off, or to prevent splashback of potential soil-borne organisms.

Then there are gardeners at the opposite end of the spectrum--they mutilate (sorry, "trim)" their tomato plants quite severely, to one stem, and trail them onto what I think is called a Florida weave.

Somewhere in between are most of the rest of us. I'll let any part of a tomato plant that's producing flowers/fruit live. Precious few of mine do in the first place!

Make your decision based on what you see in your own plants.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Senior Member
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Delaware

It's been my experience that pulling off the suckers will give you a fatter mainstem, bigger tomatoes, less diseases due to better air circulation ,and earlier tomatoes.

Leaving the suckers will give you smaller tomatoes but more of them overall, they will ripen a little later, and be better protected from sunscald.

I mostly pull suckers from my indeterminates because I want nice large slicing tomatoes, but I leave them on my San Marzanos because I want poundage, not size for sauces.

Green Thumb
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:32 am
Location: Holbrook Az. zone 5b

Very well Said I agree healthier plants for me also.

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