dubele
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clipping tomato stems

I hear you should clip the bottom "branches" of the tomato plant....they are called "suckers"? When should I do this....how tall should the plant be and how many??

TZ -OH6
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There is a thread already started over in the Tomato forum about pinching tomato parts. It should answer your questions.

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farmerlon
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Re: clipping tomato stems

dubele wrote:I hear you should clip the bottom "branches" of the tomato plant....they are called "suckers"? When should I do this....how tall should the plant be and how many??
The Suckers are not full-sized branches, unless they are allowed to grow unchecked (not pinched). The Suckers are the small shoots that appear at the "V" where branches meet the main stem.
Many people pinch off the suckers to control the bushy-ness of the plant, and possibly grow larger fruit, etc... .

Many folks remove the bottom branches at planting time, and "deep plant" the tomato transplant... primarily for better root development.
Once the plant is up and growing (usually a few weeks old), many folks remove the bottom branches, especially those that touch the ground... to aid in disease prevention.

garden5
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By removing the bottom branches from the plants it can aid in air circulation which will help prevent disease, particularly in wet, humid areas.
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cynthia_h
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This is the current thread in the Tomato Forum re. whether or not to prune/pinch/clip axial branches:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25072

There have been many others in the past; the "Search the Forum" function will help you find them. There is no one settled theory, even among professional organic growers, on this point.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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