5 Benefits Of Tomato Pruning In 2023.

Some people do not prune their tomatoes but still end up with an okay harvest. The good thing is, tomatoes wouldn’t suffer adverse effects if you do not prune them. However, the benefits of tomato pruning are immense.

Maintaining the routine is the next task once your garden or farm is ready. It might get complicated and tedious at times but let me tell you some of the benefits of tomato pruning to keep you motivated throughout the journey.

Beyond disease control, you can increase tomato fruit size, plant survival after transplanting, increase leaf exposure to the sun, airflow, and reduce moisture concentration around the leaves. All these benefits of pruning tomato plants work to increase plant vigor, which increases productivity and disease resistance.

Improves airflow to the leaves

After pruning, you will notice more light around the plants, whether in the greenhouse or outdoors. The light is a sign that there is more space between the leaves.

Air circulation around the leaves increases after pruning because of the space created around the leaves. The leaves get more CO2 for photosynthesis and oxygen for respiration. The air also helps the leaves dry faster after rains or irrigation.

Increasing tomato fruit size

benefits of tomato pruning increasing fruit size
Tomato fruits increase in size after pruning

If you want to harvest huge tomatoes suitable for slicing at the end of the season, you should prune them. When planting determinate tomato types, you don’t need to prune unless it is for disease control.

Pruning encourages the plant to concentrate its energy on producing fewer but larger tomatoes. It reduces the concentration of leaves; thus, more leaves get exposed to optimum sunlight. Because fewer leaves are overshadowed, photosynthesis occurs at maximum efficiency.

Fruit thinning or reducing the number of fruits per cluster is also a technique for increasing fruit size. 

Another trick to producing large and tasty slicing tomatoes is to remove all the leaf stems below the initial tomato cluster. Only retain the leaves directly below the cluster. The leaves above and directly below the cluster are responsible for supplying the tomato clusters with food. 

You should also eliminate all suckers on indeterminate plants before they become side stems. Pruning suckers encourage the plant to grow taller and improve the efficiency of the remaining leaves.

Read More: Tomato Pruning Mistakes To Avoid In 2023

Reducing the nutritional burden

Removing suckers reduces the number of shaded leaves. This means that more leaves will spend time in the sun. Increased exposure to sunlight will increase food production in the leaves.

In contrast, low exposure to sunlight reduces the rate of food production. You might notice that the lower leaves, shaded by the upper leaves, begin to turn yellow.

The leaves become yellow and finally die if it demands more plant sugars than it generates. Pruning the lowest section of the plant might help maintain the health of the leaves.

In addition, the leaf surfaces will dry up faster and be less prone to disease.

Reducing moisture around the leaves

The leaves and stems of tomato plants have hairs on their surfaces. When it rains, or after overhead irrigation (not recommended), the water lands on the leaves and settle, creating a conducive environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi, thereby causing disease.

Because the hairs and dense leaves trap moisture and humidity around them, spores quickly germinate once they land on their surfaces.

Pruning opens up the spaces around the leaves and increases air movement. Easy and improved air movement reduces humidity around the leaves and helps the leaves dry up faster.

Prevent disease at transplanting

To encourage good root growth, you best bury some of the stems with the root when transplanting. The challenge is the lower leaves will be close to the soil and at risk of getting exposed to disease-causing agents that live in the ground. 

Removing two or three-leaf stems from the plant will create more space between the ground and the first set of leaves. The extra room will prevent water splashing off the ground and onto your tomato leaves. Tomato plant disease is frequently caused by water splashing.

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