Tomato plants left unchecked can grow to unmanageable sizes and produce less fruit than a properly pruned tomato plant. I’ve been trying to collect some tomato pruning guides. Plenty has been written about this subject but these are some good guides.

The principle concerns are to prevent soil borne illnesses from infecting your plant and promoting fruit growth. To that end you want to create space around the base of your tomato plant where air can circulate and keep things dry. You also want to limit the amount of suckers, or new shoots, that your tomato plants produce and encourage them to put energy towards fruit production.

A guide for clearing the base of tomato plants:
http://therustedgarden.blogspot.com/2011/05/pruning-tomatoe-leaves-prevent-disease.html

Two guides for trimming back growth:
http://therustedgarden.blogspot.com/2011/05/identifying-and-removing-tomato-suckers.html

http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/pruning-tomatoes.aspx

Don’t worry about cutting off healthy parts of the plant. In the end the tomato plant will replace them and be healthier for their absence.

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