Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Pruning is vital if you want your tomato plants to grow into healthy, fruitful plant that produces the biggest tomatoes. However, some people make mistakes while pruning their plants.

The most frequent mistake made is to use the wrong tools or pruning at the wrong time. Let’s look at some of the most common tomato pruning mistakes. We’ll also give you some tips to help improve your pruning skills.

Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes

Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes

Pruning is one of the most important aspects of growing tomatoes as it helps improve air circulation and increases exposure to sunlight. This not only ensures that fruit ripens faster, but you’ll also find your plants give a bigger yield as well.

Here’s a list of common mistakes that should be avoided when pruning tomato plants.

Pruning determinate tomatoes

Determinate tomato plants don’t need to be pruned as pruning won’t affect yields. If you prune a determinate tomato plant, you’ll stress the plant, which likely won’t reach its full potential. You may even find that you end up with a lower harvest rate.

You should only prune indeterminate tomato varieties, which are bushy, compact plants that grow to a certain height and then stop.

Related article: A Guide to Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes 

Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes: Over pruning

If you remove too many shoots on tomatoes during pruning, you’ll reduce the yield by disturbing fruit production. Over pruning will cause problems if you live in a hot climate as there will no longer be enough leaves to shade the fruits. This could mean that your tomatoes become scorched by the sun.

Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes

Pruning too early

Timing is essential if you want to prune your tomato plants correctly. You should wait until your plants are well established before you start pruning; otherwise the plants will become stressed and may die.

Using the wrong tools

Using the wrong tools for pruning your tomato plants is a common mistake that’s made. If you’re using pruners, make sure they are sharp and clean to avoid damaging stems.

Pruning at the wrong time of day

You should only prune your plants during the cooler parts of the day as cuts can become infected if they are made when the sun is strong.

Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes: Using unclean tools

Pruning without cleaning your tools is a mistake that should be avoided. If you prune plants with unclean tools, the cutting stem can get infected, and this may spread to other plants in your garden. Always sterilize tools before using them and clean them after use.

Pruning wet tomato plants

You should avoid pruning wet plants as you’re more likely to spread disease on the cut stems.

Forgetting about late-season pruning

You should always prune your tomato plants during the early and late season to keep them in shape and get a good harvest. It’s a good idea to give them a little pruning before the first frost occurs in the fall. This will help to give you the last crop of ripe tomatoes to enjoy on thanksgiving.

Common Tomato Pruning Mistakes: Conclusion

If you want to get the best yields from your tomato plants, it’s vital you prune them correctly. It doesn’t take too much work, and you’ll be rewarded with bigger harvests if you put in the effort.