Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Time To Get Brutal With Your Tomatoes

green tomato vine

Giving gardening advice at the moment seems ironic, considering the only things I have growing outside at present are two sprawling tomato plants, a teensy rose bush, and a few herbs in pots- but I just moved a few months ago so I've not got a lot going on the urban farm front just yet.

With so little in the garden, I do want to maximize my few food producing plants, and with the cooler weather it's about time to clip down the tomato plants. My tomatoes are indeterminate cherries, which never quite recovered from the Great Windstorm of 2015, but nevertheless have kept us in tomatoes all summer. With sunshiny days coming to their seasonal end, now is the time to take measures to help ensure all your current green tomatoes ripen up before the rain has its way with them.

For you in the sunshine states, just never you mind. You get tomatoes all year, right? This is only for those of us who spend the autumn and winter mired in drizzle, rain, and frost. Where we have to harvest our crops before the chill and wetness get the best of them. With tomatoes, there is a pruning technique to getting those green fruits ripe in a hurry.

tomato plant trimmings

So what do you cut? Clip away any new growth. For some of us who haven't pruned our tomatoes since transplanting them, that may mean cutting away whole branches. Inspect the entire plant carefully, and cut off any sections of flowers, or tiny leaves that are trying to grow up into proper fruiting branches. They won't have time to mature, and are just stealing resources from the current fruits. You only want mature leaves, which will give all their energy to the remaining clusters of green tomatoes. Try to disturb your fruits as little as possible, but know that everything you cut away is helping them. Be brutal, so you can be kind.

trimming tomato plants

One bonus of clipping away all the suckers and buds today: I found more ripe tomatoes hiding in the jungle foliage, which otherwise would have slipped my notice and gotten rotten. Definitely having tomatoes for dinner tonight!

ripening tomatoes

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September 23, 2015 at 11:40 PM

It's probably now or never to do this...well for this year anyway. I can't see the right weather for these to grow holding up much longer. Interestingly I noticed a neighbours tomato plants were the other day still completely green. I'm no expert on the subject but I found this totally baffling. Ok the sun doesn't exactly shine a lot in the UK, but for them to still be ripening this late in the year was a surprise.

October 12, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Thanks for article. Can you give me some tips to grow tomatoes indoor?

January 22, 2017 at 6:25 AM

Very informative, I have to get this in front of my readers for their benefits. Thank you!

September 17, 2017 at 12:08 AM

Very Informative article.Thanks for sharing.