Understanding the best way to top your tomatoes, and how you can act if tomatoes grow too big will help you feel confident to control your plants as they remain in good health and productivity. In the summer heat, it’s time to trim the tomatoes.
Although the concept that you can top (cutting off the growth at the top) is a bit out of the ordinary and unintuitive In this article along with a video I’ll tell you when and why you should think about this possibility and how you can make it safe for maximum yield and healthier plants.
The first thing to realize it is only an alternative. If you ignore it and allow the plants to develop and grow, they’ll eventually fall over the top of the support they receive and continue to expand.
The primary issue is that fruit-laden branches may kink and could affect production. A different risk is excessive growth that blocks air and light to the plants (increasing the likelihood of disease to develop). In the end, it boils to individual preference.
As a number of branches begin to slide across the cages from the indeterminate variety (the kind that keeps expanding) then take your breath and think about cutting one or more branches at the edge of their cage support.
How to Top Tomatoes
- Find the area to cuts. Then select a part of the branch that is above the final set of fruits you would like to keep on the plant. Make the cut around that.
- Make sure to leave some shade. When making your cut, be sure to provide shade to the nearby branches or overhead to avoid sun scorch (a condition that can burn the tomato’s fruit because of direct exposure to sunlight).
- Monitor the growth of future branches. To maintain current height, watch branches for new suckers that are likely to emerge from every branch. Take them off as needed to maintain the height.
Relax knowing that it’s never easy to take perfectly healthy, tomato-rich branching from healthy plants. You can rest assured that the remaining fruits will continue to ripen supported by the shade provided by overhead foliage.
It’s also an advantage of topping tomatoes in case you’d like to create more plants. It is possible to take the cuttings (trim of the bottom branches) and then stick the stems in a nearby container or bed. Firm in the soil around them and keep them watered–consistently for the next week. (You may also choose to take the cuttings and place them in the water in a glass. Within two weeks, they’ll grow enough from the stem to allow transplanting to your garden.)
Cuttings taken from toppings can be planted in water or buried directly in the soil. If you keep them in good condition and out of direct sunlight for the initial few days and they will grow, new roots will grow as an easy way to reproduce exact clones from the plants you have topped.
If you’re trying to manage your plants, and have the added benefit of getting more of what you take out knowing how to cover tomatoes after the plants become excessively tall will result in big, new, and fresh plants, more manageable vegetation, as well as cleaner garden.