Training My Tomato Plants

Now that all my tomato plants are well settled in their new patio planters and a few in the raised bed, they are really lush with beautiful growth! All that glorious sunshine and certainly the bouts of rain have helped my tomato plants enormously in putting on a great growth spurt.

The varieties I have planted are Sungold, Moneymaker and Gardener’s Delight and they are called indeterminate (it says this on their seed packets). This means that the number of side branches each plant has needs to be limited to enable the plants to direct more energy in producing flowers and then fruit. Any extra side shoots that are growing inbetween the main stem and side branches need to be removed too.

You can see this clearly in the picture below where there are small side shoots growing diagonally.

Little side shoots growing at a diagonal between main stem and side branches

These simply need to be pinched off gently.

Pinching off the little side shoots
Diagonally growing side shoot removed

The tomato plants will soon have trusses which are little branches with flowers on them. Once your tomato plants have 5 to 6 flower trusses, you can pinch off the top growing tip of the plants. This limits unnecessary growth of more branches and leaves and helps to direct the plant’s energy into the fruits.

Tip of the tomato plant also needs removing to limit growth of more branches and leaves
Tip of the plant and all side shoots have been removed by pinching off

The main stem needs to be supported. I am using canes which I slide into the soil next to the central stem and some hessian string to gently secure the support.

Tomato plant is now securely supported with a cane and some string

So now that all the pinching has been done in anticipation for some branches laden with juicy tomatoes …yes it’s so easy to visualise summer in my kitchen garden! Enjoy growing your tomatoes too!

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2 Replies to “Training My Tomato Plants”

  1. Hi – I love your blog and IG feed.
    I’ve been growing tomatoes from seed for a few years now, (including Costoluto Fiorentino and Sungold), but the pruning part seems to run away with me! What happens is,
    I sometimes miss a side shoot and it grows to an enormous size before I notice. In that case, is it wise to prune it off with secateurs? I don’t want to damage the plant. But I also don’t want it to keep putting energy into producing leaves!!
    Thanks for any feedback.

    1. Hi Angela! I definitely understand the problem as I’ve done it myself. I prune it off if there are no flowers on it, but leave it if there are flowers already growing on them. Hope this helps!

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