Suckering Tomatoes

Suckering tomatoes allows the plants resources to go towards bigger and better fruit in a more centralized location, and I find it to make the plant more manageable.

Materials: your hands!

The parts of the tomato plants we will discuss today are the leaves and the buds. The buds are found at the base of the leaf where it connects to the stem. Removing the lower buds below the first flower cluster will allow plant nutrients and resources to focus on fruit and new fruit production on the main plant.

With the tomato plant, find the first fruit cluster, the one lowest to the ground. Go down the plant, until you find the next bud. Do NOT remove this bud, but DO remove every one below this point.

I might need to brush up on my artistic skills, but here is a crude instructional drawing:

Parts of interest for suckering.

Parts of interest for suckering.

1. Find first flower cluster. 2. Find first bud below. 3. Find second bud below. Remove this bud and every one below it.

1. Find first flower cluster.
2. Find first bud below.
3. Find second bud below.
Remove this bud and every one below it.

Here is a picture of one of my tomato plants as I was suckering it…

Suckering tomatoes.

The flower cluster seen was the first. Just below it, you can see a bud. I kept this one, but removed any below that point. I am pointing at where I began removing them.

This MIGHT take 30 seconds per plant, possibly shorter! It is best to do this when the plants have the first flower clusters, but fruit can not be seen yet.

This also might be a good time to stake the tomatoes as well!

Enjoy! and get your head in the garden!

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