Pruning tomatoes can ‘encourage healthy fruit’, according to gardening expert

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Tomatoes are fast-growing, popular plants that can be found in most British gardens and greenhouses.

The crops are relatively easy to grow but there are certain aspects of growing tomatoes that can be tricky such as pruning and watering.

Tomatoes need to be watered regularly to ensure the compost remains evenly moist.

If moisture levels fluctuate too much, there can be problems with the crops. The fruit can split or they could suffer from blossom end rot.

Blossom end rot usually leads to dark blotches on the end of the tomato which is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruits.

When it comes to pruning, gardeners need to be aware of whether their plants are cordon or bush varieties. Bush varieties can largely be left to grow while cordon types need to be pruned to keep them in check.

With this in mind, Jack Sutcliffe, a gardening expert and co-founder of Power Sheds has shared how to prune tomatoes to “encourage healthy fruit” and “reduce the chances” of infection.

While pruning isn’t necessary, it can improve crop yield and help the plant thrive by redirecting energy back to the fruit.

Jack explained: “Although tomatoes are not one of those plants that need pruning to survive, pruning can improve the quality and is recommended.

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“Most tomato pruning involves removing suckers which will help to encourage healthy fruit production.

“Aim to prune plants when the suckers are between two and four inches long.

“To prune tomatoes, start by removing any dead or diseased leaves and stems.

“Then, remove any suckers that are growing from the main stem, and finally, prune the main stem to the desired height, leaving two or three leaves above the topmost flower cluster.”

Jack said tomatoes need to be pruned in the early morning to allow any wounds from pruning to heal.

He added: “This reduces the chances of the plant getting infected and will allow the wounds to heal from the pruning.”

Tomato plants should not be pruned in the middle of the day as this can stress out the plant.

While it can be tempting to remove lots of leaves, some need to remain to provide shade for the fruit and prevent them from being scalded.

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