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How do you trim a tomato plant?

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This depends on the type of tomato plant. There are two main types: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes branch and grow in a pre-determined pattern and for the most part they maintain their bush-like shape. After fruiting they are generally done for the season. Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow as long as the weather remains suitable, and can sprawl all over the place. For this reason they are usually supported by stakes or a trellis. They branch out all over the place and need more pruning. All tomato plants get suckers, which grow from the joint between a leaf and stem. Suckers below the first blossoms should always be removed, no matter if your plant is determinate or indeterminate. On determinate tomatoes, you may not have to trim above the first blossom. Typically these plants take care of their own branching. However, if too many branches appear you might want to thin a few out. A tomato plant with 3 or 4 branches will generally produce the best yields and best tomatoes. The more branches the smaller the tomatoes. Also, the new branches use up energy which should go into the ripening tomatoes. Indeterminate tomatoes require constant pruning, because they will try to send out many new branches. Again, you want to limit the number of branches to 3 or 4.
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