Tomato is one of the plants that farmers like to grow. Brandywine tomato is one of the most popular tomatoes. This fruit is flavourful, meaty, and not highly acidic. This juicy fruit can be made into various types of food and drinks.
One of the crucial techniques that you need to know for growing tomatoes is how to prune Brandywine tomatoes. Pruning the stem is one of the ways to produce good-quality tomatoes. So how do we do it? And what effect will it have on our tomato plants?
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Why do we need to prune Brandywine tomatoes?
Pruning plants in a good and correct way allows more air to flow between the stems so that the plants will also dry faster after rain. That way, the plants will not become damp, which will cause the plants to be susceptible to disease, pests, viruses, or diseases that thrive in humid weather.
Fewer leaves will also make it easier for us to find pests or insects so that these pests or insects can be removed immediately before they spread more widely.
You may fear that cutting off the stems of your plants will reduce the amount of fruit they produce. However, you do not need to worry because pruning at the right place and time will encourage the plant to produce bigger fruit and ripen faster.
How to prune Brandywine tomato plants!
Brandywine tomato plants are very hardy and disease resistant. Although they need some protection from rain to keep them from bursting, they grow very well in greenhouses and outdoors. There are wide varieties of Brandywine tomatoes with various tastes. Apart from being easy to grow, tomatoes also contain a lot of nutrients and vitamins. To produce good quality Brandywine tomatoes, you need to prune them properly. Here are some ways you can follow!
1. Find a Sucker
First of all, look for tomato suckers. Tomato suckers often grow in the “V” space between the main stem and branches of a tomato plant. If you leave it unpruned, these suckers will continue to grow into large branches, add lots of foliage and eventually produce some flowers and then fruit. Even though more fruit is produced, the growth of fruit that has previously grown will be hampered.
2. Remove the Sucker
Once you find it, you should immediately prune the tomato suckers. Suckers under 2 inches in length can easily be trimmed with your fingers. For larger suckers, you can use a pair of clean trimmers. Don’t forget to disinfect it as you move from plant to plant to protect against the spreading of disease. Prune it carefully so it will not tear or damage the surrounding tomato plants.
Pruning tomato suckers when they are small is recommended. In addition to being easier to cut, removing the suckers when they are still small can prevent the plant from stressing by losing large amounts of leaves. Otherwise, if you cut it when the sucker grows bigger, the plant will get stressed because it loses large amounts of leaves.
3. Remove Hang Low Branch
Unfortunately, branches that hang low and touch the ground must be removed. Leaves that touch the ground are more susceptible to bacterial, fungal, and virus infections that can spread throughout the plant. To prevent leaves from touching the ground, it is crucial to use tomato cages. It will make your tomato plants easier to stay upright. Choose a large cage that is big enough to support most of your plants.
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Pruning tomatoes common mistakes
Although pruning stems are fairly easy, many people often make the mistake of pruning plants. Here are some common mistakes in pruning stems you have to avoid it:
1. Pruning Wet Plants
If your tomato plants get wet from rain or splashing water, wait for the leaves to dry before pruning them. Cutting or pruning your plants in wet conditions can encourage the spread of harmful bacteria or fungi that can injure or even kill your tomato plants. Cutting plants in wet conditions can also make the cut marks damp, so they rot more easily.
2. Removing Too Many Leaves
Do not prune too many leaves. You only need to prune a third of the entire plant. A sufficient amount of leaves will protect the plant from overheating from the sun. Although tomatoes need a lot of suns to grow well, too much sun and heat can cause them to scald.
Ideally, you should leave an even spread of leaves around the plant to shade the growing fruit from direct sunlight. This is important to do, especially in very hot and dry summer areas.
3. Forgetting to Disinfect Shears After Pruning Each Plant
This may sound troublesome, but this is really important to do. Forgetting to clean the pruning shears before moving to prune the other plants makes it easier to spread bacteria and fungi from plant to plant. Therefore, do not forget to clean the pruning shears after pruning each plant, and wipe your pruning shears with disinfectant. This method is a good practice throughout your garden any time you prune any type of plant.
4. Not Cutting the Lower Leaves
While you will be focusing on removing suckers to increase fruit production, don’t forget to also remove the old and lower leaves on your tomato plants.
Fungal diseases usually attack the lower leaves first, as they often spread from the soil to the plant. Removing the older and lower leaves will often remove mold spores before they start growing. Also, remove yellowed or unhealthy leaves from any location on the plant each time you prune.
5. Letting Suckers Grow Before Pruning
Waiting too long before pruning suckers means your tomato plants are wasting energy on unnecessary foliage growth that should be better spent growing fruit. Furthermore, the suckers can be heavy and weigh down the plant while reducing airflow around the leaves.
If you have waited too long and the suckers are now large and branching, it is best to prune only part of the suckers. This is done to avoid the plants getting stressed. Losing too many branches and leaves surely can startle the plant.
There are some tips on pruning Brandywine tomatoes properly. By practicing the tips above, I hope your plants produce more big and more juicy Brandywine tomatoes!
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