tomato haircuts

6 Jul

Do you know what the secret is to successful tomato plants?

Sure, proper caging is important.

Good soil is also key.

A high quality tomato plant helps too. I got my plants at the Mill City Farmer’s Market. This is my third year getting them from the same guy. Why mess with a good thing, right?

However, if you don’t give your tomato plant a haircut every now and again, none of the other things will matter.

Are your tomato plants starting to look like this?

Wait, yours are even bigger than these? Then, you need to fight the heat, get outside and give those babies a haircut.


When tomato plants get big and bushy and grow lots of leaves, they are taking all the nutrients you are giving them in the form of soil, water and sunlight and using them for those beautiful leaves, not the actual tomatoes.

Wait, it can get worse.

Have you ever had a tomato plant full of green tomatoes and can’t figure out why they won’t ripen?

This happened to me two years ago and I could not figure out what was going on. Then, a very wise woman clued me in on the best gardening tip and a must-do. The haircut.

Those important nutrients are not getting to the tomato to turn them brilliant shades of red and yellow…they are hanging out in those darn leaves.

So, what do I mean by a haircut?

It’s pretty simple. I start by pulling off any sad looking leaves on the bottom and those random sucker leaves that just don’t serve any purpose, other than looking pretty. I then will go a step further and pull off all sorts of leaves all over the plant, making sure all the sides are even (cuz I’m anal like that). It’s kind of like cutting back shrubs.

Here are a few of my plants after their first hair cut.

I usually pull of leaves a few times a week and if things get really out of control, I go outside with a kitchen shears.

I have a lot more of these little guys popping up…… which is more exciting to me than the World Cup. (shh…don’t tell my dutch friends)

Do you have any great tomato tips? I would love to know what tricks of the trade are out there.


2 Responses to “tomato haircuts”

  1. Ann July 7, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    great tip ..I never knew that. I will be trimming them today!!

  2. cheryl July 8, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    Never knew. Kitchen shears in hand.

    Tip: Instead of spending lots of dollars on poor pruning shears…buy a $10 pair of kitchen shears. They are incredible….and sharp.

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