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Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Posted by dirtguy50 MO/6 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 11, 12 at 17:29

I hope to post a pic here of the bottom branches of my tomatoe plants. These leaves are litterally laying on the ground and I wondered if these should be trimmed off? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Wow, gorgeous plant. Congratulations! The danger with branches trailing on the ground is that they are more susceptible to diseases. Read about how to handle that kind of pruning on the link below. Good luck! You've got an awesome start.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning tomatoes


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Thank you kathywide. Great link. I think I will trim the lower branches at appears they will stay on the ground and make diseases easier to get on. Thanks again.
Keith


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

I trim my bottom leaves by cutting 2-3 inches out from the main stem and pinching the cut end with pliers (my fingers are arthritic). This seals the ends so it's not so easy for pathogens to get into the stem. The leaf stems dry up and fall off in a couple of weeks leaving a healthy, sealed scar. You have beautiful plants!


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Thanks sweetquietplace. One of the branches is above the flowers. Should I stay away from trimming that one? Thanks for your help.


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

From what I have read on the peer reviewed scientific liturature, pruning the lower leaves sometimes increases yeild, some times increases fruit quality but not yeild, and other times has no measurable effect.


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Thanks Kevinitis. I am going to trim the branches tomorrow and was wandering about the one that is above the flowers. Appreciate you responding.
Keith


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Looks like you have more than enough leaves to serve the plant. I would cut-and-pinch the leaf.


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Normally I'd be the first to lop the lower ground touching branches. However, when I see the picture of that healthy plant and think of the contribution potential of those lower leaves to the "Overall Plant Factory" my inclination is to allow them to remain, at least for the time being.

If you can keep them dry and free of soil "Splash" during watering, etc. they will likely contribute to the immediate needs of the plant.

There are other things that just bother me about the image: the low level lateral branch which is destined to produce both branches and fruit that will lay on the ground and all those maple flyers that will undoubtedly be producing a tree crop in al the wrong places. Once those flyers take root the resulting trees will be harder to control.


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Dirtguy50:

A picture is worth a thousand words.
Your plant seems to be in a shaded area which is causing it to grow large lateral stems and leaves. It needs this large leaf area to gather enough energy to produce fruit. My tactic would be to tie-up or prop-up the branches if the shade is as serious as the picture presents. If the plant is in full sun I would probably prune.

Good Growing


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

bmoser, the flyers are a super major problem here. I remove them before they root. Sometime the leaf blower will get the majority. I pick them daily from my container plants. About the lower leaves: I have cardboard under them to minimize any soil splashing up on them, hoping that will help. Not sure what to do at this point. Thanks for the information, I do appreciate it. Here is a view showing the overall plant which is about 14"-16" tall. Maybe this might help.

Photobucket

Keith


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RE: Trim tomatoe bottom leaves ?

Since you have cardboard between the leaves and the ground, I would leave it. Especially since they are already so big.


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RE: Thanks everyone

I really appreciate you all responding with such good information. The amount of shade my whole yard is an issue here. This area does get about 4-5 hours of direct sun in the mornings and indirect all afternoon.
Thanks again,

Keith


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