Time to: strip your tomatoes
Andrea Bellamy |

denuded tomatoes

My tomato plants, post end-of-summer pruning.

It’s not quite time for the annual winter garden clean up (just typing that made me feel a little ill), but it’s a good idea to start to prepare for fall by planting your winter garden, and by pruning your tomato plants.

Why prune? Two reasons: to focus the plant’s energy on ripening its existing fruit, rather than on producing new flowers and starting new fruit, which won’t have time to grow and ripen before the first frost, and to allow light to reach and ripen still-green fruit. Now you know.

Prune off flower and leaf brachs, leaving just the fruit and the main stalk(s). And if that doesn’t work and frost is imminent, you can always harvest and ripen your green tomatoes indoors.

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