The practice entails the targeted removal of
- structurally unsound, or
- otherwise unwanted plant material from crop and landscape plants.
Some try to remember the categories as “the 4 D’s”: the last general category being “deranged”.
It is therefore preferable to make any necessary formative structural pruning cuts to young plants, rather than removing large, poorly placed branches from mature plants.
In nature, meteorological conditions such as wind, and salinity can cause plants to self-prune.
This natural shedding is called abscission.
It is important when pruning that the plant’s limbs are kept intact, as this is what helps the tree stay upright.
Different pruning techniques may be deployed on herbaceous plants than those used on perennial woody plants.
Reasons to prune plants include
- deadwood removal,
- shaping (by controlling or redirecting growth),
- improving or sustaining health,
- reducing risk from falling branches,
- preparing nursery specimens for transplanting, and
- harvesting and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits.
Prune tomatoes by selectively removing the side shoots. It helps in early maturity and plants grow to a greater size.
Remove the side shoots early in the morning using your thumb and forefinger to avoid the spread of diseases.
Do not use a knife or secateurs.
Monitor your plants on a weekly basis to remove the side shoots before they develop into bigger shoots.
Remove old, diseased leaves and branches by hand.
After the formation of the first fruit cluster of mature green tomatoes, remove all the lower older leaves to allow for ventilation.
Prune flowers to 5-6 per cluster for medium-large-sized fruits. Plants that produce vigorous foliage and not pruned produce more but smaller fruits.
This directly affects your bottom line and earnings in the markets.
You want to have nice well-formed fruits when you visit the market.
Pruning helps increase the size of the fruit. It enhances the earliness of the crown set, reduces pest pressure, and enhances spray coverage.
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