Tomato Sucker Pruning & Vertical Growing Techniques

Our greenhouse tomatoes are really starting to take off! Given that we’re consistently able to maintain 80-85F in our greenhouse during the days, our ‘maters are really packing on the height fast!

We spent the better part of the afternoon preparing our vertical growing trellis, which is just a fancy word for jute twine tied between the bucket and a little eye hook in the ceiling. We usually either wrap the plant around this string or use tomato clips to secure the plant to the vertical trellis. This helps stabilize the plant and allows it to get really, really tall!

Over the years, we have strongly gravitated towards indeterminate tomatoes for their vertical growing capabilities. Our greenhouse space is limited in square footage, so taking advantage of the vertical space we do have maximizes the production we’re able to get out of that limited space. In a month or so, these plants will be reaching the very tip tops of the greenhouse!

Since we grow our tomatoes vertically, it’s very important for us to manage the suckers our indeterminate plants produce. The sucker emerges between the main stem and a leaf branch, typically growing at about a 45 degree angle. If left unchecked, these suckers will turn into additional main stems and pretty soon, we’ll have a plant growing every which way. We trim the suckers off to promote vertical growth and a singular main stem. If you’re growing determinate tomatoes, you don’t perform this kind of pruning, so it’s important to know the type that you are growing!

We are getting pretty close to our initial aggressive pruning that we do on our tomatoes. We’ve found that pruning our tomatoes pretty aggressively promotes tomato production and earlier maturation in our cold climate. We’ll show you what we do both in the early season as well as the late season, so stay tuned!

We’ve got quite a few cherry tomatoes on the way, we’re so excited to have fresh tomatoes on the way to accompany our salads. That is, if we can resist snacking on them first!

Tomatoes growing in greenhouse 1 Tomatoes growing in greenhouse 2

 

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