Pinching Out Tomatoes

If you have ever grown your own tomatoes, you are probably aware that tomato plants grow very rapidly and need to be kept under control. However, you should not remove the top as this will prevent the plant from producing new flower buds. What you can do is to make sure that the plant does not develop any more side branches. This can easily be done by pinching out (removing) all side shoots growing from the leaf axils. This creates a neat plant with upright growth and no side branches. Pinching out is very easy, and it is not much work if you do it at least once a week during the growth period.

Pinching out can be done by hand using the thumb and index finger, or with a small pair of secateurs. Cut or snap the shoot from the leaf axil. This can be done at the same time as tying the plants to the canes, as this should be done on a weekly basis, too. It will encourage your plants to grow and make the plant more attractive. It also makes harvesting a lot easier.