Houston Vegetable Garden – Growing vegetable gardens in Houston

April 12, 2013

Pruning Tomatoes

Category: General – Robert – 3:00 pm

I grew up on a farm/ranch near Yoakum, TX.  When I was a kid we raised about an acre of tomatoes and sold them at “tomato sheds” that opened in the little towns to buy tomatoes from the farmers.  Yoakum still has an annual tomato festival even though commercial tomato raising stopped long ago because of mechanization and cheap migrant labor.

We always pruned our tomatoes; that is removed the suckers at the branches below the first bloom.  I did not find anyhow here in Houston that prunes tomatoes until I discussed it with Scott Howard of Urban Harvest.  He is a strong believer in pruning.  This year I have been pruning although I got a little behind on a couple of the plants. Pruning controls some of the rampant growth and forces the plant to use more energy making tomatoes.  It also makes the plants easier to control in the space available.  Think I will go back to pruning from now on.

Beans are starting to bloom.  I planted cucumbers (that I started indoors and then put in pots) next to the sugar snaps so that they can climb on the fence.  Carrots and beets are still producing along with the Swiss chard.  Beets and chard (same family) stay fairly dormant until the days get longer and warmer.

Planted okra seeds in pots.  They will go where the beets are carrots are now.

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