Saturday, July 30, 2011

Picking Suckers

It’s hard to believe that only two years ago when my friend Megan told me that I needed to pick the suckers off my tomato plants that I hadn’t the foggiest notion what she was talking about…

But when I got home from being gone for a week and saw my lush, thick, green tomato plants the first thing I thought was, “I’ve got to pick those suckers!”

tomatoes 01 The plants had become so big and bushy that the tomatoes and blossoms were not getting much sun! And this year, they need all the help they can get.

I’m not terribly methodical or exacting when plucking off suckers. But it’s never been a problem and there isn’t much help on the internet on the subject. Gardening experts don’t really seem to agree much on technique, timing or even whether to do it at all. So I just got by my gut.

Any branch coming off the main stalk that is only leaves goes. I may leave one or two if the plant is looking spindly but I pay special attention to those that seem to be blocking the most light from the blossoms and fruit.

When I was done I had quite the pile of stems and some nicely groomed tomato plants! Now if only weeding were as quick and easy…

tomatoes 02Those aren’t ALL tomato branches. I also pulled up a very large cabbage plant that bolted… :o(

tomatoes 03 

Now they can breathe again!

I think it helped already! This afternoon I found two new ripe Sungolds!!!

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