I put down my scythe and walked over to Sue’s tomato area, hoping for a quick lesson. She moves as quickly as she speaks so I had to dart around to keep close enough to hear her.
She slowed a minute in order to carefully wind the new tomato growth around the vertical twine. “I keep three leaders but commercial growers often just keep one,” she announced and then she pointed out the nodes where she had previously pruned suckers.
Indeterminate tomato varieties are those whose fruit number and size is determined by you! Without pruning, they become huge, bushy and tangled.
Sue handed me the 2000 June/July issue of Kitchen Gardener that had a reprint of Pruning Tomatoes by Frank Ferrandino .
Ferrandino’s three rules for growing tomatoes:
1) Get the plants off the ground
2) Give plants room
3) Never prune or tie plants when the leaves are wet.
Sue recently retired from Tilth Alliance and has more than doubled the amount of FECO garden area for the food banks. And she’s looking for more beds!
If you have an idea for some recycled material that is about 18 inches in height, is study and not too heavy, comes in short sections or can curve, let us know. We would like to create a garden bed that could double as a boarder for part of the path.