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Removing tomato leaves.

Only tonight have I removed all the tomato leaves beneath the first trusses.  Had this been  done a couple of weeks ago (remembering the sunshine we've had) would the plants have ended up better in the end?  
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    Wouldn't have thought so OldC. :)
    The advantage of removing some old, spent foliage is that it creates better air circulation, and therefore any spreading of fungal diseases etc. It's more of an issue with plants in a greenhouse, where they're a bit more crowded too.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,059
    edited July 2018
    Removing healthy leaves from your toms means they convert less light to energy.
    So it's not a good idea, the exception is as Fg says above  - to reduce the chances of fungal infections if thy're overcrowded.
    I only remove manky leaves or those that are laying on the soil.
    At the end of the season, once all the fruit has set and beginning to colour - you can remove leaves to your heart's content
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,404
    I do remove more leaves than Pete( we have had this discussion before😁) but I remove leaves from the bottom near the soil and ones in the way of letting the light to my fruit, so everyone has a slightly different view. As long as the plant is healthy you won't do much harm unless you strip it bare.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,059
    edited July 2018
    he- he purplerallim :) There are always these questions at this time of year - and of course each to their own and I don't doubt that growers who remove leaves get a good crop.

    But where does this advice stem from and what good does it do? 
    What I don't get though is why people don't ask - should I take the leaves off my cucumbers/peppers/blackcurrant bushes/raspberries/strawberries/gooseberries/apple trees etc etc - they're all fruits that have some of their fruits shaded by leaves.
    I just don't understand why some single out tomatoes to have their leaves removed  - I'd love to know why, other that at the end of the season when the plant doesn't need the leaves any more or if the leaves are laying in the soil or diseased.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    I think it's the gardening equivalent of an 'old wives tale', Pete8, or 'meme' in modern terms, and handed down via families and friends etc - everyone knows a 'tomato expert'!  I only ever remove leaves showing signs of disease or if they become really overcrowded.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,059
    Ah! is that what a meme is - I had no idea!
    I'm sure you're right BTG.
    As always - each to their own
    At least I now know what a meme is :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,404
    Me too Pete had no idea either what a meme was😉. Yes my advice came from a 60 year old guy with an allotment so that works. It's just my slightly shaded greenhouse seems to need all the help it can get to ripen fruit even when it heats up in there.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,059
    edited July 2018
    The problem we (or at lest I) have atm is the temperature.
    When it gets to the mid-30's the chemical reactions that take place within the fruit to ripen it slow down dramatically so they only ripen very slowly if at all.
    It's 37.2c in my g/h atm and often around 40c - blinds are down, doors, windows and vents all open

    Article is here
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 191
    I hastily removed all leaves under the first trusses after reading why on Google.  One good thing is that in my greenhouse I have lined all the bricks will silver panels (to give the seedlings more light) and now they're exposed again after being covered up by foliage.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,521
    I have lined the glass in my tomato GH with silver backed bubble wrap, silver side out, to keep it cooler. 
    So many tomato experts! 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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