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Hi, I have grown tomatoes fairly successfully for a few years now but I don't get a huge crop. My husband's Grandad said that I should remove the majority of the leaves and all the suckers. I agree about the suckers but not the rest. What do you think?

Also with cherry tomato varieties should you remove the suckers at all?





  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,867

    There is no need to remove side shoots with bush tomatoes, but not all cherry tomatoes are bush varieties.

    I don't remove any leaves from tomato plants until late in the season when they start to get a bit tatty. The plant needs them to photosynthesise.

    Do you feed your plants?

  • Hi, yes I do feed them and I was fairly happy with what I had, found it a bit strange that you would remove leaves on a plant that needs to help itself. Grandad likes to get tactfully involved. It should say on the seed packet if it is bush variety or not?



  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,867

    If it doesn't say on the seed packet, just look on one of the seed merchants' websites.


  • Thank you

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    You can remove foliage within reason. Obviously you don't want to denude the plant for photosynthesis reasons, as Ceres says, but what you don't want is a huge clumps of foliage jammed together that will hinder air circulation. Air circulation won't stop fungal infections but it helps make life difficult for fungal spores by keeping them on the move instead of settling.

  • I usually remove the lower 3rd of the plants leaves, this helps prevent them getting splashed when watering.

    Later once i've got the 5th or 6th truss of fruit and i pinch out the top of the plant, remove any leaves that are shading the fruit from light. Once you get to the point where you are just ripening fruit you don't need loads of leaves, but that doesn't mean total defoliation.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Yes, very very good idea to keep space between the lowest foliage and the soil.

  • Andrew 71Andrew 71 Posts: 7

    Great idea

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,924

    once the first truss has flowered I remove all the leaves up to it, it makes it easier to water and see how the tomatoes are ripening, once the tomatoes on truss two start forming I remove half the leaves (usually the ones from the front so I can see what's happening)

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Now, this is just a question, but why do people feel the need to remove leaves from tomato plants? Is there any other vegetable that they feel the need to treat in this way, or is it just tomatoes?

    The only leaves I remove are those that are yellowing or look as though they are no longer useful.
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