Blog

Why we prune and top tomatoes

Don’t feel bad about ruthlessly pruning and topping your tomatoes. Feel HAPPY that you’re directing all that spectacular growth power into ripening the fruit that is on the vine. 

The fruit needs to get to a mature size so that the growth hormones evolve to ethylene production which is what turns the tomato fruit from green to red. Once it hits that point, it will turn red even if you take it off the vine. 

This puts tomatoes into the category of “climacteric” fruit, in that they continue to ripen after they are picked (like bananas).

We become experts at timing harvest here in the Canadian Prairies. Growing in a greenhouse gives you a few extra weeks of on-the-vine growing. Water buckets and / or a small space heater can get you through many below-freezing nights during the shoulder season. In 2020, I pulled my last tomatoes from the greenhouse just before Halloween.