How to (and why) remove the side shoots from tomato plants
In order not to let the plant waste energy as it develops – and at the same time help fructification, regular growth and production of healthy fruit – it is important to remove the side shoots that grow in the point of intersection between stalk and leaf.
Removing the side shoots has other important advantages as well:
- Plants dry sooner after showers and from morning moisture, so they are much less likely to develop fungus-related diseases;
- The volume of leaves is smaller, so the plants won’t fight for space and light;
- Fructification is enhanced;
- Tomatoes grow more regularly;
- Production is much healthier and less likely to develop diseases.
Removing the side shoots is simple: identify the sprouts to eliminate at the intersection point between stalk and leaf and - using your thumb and index fingers - grab them at their base and shake gently.
They usually come off sharply and very easily; try to get the job done before the sprouts reach 4-5cm in length.
If some of the sprouts don’t get detected in the first place, don’t tear it at the base, take off the top of it.