Pruning your Tomatoes and Peppers

Here’s what I’ve learned lately from our 26′ Growing Dome.  For a while there our life was pretty calm and I was getting to the Dome every Saturday and checking in on the plants.  I’d harvest whatever was ready, clip the dead leaves or stems from the tomato and pepper plants, throw in a few more seeds or garlic cloves or onion sets, feed the fish a treat and then hang out enjoying the warmth and humidity of the Dome before heading back home, each week harvesting a nice basket of fresh veggies.  For the past 3 visits I’ve not had my clippers with  me and I don’t like yanking on the plants to remove dead stems, so I left them on.   Sunday was my third trip to the dome without my pruning clippers and although there are tons of tomatoes and peppers left on the plants and the weather has still been lovely and warm, nothing was turning ripe.  It’s as if all the energy that would go into the tomatoes and veggies was being spent on trying to keep alive the dead or browning vegetation.  So note to self, put my pruning clippers in my  car or leave them at the dome (currently I only have one nice pair and I keep moving them between my outside beds at the house and the dome).  Perhaps Santa will bring me a lovely 2nd pair and I won’t have to remember to take them along.  But long story short, I’ve learned that keeping the yellowing or browned out  leaves and stems clipped really does make a difference on the plants productivity.  I often tell people who visit my Dome, I may not have the most gorgeous tomato plants, but I do have gorgeous tomatoes and until I find an edible use for the plant portion of tomato plants, I’m good with that.

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