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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 5:43 am 
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I planted some tomato and pepper plants about a month and a half ago. So far they are growing well, and look healthy, and very bushy. But I was told that I should trim the lower leaves and branches away to help the plants grow stronger and produce more fruit. Is this a good Ideal or should I leave well enough alone? Also how often should I water my plants?


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 10:16 am 
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Tony,

I would trim off only the lowest branches that may be touching the ground for a couple of reasons. First, they usually get eaten on by pests because they're so close to, or on the ground. Second, if they do bear fruit, that will usually take it to the ground since the fruit is very heavy. I do not do this to my peppers though, only tomatoes.

You need to water the plants only when they are dry. Water by hand and only at the base of the plant. Never spray your tomato plants and don't let a sprinkler hit them. Every few days I stick my finger a couple of inchaes into the soil by the base of the plants to gauge the moisture in the soil. If it's damp, I'll wait a day, if not, I'll water.

You shouldn't always water on a schedule, because this could lead to over-watering which will stress the plants and could cause a lot more headache. Plants in stress attract more pests and diseases.

Be sure and mulch heavily around all your plants to help retain moisture in the soil.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 1:31 pm 
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When the fruit on my tomato plants starts turning red and the plant itself is a nice long vine, I trim off all the extra leaf branches except those directly above and below the fruit so the enegy goes into growing the fruit not leaves. I have been 'bonsaiing' my tomatoes this way for years and may have a funny looking vine with a ton of fruit on it, but have gotten several pounders this way too. Good Luck.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 1:32 pm 
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When the fruit on my tomato plants starts turning red and the plant itself is a nice long vine, I trim off all the extra leaf branches except those directly above and below the fruit so the enegy goes into growing the fruit not leaves. I have been 'bonsaiing' my tomatoes this way for years and may have a funny looking vine with a ton of fruit on it, but have gotten several pounders this way too. Good Luck.

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Zone 3-4, also growing in a grow dome,
willing to learn anything new.


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