Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

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Zech
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Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280803 Zech
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:40 am

Any thoughts on the wisdom of cutting leaves off tomato plants? I've heard of three reasons why it might be a good idea:

1. To let more sunlight get to the fruit
2. The plant thinks it's under attack, panics, and reproduces quickly while it has a chance
3. Because I can't find the fruit in amongst all the leaves.

On the other hand, I can't get past the fact that leaves are where photosynthesis takes place, so surely the plant will be weaker if I remove some of the leaves.
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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280804 WhiteWolf
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:48 am

I've been told the same about point 1 & point 3 makes sense, but never been told about point 2.

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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280805 Odsox
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:53 am

I can only speak for myself, but I only remove the bottom old leaves that are past their best anyway, with the aim of improving the air circulation. Unnecessary high humidity caused by moisture trapped between the moist compost/soil and massive lower leaves can aid blight spores.
I never remove any of the top healthy leaves for the reasons you pointed out, other that side shoots and the tops when they reach the limit of how tall I'm prepared to let them grow.

... and I never allow my tomatoes to panic. :lol:
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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280814 Green Aura
Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:55 am

Ditto - I did precisely that just yesterday.

As usual we've packed far too much into the polytunnel and I found one of the potted tomatoes that had been shoved to the back looking very poorly, black stems and leaves. It got hauled out immediately - I'm just hoping whatever the problem was won't affect anything else - although it all looks pretty healthy for now. I've swapped round a couple of tomatoes and an onion squash to try and alter the air flow a bit.
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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280815 ina
Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:11 am

I've only got a mini greenhouse, and with the one tomato plant that's in there, it's choc-a-bloc full... If I didn't take off any of the leaves, it would not get any air at all.
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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280824 Zech
Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:21 am

Air flow is a reason I hadn't heard before, and it seems to be the only one you guys take seriously. I'd never been entirely convinced about the sunlight theory, because I've observed shaded tomatoes ripening before those growing right next to the glass.

I've been out and picked a few leaves off the bottom - most of them looked fine, but it was very crowded in there. Still is, really but I'll try not to alarm my tomatoes too much with excessive leaf-pulling :shock:
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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280857 ojay54
Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:39 pm

Commercial growers,always remove the lower leaves,and as everyone's suggested,this is counter the prob of blight.which thrives in stagnant air.I've grown Sweet Million this year,and they are very leafy,so I'm pulling them off big style.

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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #280937 RunnerBean
Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:39 am

Been cutting the leaves off mine too. You can use the leaves to make aphid spray so my sweet peas are benefitting too :icon_smile:

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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #281108 doofaloofa
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:08 pm

RunnerBean wrote:Been cutting the leaves off mine too. You can use the leaves to make aphid spray so my sweet peas are benefitting too :icon_smile:



Please expand on this

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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #281257 Millymollymandy
Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:17 pm

I took 80% of the leaves off my toms because they got blight and I've never had such a fabulous harvest of fast ripening toms before! I reckon it's because the sun has been able to get at the fruit ripening it up more quickly. I'm going to do this every year from now on, blight or no blight! I should mention that all the toms (the fruit) were already large and finished growing, so they just needed ripening. But don't do this if you live in a very hot country because they might get scorch from the sun.
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Re: Should I cut leaves of tomatoes?

Post: #281381 Smilesbetter
Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:54 pm

I just had to remove a lot of leaves from my tomatoes, due to me accidentally droughting them and the leaves at the bottom pretty much dying (It had been a very hot couple of days). They haven't done anything since really, but they seem to be getting healthier.


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