Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Removing Lower Leaves on Tomato Plants

As we come to the time of the season when many gardeners will be watching their first and even second trusses developing on their tall varieties, the lower leaves may be showing signs of decay and bug damage.

Changing yellow in colour and small dark patches are common as plants send their nutrients to the grow tip and of course their fruit.

I recommend that you remove lower leaves - gradually over a period of a week or two - up to the first truss. However, if you don't have a first truss yet, keep things as they are so as not to stress the plant.

By removing lower leaves your plant will get:

  • Better air circulation around the base of their stems
  • Less bug activity
  • Less chance of fungal disease
  • More energy for the fruit and top growth
  • Earlier ripening

This applies to tall (cordon, indeterminate) plants and not bush varieties. However, if you see yellowing or damaged leaves on your bush plants, I would remove them too.

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