Re: [tomato] Pruning tomatoes...

margaret lauterbach (
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 13:26:19 -0600

At 10:13 AM 6/22/99 -0700, you wrote:
>I live in Spokane, Washington (100 miles from the Canadian boarder) where
>the growing season is generally much shorter than in many other parts of the
>country.  Often times, by the time the frost starts, many tomatoes are still
>green and one will either lose those tomatoes to the frost or one must take
>them inside to ripen in a sunny window.
>There is a way to force the tomatoes not yet ripe to ripen quickly:  Prune
>the vines back to the fruit.  Prune off all limbs that do not have tomatoes
>on them.  Do not water the plant.  When the leaves get droopy, apply water
>as normal.  This process will force the tomatoes to ripen up.  This should
>be done about 3 weeks before the first expected frost.  We have done this
>for years and it works quite well.  Another pruning option that many people
>do is to pinch off the suckers so that more growth is diverted to main vines
>and the attached fruit.
>Best Regards,
>Thomas Giannou
>Spokane, Washington

I don't prune tomatoes because I hate sunburned tomatoes (they're fit only
for the compost once theyr're sunburned. I don't withhold water, either. I
don't have a crystal ball to tell when the end of the season will be, and
one risks blossom end rot if the soil dries out too much. And do not try to
ripen green tomatoes in a sunny window. They'll rot instead. Green tomatoes
will ripen indoors in the absence of sun. Margaret L