Re: [tomato] Pruning tomatoes...

Thomas Giannou (
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 17:35:12 -0700

More on pruning:

Here in the northwest, it's fairly easy to predict the end of the growing
season.  As for sunburned tomatoes... in September here?  hahahaha  .... not
a chance!   As for green tomatoes... my wife is alergic to fried green
tomatoes and getting her to eat a green one in any form would be a major
struggle.  What I described below has been used by a lot of people living in
this area for quite a few years.  I don't recall having any tomatoes rot on
the window sill here either.   When I follow this procedure, there's no need
to put tomatoes on the window sill nor to hang them in the basement... no
room there anyway!

The pruning I described below is basically the last thing done to those
tomato plants and withholding the water until the leaves wilt is part of
that procedure.  End rot is a moot point because there will be no more
tomatoes forming on the plant.  We usually schedule this procedure at the
start of the second week of September.  We almost always have frosts before
the end of September... although last year was an exception.  The whole idea
is to force the tomatoes to ripen in a hurry.  I suppose our very cool
evenings by that time of year also help.   What we are doing is shocking
these plants in a severe way... and the results are a bunch of ripe tomatoes
instead of a bunch of green ones.

This procedure might not work very well in the warmer latitudes, but it
works just fine here.  The process is even promoted by a local gardening
guru (Phyllis Stevens) via her radio and TV programs.   Our rather cool
evenings, much shorter days, and much cooler September days result in very
little growth in tomatoes after the second week of September.

This procedure may not work in your locations because of other local
factors, but this procedure works here quite nicely.

Best Regards,
Thomas Giannou
Spokane, Washington

----- Original Message -----
From: margaret lauterbach <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: [tomato] Pruning tomatoes...

> 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
> >country.  Often times, by the time the frost starts, many tomatoes are
> >green and one will either lose those tomatoes to the frost or one must
> >them inside to ripen in a sunny window.
> >
> >There is a way to force the tomatoes not yet ripe to ripen quickly:
> >the vines back to the fruit.  Prune off all limbs that do not have
> >on them.  Do not water the plant.  When the leaves get droopy, apply
> >as normal.  This process will force the tomatoes to ripen up.  This
> >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
> >do is to pinch off the suckers so that more growth is diverted to main
> >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
> ripen green tomatoes in a sunny window. They'll rot instead. Green
> will ripen indoors in the absence of sun. Margaret L