How Pruning Works and Why It Is Important run
An Example: Pruning Leggy Tomatoes
Even if tomato plants have grown up into the lights and have lots of growth at the top with few or no branches lower down, it is usually possible to reclaim them by patiently and repeatedly pinching or pruning off the growing tips at very top of the plant. The left photograph below shows the very top growing tip (meristem) of a cherry tomato plant. The right photo shows where you should make your pruning cut.
Below are two photograph of the base of a cherry tomato plant that grew leggy and tall due to insufficient early pruning. Ten days before the photo on the left was taken the plant had no leaves at all on this part of the stem. After pruning off the growing tips at the top of the plant, it sprouted these branches at the base. The photo on the right is the same plant a couple of weeks later.
These two plants went on to yield 135 tomatoes!
A note about tomato varieties: If you are using your own seeds to grow full-sized tomatoes in any AeroGarden 'Tall' model (24" of grow space), be aware that tomatoes are of two fundamental types: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes grow to be a certain size and then stop. Indeterminate tomatoes will keep on growing until they die. The indeterminate varieties are viney and will grow a bit like ivy does - “forever”. Because of the size of the AeroGarden, indeterminate variety tomatoes will likely sprawl well beyond the bounds of the AeroGarden. For more information and animated videos showing pruning techniques, click here.