How to prune tomatillo: How to prune tomatillo

«Can I prune a tomatillo plant?» It’s a question often asked by new tomatillo growers. Although tomatillo pruning is sometimes done, it is the support of the tomatillo that is really most important. Learn more about tomatillo support and pruning in the garden.

Tomatillo size

Before you decide how to carve tomatillo, you must first determine your goals. The way you prune your plant helps determine how many tomatillo plants will produce and the size of the fruit. It also affects the maturity date.

Can I carve a tomatillo?

Although tomatillo pruning is not absolutely necessary, you can improve plant health and yield when pruning. First, determine whether you want one or two main central stems. With two stems, you will have more foliage to protect the fruit and you will have a good harvest; but if you remove all but one of the central stems, you will harvest your fruit earlier.

Suckers are stems that develop in the crotch between a main stem and a side branch. Removing suckers allows more sunlight to penetrate the central parts of the plant and allows for better air circulation, while dense foliage promotes slow growth and disease. Removing all suckers reduces yield, but you will probably want to remove some suckers to promote healthy growth.

Pinch the suckers when they have at least two leaves less than 4 cm long. Remove the sucker with a hand pruner or by pressing the base of the stem between thumb and forefinger.

It is advisable to clean your hands with a disinfectant or to soak your pruning shears in a disinfectant solution before moving on to the next plant to prevent the spread of the disease.

Support for Tomatillo

Matétille plants are usually supported by stakes, trellises or cages. Install stakes and trellises before planting to avoid damaging the plant roots afterwards. Use metal or wooden stakes that are at least 1 inch in diameter and 4 to 5 feet high. Tie the tomatillo to the support loosely with polyethylene or sisal thread, avoiding the parts of the stem just below the flower clusters.

The cages are easy to use and you won’t have to waste time tying and re-tying your plants. You can make your own with concrete-reinforced fence wire. The wire should have 6 cm openings for easy harvesting. Form a circle 18 cm in diameter and tie the ends together. Cut the horizontal wires around the bottom so that you can push the vertical wires into the ground for more stability.

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