Jack and the tomato stalk
August 20, 2017 10:23 AM   Subscribe

I prune my indeterminate tomato plants with much success but I always have the same problem come August: my tomatoes are about 12 feet tall. Can I decapitate them?

My whole garden got off to a slow start this year so my tall tomato issue is happening late in the game. But I'd kind of like these plants to stop getting taller and setting more fruit and instead concentrate on ripening the fruit that's already there. And they've gotten way taller than my 8 foot stakes can accommodate and the tops are bending and falling over everywhere.

Other tomato-pruners, what do you do? Can I just lop their tops off and keep them just as happy? Will the fruits ripen faster if I do, or would that just be a means of controlling the vine insanity? What can I do that won't kill them or make them sad?
posted by soren_lorensen to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, a lot of people chop theirs around September first, you're just a little early. I would call 12 feet quite enough. Especially if they're large ones, like brandywines. I'm cutting the heads off mine soon too.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:06 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do they get enough sun?
posted by Omnomnom at 1:53 PM on August 20, 2017

Plenty of sun, southern exposure. They're just very...enthusiastic.
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:38 PM on August 20, 2017

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