Tomato, cucumber, and okra farming in mulch culture. (Tomato plant care.) Tomato (organic tomato plant) has been planted for about two weeks. The plant of tomato has grown, and side shoots have developed, so I will prune the side shoots of the tomato. (Remove the suckers of tomato.)
The reason for removing tomato side shoots (Why do we pinch off tomato suckers?)
For tomatoes, the common cultivation method is to grow a single main stem, which is the thick central stem. There are various ways to grow tomatoes, and for cherry tomatoes, you may use the method of “double-stem (double-stakes)" or “triple-stem (triple-stakes)".
If you let the side shoots (suckers) grow on the tomato plant, the nutrients will be directed towards the side shoots, causing the tomatoes to become smaller. (When there are many side shoots, the overall number of tomatoes may increase, but the nutrients are distributed, resulting in smaller sizes.)
Therefore, it is necessary to pinch off the suckers of tomatoes. (Pruning side shoots to control the fruiting pattern of tomatoes.)
How to prune tomato suckers (Tips for removing tomato side shoots)
Tomato side shoots (tomato suckers) emerge from between the main stem and the leaves.
Tomato side shoots become thick and challenging to distinguish from the main stem as they grow, so it’s best to pinch tomato suckers off before they become thick. (The key to tomato sucker pruning is to do it when the suckers are small.)
Especially, tomato side shoots near the base can become thick by the time you notice, so be careful.
The way to remove tomato side shoots is to pinch them off with your fingers. It’s easy to prune tomato suckers by pinching the base.
Pruning tomato side shoots is preferably done on sunny days. This is because tomatoes are susceptible to diseases through wounds or cuts.
The spot where you removed the tomato sucker is like a scar, so be cautious of disease infection. If it’s sunny, the scar dries quickly, reducing the risk of tomatoes getting sick.
Tomato side shoot removal is primarily done using fingers to avoid the risk of infection, but scissors may be used in some cases, such as when removing thicker side shoots. When using scissors, make sure to use a clean pair. Sharing them with other tomatoes can lead to the spread of diseases.
The removal of tomato side shoots is now complete.
The linked article explains soil preparation and planting methods for spring and summer vegetables such as sweet peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes.
Soil preparation for cucumbers and okra using garden lime
We will spread garden lime in the vacant plot and plow it again.
We plan to grow cucumbers and okra here.
Mix dolomitic lime (garden lime) into the soil. Add 50g (1.8 oz) of dolomitic lime. The use of dolomitic lime involves mixing it into the soil to adjust acidity.
After that, mix soil and garden lime, shape the bed with wooden boards, and cover the bed with mulch. With this, the soil preparation for cucumbers and okra is complete.
Following is the video for how-to. English subtitles are available.