Tomato Growing Secrets: Training Tomatoes to Climb a String

How to prune and train tomatoes up a string from and award winning garden author Doug Green. There are several im…

25 Responses to “Tomato Growing Secrets: Training Tomatoes to Climb a String”

  1. Put those suckers in watr, and they wil lset root, and be new ready tomato
    plants! :D

  2. @DesertDigger1 – I know the plants will be fine with the way I handle them
    (all commercial guys do it by hand, clippers are too slow). And when you do
    it by clippers, you can’t get all the branch because you can’t get close
    enough. These tomatoes were left to overgrow to let me show folks in a
    dramatic way what they should look like. So – bottom line, if you’re
    comfortable doing it with clippers – keep on using them simply understand
    on a commercial basis, we use our hands.

  3. Yes, some people like to use a knife, some prefer scissors, some pruning
    shears etc. All take longer and leave stubs. In the commercial world, we
    use our hands and get the cleanest break possible – not to mention the
    fastest and easiest. But the one thing I know, is that gardeners all prefer
    their own methods. So if using a knife works for you – keep on using a

  4. @StatenIslandSlim you’re partially right – if you want to maximize yield
    per plant (because you have a lot of garden space) then you leave the
    suckers on the plant. However, If you want to maximize the yield per square
    foot then you train the plant upwards and prune off the suckers. In other
    words, if you want more tomatoes per square foot of garden space, (more in
    less space) then you train and prune out suckers. And those are the whole

  5. Only do this with non-determinant tomatoes – these grow endlessly –
    determinant toms only have a SET AMOUNT OF STEMS cutting off suckers means
    you will reduce your crop. Some tomatoes are vines – others are bushes – so
    check. Hope that helps someone.

  6. as the plant grows it always has a “leader”… meaning the top of the plant
    that keeps on growing outward or up…below the leaders are seperate leafs
    on each side. in between the leaders and the leafs (in the crotch) a new
    leader will appear and that is the sucker. the sucker will turn into a new
    leader and causes your plants to bush-out….if you dont mind a bush plant
    let the suckers grow. for the record, the tallest tomato plant to date was
    22 feet tall and produced over 1300#s of tomatoes.

  7. Mr Green, do you know anything about Goji Berry plants? I have two of them
    I heard they were a shrub yet now they look like they are climbing.

  8. Thanks for your advice, you have been very helpful.

  9. Sorry – never grown them.

  10. Even in USDA 4, – on staked plants – I leave all upper leaves protecting
    fruit on the plant. Leaves only come off on staked tomatoes below the fruit

  11. I wish my Dad would have done this when I was a kid. It would have made
    picking and weeding a lot easier. We staked ours. And I think we may have
    caged a few once.

  12. Strings can be anywhere from 6-8 feet above ground. As for suckers, it’s
    easy to root them but given the length of my growing season USDA 4 – it’s
    just not worth the effort as I wouldn’t get a crop from that plant large
    enough to warrant the space. This was an extreme example to demonstrate
    what you *can* do with a plant – not necessarily what you *should* do. :-)
    In my own garden, the plants are not allowed to get that overgrown – they
    are trained right up the strings from day one.

  13. Yes, one main stem and remove all suckers that threaten to turn it into two
    stems. This is an extreme example and they should have been done much, much
    earlier but it gets the point across I hope

  14. Great healthy tomatoes trees thank for the videos


  16. You got it. :-)

  17. I simply tie a very loose circle around the base of the plant. I do not
    anchor it to the ground as this is unnecessary.

  18. @wolf2351 Sorry – I’m a Northern gardener and really can’t offer advcie for
    the South. Check wtih a local garden center and they’ll give you the good

  19. @beautifulbutterfly82 Normally, I get them at that small size as well but
    indeed, this group got away from me and I decided to video it.

  20. @dzuck99 Right now! In Florida we have two growing seasons. Spring and
    Fall. Plant around the end of February…by July it’s over…then plant
    again around mid Sept. Dont forget to enrich your soil.

  21. I once took those suckers and put them in soil. They grew another tomatoe
    plant. Just a tip.

  22. There’s this cool invention called Scissors.

  23. @ratdavid9 allowing the second shoot/sucker to grow is a greenhouse
    technique where you take 2 leaders and train them onto two separate
    strings. Normally, you take the first sucker produced no matter where on
    the stalk it comes from. But if you’re not training them up strings,
    there’s not advantage as it only clogs up the air circulation.

  24. Thank you for this video. I follow your instructions last year and the
    results were wonderful.

  25. I’ve heard of a method where you allow one “sucker” to grow. The one right
    after the first fruit set. Any thoughts on that?