Gardeners can be a little bit crazy, working outside in weather that everyone else avoids by staying in the air-conditioned indoors, and my crazy-gardener streak was showing earlier today. This is the first officially hot day of the year, with a high around 92 degrees, and I “celebrated” by pruning tomatoes, after hoeing weeds out of several beds, at the garden/farm on Dallas Highway where I volunteer on Saturdays.
Here in Georgia, it is a good idea to prune away, while the tomato plants are still small, most of the growth (leaves and suckers/stems) below the first flower cluster, then when the plants are bigger to give them another trim, to open up the plant for improved air flow. This pruning helps reduce the risk of several diseases, so the effort is totally worthwhile. Out at the garden/farm, there are tomato plants in both stages of growth. I worked today on the littler plants.
You know you’ve done a good job when you look back at the row and every plant you see looks like something Charlie Brown would choose for use in the Christmas pageant. In fact, I thought I had pretty well massacred the 40-or-so plants that I’d worked on, but then one of the chief gardeners came along behind me and clipped a leaf here and there from some of the plants. Apparently, I am a fairly conservative pruner.