Need more tomato advice


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My young tomato plants are growing like crazy. They are very heavily leaved and I wonder if I should pinch off the tiny new leaves starting between existing off shoots. Not sure if that is the right way to say it but the picture should make clear what I am asking.
 

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I wouldn't bother pruning those. I do remove the lowest leaves and suckers on the plant, at the base, and older yellowing stems as the plant grows, but leave the rest alone. I think over-pruning can stress the plant. Lots of leaves are OK; they're necessary for photosynthesis.

More importantly to get a strong plant is to plant tomatoes deep into the ground - some say leaving only the top third above ground - to encourage strong, deep roots. Then mulch well and water heavily and infrequently at the base of the plant instead of sprinkling from above. If you didn't plant your babies deep, I'd mound up some good soil and aged compost around the bases, then mulch.
 
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We plant our tomatoes deeply because it helps keep the roots cooler in our hot summers, and helps the plant survive. We also don't remove any foliage that we don't absolutely have to remove to keep the tomatoes from sun scalding.
From your picture everything looks good and pruning isn't necessary now. If you remove the lower leaves and suckers, as Beth said, you help prevent blight (a soil-borne disease that affects the tomato plant when soil splashes on the lower leaves). Another good reason to mulch!
 
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See, I think this is how planting something as basic as a tomato can get complicated for a new gardener. :)
True, there are many expert sources that would agree with @headfullofbees and just as many expert sources that would disagree. Same goes for the pinching and pruning issue. Truly there is no "one correct way" to grow a tomato; if there was we'd all be growing perfect, high-yield, disease-free tomatoes using the same method.
Some advice may also be dependent on one's growing conditions and location. @GardenToad, we all do what works for us...don't over-think it!
 
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It all depends on your climate and if you are susceptible to early blight and/or spider mites. If you are in an area like myself and marlingardner I remove any limbs that that are or will be in close proximity to the soil, but not any limbs that will provide shade to the fruit. Personally I snip off the limbs and leave the suckers as they grow upward, not downward like limbs do. These same suckers will make tomatoes later on. By mulching the base of tomato plants in hot and dry weather like we in central Texas normally have it reduces the effect of early blight, conserves moisture content in the soil and keeps the soil temperature lower. In areas where the sunlight is not as intense as I have, and the temperature not nearly as hot, such as in the UK or Canada, I can see a benefit of pruning limbs and suckers that will shade the fruit. In Indiana not so much
 
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We plant our tomatoes deeply because it helps keep the roots cooler in our hot summers, and helps the plant survive.
No it doesn't.
Surface roots don't just absorb liquid, they help the plant breath.
When you bury the surface roots deep, they stop working and the plant has to expend energy growing a new set on the surface.
The tap root is the only one which works at any depth, and its depth depends upon conditions, so it will grow to the required depth anyway.

Roots just below the surface will always get the same temperature, and if it's enough to kill the plant, having other, non-working roots will not save it.
Nothing will.
 
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In humid areas, I have heard that people remove foliage to let the air in and so reduce the risk of mold type diseases.

Where I live, if I remove foliage, it INCREASES the risk of sunburn on the tomatos!

There is no one answer on this, because it depends on the climate you are gardening in. You make a decision, and you hope it is the right one!

In dry years I also bury my tomato plants deeply: when it is hot outside the surface roots can dry out but the deeper roots do not. The deeper roots only die back if it is very wet out, and the summers where I live are very dry! It is only our spring that can be wet. This spring it is VERY wet, and so I planted my tomatos shallowly.
 
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Thanks to all for your input. Glad to hear the differing opinions. I think I'll leave them alone this year and see how they do. I'll let you know at harvest.
 
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In humid areas, I have heard that people remove foliage to let the air in and so reduce the risk of mold type diseases.

Where I live, if I remove foliage, it INCREASES the risk of sunburn on the tomatos!

There is no one answer on this, because it depends on the climate you are gardening in. You make a decision, and you hope it is the right one!

In dry years I also bury my tomato plants deeply: when it is hot outside the surface roots can dry out but the deeper roots do not. The deeper roots only die back if it is very wet out, and the summers where I live are very dry! It is only our spring that can be wet. This spring it is VERY wet, and so I planted my tomatos shallowly.
Tomatoes have a tap root that takes water from deep.
It is the ONLY root that takes water from deep, and you should be glad it is so.
If the buried surface roots DID take on water, that would undermine the tap root, which, being unneeded, would not go as deep.
Come a drought, your plants would die, as the tap root would not reach the water.
 
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Tomatoes have a tap root that takes water from deep.
It is the ONLY root that takes water from deep, and you should be glad it is so.
If the buried surface roots DID take on water, that would undermine the tap root, which, being unneeded, would not go as deep.
Come a drought, your plants would die, as the tap root would not reach the water.
It does not seem to work that way for me.
 
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What I am not sure about is what planting deep really means. And what is deep? For instance, a tomato seedling that has barely two set of true leaves I snip off those seed leaves and plant the transplant a little deeper than where those seed leaves were. On a 10 or 12 inch leggy transplant I still plant it fairly close to where the first true leaves are. Sometimes the transplant has to be planted at an angle or sometimes even on its side but either way it is still quite a bit deeper than that of a seedling
 
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