Pruning Better Boy tomatoes helps to produce a larger, healthier crop. Pruning encourages air circulation and eliminates branches that allow fruit to touch the ground and rot. When fruit grows on higher limbs, it grows to maturity with a reduced chance of disease. Pruning takes just a few minutes per plant and the only tools you need are your fingers.
- Identify the suckers
Suckers are small branches of a plant that grow at a 45-degree angle to the main stem.
- Remove the suckers early
Remove suckers before they reach the diameter of a pencil. Waiting until later leaves larger scars on the stem and increases the chance of disease. Waiting also causes more of the plant's energy to be used to develop suckers, rather than tomatoes.
- Pinch the suckers
Pinch the sucker between the finger and thumb to remove them. Pinch as close to the stem as possible when pruning. Remove all the limbs below the second flower cluster when pruning suckers.
- Provide support
When properly pruned, Better Boy tomatoes grow to heights of 4 to 6 feet. Provide cages or stake the plants for support while they are still young. The support keeps the fruit that forms from sagging, improves airflow and allows maximum light to reach the leaves of the plant.