Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Late pricking out tomatoes  (Read 1870 times)


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Late pricking out tomatoes
« on: June 13, 2016, 06:48:11 pm »
So I kind of planted my tomatoes and then got caught up with other bits. It's my first year really trying them. I noticed that they are taking over and sprawling onto the paths.

I've now got the supports up for them (I googled and they are allcordon) but have realised the side shoots are a bit big to prick out on some of them.

Can I 'prune' the side shoots or will that kill/weaken the plants? Will my tomatoes just all be bushes this year?

9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Late pricking out tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 07:12:28 pm »
Cut out the sideshoots so as to put the plants energy into your toms.  They will flower and fruit this year, next year you will need new plants but they grow easily from seed. Tie them in regularly to the supports. :-)


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Late pricking out tomatoes
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 11:30:50 pm »
How big is too big?   4-5" isn't too long to snap off the side shoots - push them to one side so they snap cleanly leaving less of a wound.  If they are a foot long then that may well be too long and you would be risking infection to remove them.
If there is just one really long one per plant then I would leave it, and just have a bifurcated plant.  Give each stem it's own stick, with plenty of space between them for good air circulation.  If there are more long ones than that, then use a very sharp knife, sterilised between each cut (with meths or white spirit) to cut them close to the main stem, but taking care not to damage the stem.

For future years, give each plant a cane when you first plant them out, and tie in the main stem as it grows, and take out the side shoots when they are just an inch or so long, by snapping them sideways (pricking out is where you take seedlings out of a seed tray and prick them out into more spacious quarters).  So you need to be doing something with your tomatoes at least every 2-3 days.  I find tying in my toms very relaxing.   I don't side shoot as I don't grow indeterminate varieties.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Late pricking out tomatoes
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 12:04:35 am »
The plants are quite big.

I took a gamble with one (the one that was falling over the path) and cut back to just the main stem, I think that will be the worst one. Hoping I can get into the polytunnel tomorrow and take out the side shoots on some of the other plants that are much smaller tomorrow. Hoping I haven't killed off this plant.

At least I now know what I should be doing with tomatoes!

And whoops, I will slowly learn all the lingo too!

9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Late pricking out tomatoes
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 12:39:26 am »
I have taken out very long side shoots before now without any comeback, but it's not ideal. I used secateurs.



Started by cameldairy (7.19)

Replies: 6
Views: 2654
Last post June 07, 2011, 05:02:55 am
by Dizzycow

Started by levi_allen (7.19)

Replies: 13
Views: 5832
Last post July 18, 2011, 11:43:04 am
by levi_allen
Tomatoes in peril

Started by mad dogs and us two (7.11)

Replies: 10
Views: 7490
Last post June 22, 2008, 04:43:36 pm
by carrumba0095
corkscrew Tomatoes !!!

Started by Fluffywelshsheep (7.11)

Replies: 0
Views: 2003
Last post July 04, 2009, 07:24:36 pm
by Fluffywelshsheep
Tomatoes and Cucumbers . . .

Started by egbert (7.11)

Replies: 1
Views: 1852
Last post May 12, 2010, 09:54:25 pm
by Alice

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2022. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS