I’ve developed the habit of pruning the suckers off of my tomato plants as they grow, with the purpose of helping the main stem to grow stronger. Suckers develop in the crotch of the stem and a branch, as illustrated.

For a while I thought that these suckers would just become branches that didn’t even produce any fruit, just sucking energy from the plant, but that isn’t true- they do fruit. (Update: after doing more reading, it seems there are contradicting thoughts on whether suckers will produce or not. Some people say they do not blossom and fruit. Anybody know for sure??)

I also tend to snap off the bottom leaves when they start to yellow and look bad, and any additional little suckers growing on the stems below that first set of leaves.

Now I wonder if I’m pruning too much! I think I’ll stop pinching off the suckers, now that my plants are blossoming on top.

Here are my two greenhouse tomatoes about a week ago- Brandywines. I reckon I should stake them soon.

I’m curious if you guys prune your tomatoes, or if you just let them do whatever. Have you had more success one way or another?