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Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes |

For many years now I have been growing my own organic tomatoes!  When I first started growing tomatoes I quickly noticed that there were a ton of varieties and that some varieties did better than others.  

I seemed to have better luck with certain varieties like bush tomatoes and Roma tomatoes but had no luck with others that were heirloom tomatoes, Beefmaster or Brandywine varieties.  What was I doing wrong?  Why was it that I couldn’t get these varieties to grow and produce a lot of tomatoes?  

So I began to research and found out a ton of information and began making some changes!  Over the next few years I implemented these changes and have had tremendous success ever since!  Here it what you need to know!

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Different Tomato Varieties  


There are two different types of tomatoes plants, determinate tomatoes and indeterminate tomatoes.  Both variety of plants are very different and it is important to know which kind you have so you can properly care for your tomato plants.

Determinate Tomatoes – determinate tomatoes are tomatoes that do not require staking or pruning and do not require the removal of “suckers”(explained below).  These tomatoes are usually bush varieties and only grow about 3-4 feet and then produce their fruit.  Plants blossom and develop at the same time over a 4-6 week period of time.

Indeterminate Tomatoes – indeterminate tomatoes are tomatoes that grow throughout the season and usually need to be staked up and require weekly pruning or the removal of suckers (explained below). They will continue to grow and produce until a frost comes.

To find out which kind you have in your garden, here is a list from The Henrys’ Plant Farm:  


Tomato Varieties List


So as I stated above, my determinate tomatoes were doing great and did not require the removal of suckers.  So the problem I was having was with indeterminate tomatoes.  These plants would grow nice and tall but very few tomatoes were being produced.  After doing some research I realized that I was not removing the suckers on my plants.  Suckers??  Yes, suckers.  Let me explain.  


Removing Suckers


Suckers are little plants that grow off of the main stems or leaders.  They form at the “Y” of two branches like pictured  below.  When these suckers form they strip the main plant of its nutrients and the central plant will not have the energy to produce a lot of tomatoes.  So in an indeterminate variety, it is imperative to remove these suckers so that the main plant has the energy to produce a ton of tomatoes!

Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes |

Here is how you remove suckers from your indeterminate tomato plants.  You want to wait until your suckers are at least 2-3 inches in length.  Look at the photo below.  At the “Y” you can see a sucker that is about 3 inches long.  It is important to note that you want to remove suckers that are below a flower cluster as shown in the picture.  Do not remove suckers above the flower clusters.  This is new growth and will produce more tomatoes, so only remove the suckers that are below flower clusters.

Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes |

 Now with your fingers, follow the sucker to the base of the plant. 

Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes |

 Snap off the sucker at the base and discard.  By removing the sucker off of the main plant you are allowing the central plant to have more energy to produce more blossoms or tomatoes and you will dramatically improve your production of tomatoes. 

Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes |

You will need to remove your suckers on your indeterminate plant every 7-10 days.  Make sure the leaves on your tomato plants aren’t wet when removing suckers so that you aren’t spreading diseases.  You can remove suckers any time of the day, it will not harm the plant.  Again, I want to stress, only remove suckers on indeterminate varieties and not on determinate varieties.   Here is the Tomato Variety List once agin from The Henrys’ Plant Farm.

I hope this information is useful to you and you are able to have a ton of delicious tomatoes this year in your garden!  Happy Gardening Everyone!


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19 thoughts on “Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes!”

  1. Bobbi Erdmann Lazewski says:

    Awesome article ! Thank you

  2. Carol Ann James says:

    Instead of discarding the suckers you can pop them in pots of potting soil and growm on as new plants. I got 6 plants off 1 I bought this year and all are doing very well! I got the idea from The Wisconsin Vegetable

  3. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    I suppose you could…thanks Carol, I will update the post :)

  4. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    So Carol, did you put the plants into water and allow the roots to form first, or did you plant directly into soil?

  5. cosibar says:

    @LetThisMindBinU Thanks. I was aware of the suckers but didn’t know it was only for the indeterminate varieties. Great link!

  6. LetThisMindBinU says:

    @cosibar Ack, I didn’t even know about determinate/indeterminate varieties. Mine are all indeterminate this year, so I’ll see what happens!

  7. cosibar says:

    @LetThisMindBinU Hope so too.

  8. Cult of Kale says:

    Great information! Thanks for sharing!

  9. TeresaTiarasTantrums says:

    love this hint! going out to check my plants now!

  10. 4joy says:

    The fact that you shouldn’t remove suckers above flowers was unknown to me…..nice pics and information… 

  11. lom8nance says:

    Thank you for this information, Halle! I’m going to try it! Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursdays this week. xoxo

  12. CarrieCookeRaab says:

      Hey Halle! Awesome tips and instructions! I was told to do this, but
    your explanation and photos helped me ‘comprehend’ the reason why.
    Thanks!! Thank you for sharing with us at Healthy 2Day Wednesday. Hope
    to see you again real soon! Blessings! Carrie

  13. apriljharris says:

    This is a great tip! My late Dad shared it with me when I was a little girl, and he always managed to grow wonderful tomato crops. In fact, he and my Grandpa used to have a fun competition for who could get the first ripe tomato of the season (and it had to be seen on the plant!). Thank you for sharing this post, as removing the suckers really does make a huge difference to a good tomato crop. 

  14. AnneOchoa says:

    This is an awesome , Thank you for sharing i will try this with my tomatoes this year.

  15. IvaRebeccaButler says:

    Very good article on tomatoes.  Thank you so much from Georgia!

  16. Sasha says:

    I can see my brown thumbs turning GREEN just from reading your blog! THANK YOU so much! I pretty much gave up on trying to start a garden… But now, I can’t wait to get out there again! But first… weeding… ugh lol

  17. ROBERT A. says:

    Yes!! Excellent enlightening info about those suckers. I obviously have an indeterminate that is living an AMAZINGLY long life (10 months old now). We had a very mild fall and winter here in So. Calif so that’s got to be why. And getting those suckers off the main plant was absolutely a key assisting factor. It was planted in August 2013. It produced tomatoes September and October, but then stopped and just stayed green only until February when I was surprised to find 4 tomatoes hidden inside the foliage (like it was protecting them). Since then it has continued to stay green and sporadically branch out and produce more tomatoes. But I have no idea what kind of tomato plant it is since it came up on its own out of some free compost a guy in a neighboring city was giving way. And what’s unique is that it has cherry tomatoes, plum-looking tomatoes, salad size tomatoes, and what looks like an heirloom tomato all randomly popping up all over this plant. It’s my box of chocolates tomato plant…you never know what you’re gonna get. LOL August will be its 1-year anniversary if I make it that far… a true revelation for me of what’s possible with indeterminate-type tomatoes.

  18. All the given tips are very useful for me. Because first time i am going to grow the tomatoes crop in my backyard. So i would like to prepare myself for these thing. Thank you so much for sharing great post.

  19. Hey Halle. Execellent tips and instructions you have given. Actually my father shared it with me, when i was a little boy, he had always grown execellent tomato crops. Thank you so much for given execellent tips.

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