Can I cut back tomato plants?

Asked August 18, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

My tomato plants have gotten long and leggy--probably as much as 8 feet, with very little on them. With still over 2 months of growing can I cut them back and expect new growth that might have more fruit? Also I used miracle grow soil for vegetables but there has been lots of plant with little fruit, is there a way to get lots of tomato without so much plant? I may be the only person in the world that can't grow good tomatoes.

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

You're in good company this year. Many gardeners are having difficulty growing tomatoes this year. On the one hand, you may be over-fertilizing your plants. Too much nitrogen will produce excessive foliage at the expense of fruit. And, yes, tomato plants can be pruned in order to enhance fruit development. Typically, we remove the sucker stems that emanate from the axils of branches. Select those branches that do not have flowers on them. Also, remove the older leaves as they turn yellow.
The season may be winding down for your tomato plants, but nurture them as long as possible.