I was out recently pruning my roma tomatoes, which you may recall were the only tomatoes to survive the tree squashing the garden. They are growing on a trellis that was on the end of the garden that went unsquashed.
I always try to get in a good pruning during the first half of September, as we start to gear up for the end of the season. In another couple of weeks, I’ll go out and cut them back even further and try to force the plants to ripen those last tomatoes.
Anyway, I’m not always good about pruning off suckers through the summer, so this autumn pruning can be a real chore if the plant has grown huge. And, once again, I was reminded how much I like growing tomatoes on a trellis, because it makes this pruning job so easy to do.
If you’ve never grown tomatoes on a trellis, I wholeheartedly recommend you try it next year. I read about it in an article on small space gardening a few years ago and trying it once made me a believer. If I had room, I’d grow all my indeterminate tomatoes on a trellis and I’m seriously relooking how much trellis space I’m willing to give up next year to put towards the tomatoes.
To start, your space requirements go way down, because you only need 1 square foot of space to plant a tomato. Then, as the tomato grows, you get to enjoy the convenience of never having to stake the plant. You just feed it up through the holes in the trellis. The way the plant grows then makes it really easy to prune and to harvest.
We use netting that’s said to hold up to 60 pounds of weight and it supports the full plants with no problems.
BTW, once we got past the blossom end rot, the romas this year were fabulous. I grew Mama Rosa, one of the larger varieties and am about to put a ton in the freezer for winter cooking. Maybe it was because we had no other tomatoes ripe in the garden to enjoy all summer, but we thought our tomato mozzarella salads were some of the best we’ve ever had!