Tomatoes are just as much a staple here in North Carolina as it was growing up in Perth Western Australia, or in greenhouses in the U.K.. I've been experimenting this year with a wide variety, mostly cherry tomato varieties, to see how productive they are. I am also working on being a little more brutal with them, less water, and harsher pruning, so they focus on fruit not leaves. I look at those lush tomato vines in the stores and I'm realizing that there might be a lot of difference between looks and productivity. After all, we want the fruit not the vine.
Sometimes my pruning can be a little later than required, I try to get out there to prune at least once a week, hence the stubs. The heirloom cherry tomatoes seem to put the most suckers out, especially the Black Cherry. Removing all the lower leaves up to the first fruit set is also meant to reduce the potential for disease to "splash up" from the soil around the plant.
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