Pick the Tomatoes at the Bottom of Your Plant First

Pick the Tomatoes at the Bottom of Your Plant First
Photo: Fotokostic, Shutterstock

This is year is my first year as a gardener. I think it’s going well, especially when you consider I have a history of killing every house plant I have ever attempted to keep alive (even air plants). Soon I will have nurtured into existence corn, tomatoes, and a truly absurd amount of tomatillos, and I am excited.

Even though I’ve learned a lot, I’ve hesitated to write anything about gardening, because it’s a very complicated subject, and the people who are into it are very into it (and I don’t want to piss ‘em off). But then I saw this little tomato tip on Twitter yesterday, and it was honestly too good not to share.

I don’t know who plant expert Sean is, but his tip agrees with what my neighbour keeps telling me: It’s all about energy. According to Sean, “a fat tomato close to the bottom of the plant will take most of the nutrition coming up. So if it’s close to ripe, pick it & finish ripening inside in a paper bag with a banana/apple, and more energy will go to tomatoes higher up.”

This aligns with what my neighbour told me about tomato plant branches: trim the big ones — as long as they don’t have any flowers on them — at the bottom of the plant to help it grow taller.

Again, this is my first year with any sort of garden — and my first year keeping plants alive — so I have not conducted side-by-side gardening studies to test all this new info, but I will be taking the big boys off the bottom of my tomato plants as soon as they approach peak ripeness. (I want all my tomatoes to get as many nutrients and as much energy as possible, but I’m also very impatient.)

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