I’m sure that anyone growing tomatoes will know that there are two main types of tomato plants – bush (determinate) tomatoes, and vine (indeterminate varieties). For those of you who are new to growing tomatoes, determinate varieties produce flowers at the end of each stem, whilst indeterminate ones produce flowers from the main stem.
The side shoots of vine tomatoes (which are new shoots growing in the angles between the main stem and leaf stems) should be pinched out with the thumb and forefinger. By doing this, the plant will put its energy into growing fruit, rather than loads of new stems and leaves.
A few years ago, when pinching out side shoots on my tomato plants, I put a few side shoots in individual pots of compost on the window sill. Low and behold they grew roots within a couple of weeks! So I had some new plants for free!
Obviously these new plants didn’t produce tomatoes until later in the season, but they still cropped well and I had fresh, organic, home-grown tomatoes from the middle of June until late November. Delicious!
If you have never grown vine tomatoes before and haven’t sown any yet, then perhaps you know someone who is growing them? You could do them a favour and pich out the side shoots from their plants (with their permission!!) then put them in a polythene bag (to keep them fresh), whiz home and pot them up!