How to String & Sucker Tomato Plants

Step by step instructions about how to string and sucker indeterminate variety tomato plants.

For more, check out our other tomato videos:
Tomato Q&A:
Indeterminate, Determinate & Semi-Determinate:
Doubling Your Yield with Two Main Stems:
Suckering Tomatoes (a review of the basics):

More information about determinate (bush/cage) vs. indeterminate (trellis/vine) varieties:

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Added: 3 years
Runtime: 10:00
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Author jksatte (1 month)
Humph, that was very informative. Thank you. I have seen others on youtube
string their tomato's but I didn't understand how that worked. Now I have
an idea. Thank you. Janice

Author MylkyD (1 month)
Very informative video! Thanks!

Author Karl Becker (3 months)
Very informative. More so than some books I've read! Thanks.

Author SrgScream (1 day)
Great video. Just one question, I volunteered on a farm last summer, when i
strung and pruned the tomatoes, we always removed the clippings, to reduce
the risk of disease, what is your thinking on just throwing them underneath
the plant?

Author 0MrENigma0 (15 days)
Thank you so much for sharing this information! Finally someone talking
about growing tomato plants that obviously knows what they are talking
about. About to check out your other videos to see if any pictures of this
later in the year.

Author DJMovit (2 months)
Nice little informative video. I wish mine would get to have a thick main
stem like your plants do. I wish I had a greenhouse too :-)

Author Mohammed Aslam (2 months)
I was having headache searching the web sites on HOW TO POLLINATE GREEN
HOUSE PLANTS and amazingly you explained me in so simple way, oh Mam BIG

Author Angel Lane (1 month)
Do you want the string that the stem goes around to be tight or kind of

Author Humayun Kabir (4 months)
I am very happy your larning system. I like it

Author Nicole Torres (1 month)
Thanks for posting this video! found it very educational

Author M Dastur (1 month)
wonderful video and you are very good at what you were doing too.

Author Ozden Guney (2 months)
Thanks a lot. This was the most informative video I've found so far.

Author Abdur Rahman (26 days)
very informative video.....Thank you. 

Author Patches O'Rourke (2 months)
Great information! Thanks.

Author pauly brown (25 days)
6.02 haha, quality info 6 .02 .... personally...i always make sure to check
out the whole stem before i sucker off!
great informative video, thumbs up!

Author Linda Cockburn (3 months)
The clearest, most concise movie I've seen. Tomato pruning you are
demystified, and all my tomatoes now have no laterals... except above the
flower... thank you!

Author dw2010sat (28 days)
Very informative and useful, thank you very much for sharing

Author Best Gardening Tips (1 year)
This video is very very good for everybody to learn which "new plants" you
should eliminate on your tomato plants.

I have just added this to this article:

Because the woman (in the video) explains it much better than everybody
could write:-)

Author courtneybrad (1 year)
Do you ever use any supports for outward growth? Like a cage? Or are they
contained as they grow up

Author Plaudible RotMG (7 months)

Author Big H (9 months)
Would stringing your tomatoes this way outside be ok? Would wind be an
issue you think?

Author Steve K (10 months)
Nice! I'm going to string and sucker my Cherokee and Zebra tomatoes this
year like that.

Author Pete Corp (9 months)
You're the best.

Author PiggySaysOmNomNom (8 months)
I remember in my high school hydroponics class, many of my classmates would
just over look these saying they are hard to find. Me, after learning to
know what to look for. I found it easy. Always look for "w", and if you
find one, make it a "v" by taking out the middle.

Author Aquil Shamsid-Deen (1 year)
> 10 stars for this video ********** <

Author Spliffer45 (9 months)
So its best to wait for a blossom above the sucker before you remove the

Author biggetl (11 months)
I tried this a few years back on two of my plants and I have to say it was
a wast of time and a pain in the butt!! The plants that I grew in gages
produced more than twice the tomatoes then the ones that I took the suckers

Author Front Porch Farm (9 months)
You can top your tomato plant by pinching off the growing terminal above
the last blossoms to keep it from growing taller. This will limit the
amount of tomatoes you harvest, especially this early in the season. You
can also train it horizontally to let it continue to grow. If you have
room, you can also leave a sucker or two and then you must keep suckering
those stems, also, and have a couple of main stems on your plant. This can
be done higher on the plant if the lower ones are gone.

Author Dove Money (9 months)
if you take all the suckers off then how do you get tomatoes is that not
what makes the flowers

Author Jamie Jordan (1 year)

Author Michele Morris (10 months)
Great video! Thx so much!!

Author biggetl (11 months)
Oh yea, great vid!! Very good demonstrstion!

Author Front Porch Farm (9 months)
I've not heard of that; it might be helpful for tomatoes grown outside for
the fruit's protection from the sun. If you'll notice on the video, our
tomatoes are not lacking leaves, they are lush and healthy plants. Some
tomatoes may not be as vigorous and may need more leaves, it's just not
been our experience.

Author Karen Elizabeth Zethmayr (1 year)
We experimented by not suckering this year. That made harvesting harder,
and hornworms harder to find, even aside from the "plant cost" of putting
energy into vine rather than tomatoes.

Author Front Porch Farm (7 months)
If you break off the growing tip above the last blossoms, the plant will
quit growing taller. I explain that you must never sucker above the last
blossoms, or this will happen. If it is late in the season, and the
blossoms won't have enough time to make and ripen tomatoes, or if your
plant is getting unmanageable, it is fine to go ahead and top it.

Author Front Porch Farm (11 months)
Sorry you had trouble: make sure you only sucker the indeterminate
varieties of tomatoes.

Author Martin Rascon (10 months)
can i clone suckers?

Author Front Porch Farm (10 months)
When cleaning up the greenhouse each year we leave the strings that are
tied to the top of the greenhouse & cut them off about chest-high. The next
year we tie a new string onto that one, leaving it about 3 feet longer than
ground length. Next we wrap the string around the tomato leaving it a bit
loose at the top of the plant, tying the end to a stake next to the plant.
At each suckering,continue winding the string around the plant and when
tight, the tomato is then wound around the string.

Author Daniel Astbury (9 months)
Can you propagate the suckers? If so, how big must it be before it is

Author neder beter (9 months)
mmm my tomatoes died i live in aruba i just put them outside for the first
time and dindt know they could get so tall !

Author martysgarden (1 year)
I would grow vertical indeterminate as these will produce more fruits for
you to sell. Determinate are best grown from seeds. I hope that helps?
Happy Gardening Marty

Author Front Porch Farm (10 months)
If you still have the tag or package telling what variety of tomato plant
you have, that will help. Just suckering the main stem on an indeterminate
will not prevent blossoming, just be careful not to sucker above the last
blossom. I'm wondering if your tomato plant hasn't been planted deeply or
transplanted a couple of times before being planted out, so that the stem
above ground is longer. Make sure your plants aren't too hot, above 90
degrees or they won't set blossoms.

Author Jae T (1 year)
I never knew anything on growing/caring for tomatoes till i watched to
video .... Thank you :)

Author Jewle N (9 months)
This was so interesting & informative, thank you so much. I am growing my
first tomato plants &had heard of removing them... & think I over removed
on 1 plant, so left the other alone lol

Author xpestena (6 months)
What kind of string do u use? Does it need to be thick?

Author TeaRoseLover (10 months)
I have Better Boy tomatoes. Should I sucker it? It comes in a small cage

Author plain2growJim (1 year)
Excellent video! I learned an incredible amount in ten minutes. Great

Author Front Porch Farm (10 months)
You now have another tomato plant since it rooted, and it can be grown as
such. Carefully train one or two of the main stems from it to grow
vertically instead of horizontally. I would probably leave it attached to
the main plant until the roots are fully established, or just leave it
connected as the new roots will increase the supply of nutrients and
moisture as they grow, and not take too much out of the mother plant. There
are other you tube videos on rooting the suckers to make plants.

Author canadiandcute (11 months)
I have over 50 tomato plants started I don't know where the hell I am going
to plant them all. I like the string idea, I have cages but it seems like
stringing them will save space.

Author Front Porch Farm (10 months)
If you have an indeterminate variety a lot of energy goes into extra growth
of the plant instead of setting and ripening fruit. The tomatoes will be
larger and I believe more of them will actually mature and ripen than if
left unsuckered.

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