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Pruning helps to maintain a balance between vegetative and reproductive growth. If you don’t prune or prune very little, your tomato plants will produce excessive vegetative growth with reduced fruit size. Moderate pruning will leave your plants with shorter vines and larger fruit that will mature earlier.

Pruning combined with staking keeps vines and fruit off the ground, helping to control diseases. Although pruning requires some effort, the benefits of doing so are more marketable fruit, and easier harvesting.

The most common method of pruning is to prune to a two-stemmed plant by pinching off lateral branches (suckers) as they develop in the axils of each leaf. To achieve this balance, remove all the suckers up to the one immediately below the first flower cluster. A single pruning will usually be adequate, although a later pruning may be needed to remove suckers growing from the base of the plant.

Suckers should be removed when small, no more than 2 to 4 inches in length, because letting them get large wastes plant energy and provides an entry point for plant pathogens. Prune early in the morning after plants have dried.

The Home and Market Garden (Urban Farm) IPM Toolkit wheel slide chart is a great tool for urban farmers as well as home and community gardeners interested in vegetable production.

This wheel slide chart has both conventional and organic insecticide listings for nearly 20 different crops. It also has a listing of common insect pests with accompanying images that may help when scouting in garden vegetables.

To receive copy of this wheel slide chart, email Ayanava Majumdar at azm0024@aces.edu.

For growers or gardeners that are looking for organic only options, refer to the Alternative Vegetable IPM Recommendations Slide Chart, which describes the three levels of sustainable integrated pest management practices.

*This is an excerpt from Citrus Pest Identification and Management Guide, ANR- 2270.

The most characteristic symptom of HLB is blotchy mottling that appears asymmetrically on the leaf blade. Green islands may also occur; these are small, circular, dark green dots that contrast with the light yellow/green background. Foliar symptoms that resemble nutrient deficiencies may be present. A tree may exhibit yellow shoots or other nutrient deficiency symptoms on one or more branches randomly in the canopy. Fruit may be small and lopsided or ripen backward, with the stylar end remaining green as the fruit colors.

Management tips: Citrus greening has not been found in Alabama to date. If citrus greening is suspected, contact your local diagnostic lab.

 

Read more about Citrus Pest Identification and Management Guide.

Download a PDF of Citrus Pest Identification and Management Guide, ANR- 2270.

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