When you think about pruning tomatoes, you have to figure there are three different strategies based on where in the growing season you are. There will be different tomato gardening tips to use with the ultimate goal being avoiding overgrown tomato plants. Everyone has their own opinion about this, so reading more tomato gardening problems and how to solve them will be a good plan. This article talks about the issues based on personal experience, not the textbook version.
At first when the young plants are growing, your pruning tomatoes activities center on the new leaves and new growth shoots that appear between the leaves and the main stem. You only want one main trunk and that can grow to be large and sturdy by snipping off the lowest leaves on the vine. By eliminating the side shoots, all the energy goes to the new tomatoes and lets them grow larger. Once the tomato plant gets tall enough, about the height of the stake, things start to change.
Tomato plants at this size become more difficult to keep up. What you will do is turn things around and let the new shoots form and cut off new growth at the top. With this tomato gardening tip you keep the same principal, but in reverse. You will get a bushier plant, but it will not outgrow your stakes or cage. You can pinch back some of the new growth, but let some of them grow out. Keep pulling unnecessary leaves off, but be aware that this is the hot time of the summer and the ground and the tomatoes need the shade the leaf provides. Your goal is to still channel the nutrients to the tomatoes and not the foliage.
Eventually, there is nothing you can do, you can officially be classified as having overgrown tomato plants. You officially have tomato gardening problems! One of the better pruning tomato tips for this situation is to calculate how much time is left in the growing season. Usually it is well into August when you get to this point, so look ahead. Once the average date for the first frost is about 30 days away, you can start cutting off all the new growth, and flowers, a lot of the leaves and let the tomatoes already started mature.
Do the best you can for as long as you can is some of the most practical tomatoes gardening tips and advice there is when dealing with overgrown tomato plants. You could really apply that advice to other tomato gardening problems like your fungus and pest issues, too. Everyone really needs to think about being sure not to overdo it by putting in more plants than you need in the spring!