At our house I am not allowed to trim the bushes. Hubby took one look at my bush trimming efforts many years ago and put his foot down. It’s not that I don’t do a good job — it’s that I do too good a job. Basically, I cut until you practically can’t cut no more. This isn’t such a problem with most bushes, but Hubby really wanted our bushes to flourish, so that was one less job I had to worry about.
When it comes to the garden, however, that is my domain. Trimming, cutting, pruning, etc. are all me. Most of the time my efforts actually help my plants. My motto has always been that getting rid of the deadwood (anything that isn’t producing or aiding the plant in any way) is a good thing. Pepper and tomato plants are constantly being pruned and cut back. Last year this was a good thing. My plants grew huge and produced more peppers and tomatoes than I ever thought possible. This year, however, something happened.
About three weeks ago I noticed some spotting and browning on the leaves of my tomato plants. I researched this on the internet and learned that my tomatoes had early blight. To fix it I bought a copper spray and treated my plants. Seven days later I decided to trim away all the infected leaves and treat the plants again. This took care of the blight but there was a consequence — Sunburn.
Okay, so it’s not actually sunburn, but because of all the pruning I did, which left many of my plants practically bald, several of my tomatoes are now suffering from sun scald. It isn’t a major set back, but it does give me reason to rethink my pruning techniques. I never knew that tomatoes and peppers can suffer sun scald if too many of their lush leaves are trimmed.
Knowing this is definitely going to limit the amount of pruning, cutting, and trimming I do. I look at these tomatoes as my “warning” from Mother Nature not to get too carried away, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.