1. Our brilliantly clear sun requires as much foliage shade for tomato fruits as possible. With less foliage, fruits may sunscald.
2. Our dry climate precludes having to clip foliage to open up the tomato plant to better air circulation. Stagnant air and moisture are not a problem for us.
3. Our gentle breezes provide good air circulation so disease spores don’t settle on the foliage.
On the other hand, conditions under which you MAY want to prune some foliage or fruit include these:
1. Coastal gardens may have predominantly overcast days and moist air. This means that some pruning to open up foliage to more sun may be wise. Our coastal moist air is usually cool as opposed to warm East Coast humidity, so less of a negative issue. And coastal gentle breezes still provide good air circulation.
2. Plants are too vigorous due to overfertilizing and overwatering, and produce few blossoms and hence few fruits.
◦ Firstly, lessen water and stop fertilizing. Let the plants dry and starve a bit, using up that
overwatering and overfeeding. Plants will blossom when they’re a bit on the lean side.
◦ Masses of foliage mean that the inner growth doesn’t get sufficient air circulation, so the
inside environment is more favorable to disease spores establishing themselves. All this takes
is 6 hours. This is why watering timing is recommended so foliage is dry by sunset.
Consequently, remove some of the inner foliage.
3. Diseased foliage or fruit is best removed from the plant so the problem doesn’t spread. Fruit that is brownish and papery at the blossom-end is still edible, so salvage the unaffected upper portion.
4. Indeterminate varieties will keep growing as long as they’re healthy and don’t succumb to frost (it’s been 4 years in my garden since we had even a light frost), so foliage may surmount even tall trellises. I don’t have a problem with this, however, since the foliage and new fruitset just weigh themselves back down the outside of the trellis, covering the inner stems that are now bare of fruit and foliage.