Here are the responses we received regarding the question of one or two
leaders for tomatoes. It's always handy when the answers given are pretty
consistent (two leader for grafted, one leader for all others). THANKS
everyone - very useful information!

Carol and Dennis
Radical Roots Farm

we do one on ungrafted and 2 on grafted- skip paul in rhode island is the
guy to talk to....

Michael Kilpatrick

we always prune them to two, partially because it provides a little more
shade to the fruit.  we grow a lot of heirlooms, and too much sun makes
them crack a lot.  however, ours are outside, not in a high tunnel, so that
might not be an issue.  our cherries we grow in a hoop house and prune to
two leaders, but we continue to aggressively sucker them.  that seems to
work out the best, and you get a lot of fruit.  i'd be interested to hear
what others think on this.


Peacework Farm

My understanding is 2 leaders is usually for grafted plants. That said I
know a grower who prunes all his cherry tomato to 2 leaders (ungrafted) and
they are incredible. I prune all of mine to one leader but I plant at one
foot spacing.


Screamin’ Ridge Farm, Inc <>.

802-461-5371 <file://localhost/tel/802-461-5371>

Last year we pruned to two leaders on the farm I apprenticed at in
Middlebury.  I have started my own farm this year and was wondering what I
should do.  I have my tomatoes on 18 inch spacing and wasn't sure if I
could get away with two or if that would be too crowded.  If you could
please pass on what responses you get back that would be most appreciated.

Take care and good luck with your season!



I did half with one and half with 2 last year.  I found the 2 leaders to be
too much trouble clipping for not double the return.  I went back to single
leaders this year with a little tighter spacing.  Plus it is easier to
explain to the crew single leader when they pitch in and help.

I am really writing to ask if you could share the results with me.  I
wrestle back and forth with 1 versus 2 every year.

Many Thanks,

*John Wells*

*Rimol Greenhouse Systems*

*New England & Mid South Sales Manager*

*Cell **(603) 494-9426* <file://localhost/tel/%2528603%2529%2520494-9426>

*Fax **(603) 218-6000* <file://localhost/tel/%2528603%2529%2520218-6000>


The only real reason to create a two leader is for grafted Tomatoes... They
actually need the biological load of two leaders to keep them in
"vegetative Mode"..  Barring that it works if you have the space....but you
will burn through your nutrients faster with a two leader system so at
about five hands keep the compost and powdered fish at the ready.

Skip Paul