I have come across many people who are trying to grow tomatoes indoors for the first time. The topic of pruning a tomato plant in order to limit growth is of interest to many but I am finding mixed responses on the results. I thought I would post what I am doing here since the feedback I am getting is that many are curious about the results -
This is a Juliet that I have grown from seed indoors. I have decided to experiment with the height of the plant to see if I could keep it under 4 feet. I've always let tomatoes do their thing and never worried about the plants getting too tall. When I have thrown out the idea to others, the majority of feedback has leaned towards nothing stopping an indeterminate from growing while the rest say trimming will halt the height of the plant.
About a week ago I cut the main stem at a joint. I have read that this will stop growth. The plant was under 4 feet at the time.
There has been no further growth at the point where I trimmed the plant back even though the main stem has continued on. It is a slow time waiting for warm weather and this will be a side project to pass the days.
Update: I had a couple questions about what I was doing so I am adding this response -
The entire plant was (and is) under 4' when I "decapitated" it. I do have two longer suckers, which are now as long as branches, but it is difficult to see from the picture. One of the lower sucker branches is 6" taller than the top of the main stem. At this point, I have only pruned the very bottom, suckers and branches, off the plant and the top of the main stem. I may have to trim that lower sucker branch that is taller than the main stem but I am waiting on that.
The pot is a 5 gallon bucket. I have two flower trusses and the beginnings of 1 tomato growing at this point. You can barely see a truss in the second picture.
I admit the plant is a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree looking since I have been growing it from seed in front of a window and under 1 light. This is my first year growing indoors so I am learning as I go. Next year I will have a better lighting set up. Also, all of my plants this winter are experiments to see what works and what doesn't.