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We envy your success withWe envy your success with these tomato plants! You are clearly doing a lot of things correctly. Both Better Boy and Cherokee Purple are indeterminate tomatoes, and both produce an abundant harvest. They may very well take over your deck. Enjoy the bounty! By the way, in a survey for the 2005 Almanac, readers described Better Boy as “God’s perfect fruit, [with] great taste.” First, if you have not already done this, make sure that the plants are staked or otherwise supported. (This should have been done when the first flower appears.) It would be desirable to have only one main stem below the first fruit cluster. Avoid too many stems above the first fruit cluster; aim for no more than four. Fewer stems mean larger fruit. (How do you avoid too many stems? Prune them.) Continue to prune the suckers, especially those below the first fruit, but get as many as you can and do this by hand, not with a knife or other tool. If at all possible, do not prune suckers when the leaves are wet to avoid any risk of disease to the plant. If the suckers get out of hand and become especially large and leafy, consider removing only the leaf cluster at the top of the sucker. This is less of a shock to the plant. About a month before the end of the season (but who is thinking about that in June?), do a ruthless pruning, or “topping,” of all of the growing tips so that the remaining fruit can mature properly. We hope this helps. If you are looking for ways to use your harvest, we have more than 400 recipes for tomatoes at Almanac.com/Cooking.

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