To Connell, plants are like adolescents: you want to encourage them to grow, but you still need to put some pretty strict boundaries on them. That’s where pruning comes in. The goal with growing something like tomatoes is to encourage more growth, but not just any growth—you want fruit growth. More and more tomato leaves do not a delicious salad make. So you have to prune away growth that isn’t helping your cause; as Connell says, “like a good parent, you have to put some restrictions on them.” That means keeping the plant to basically a single stalk—you should to take off any tomato branches that form that are smaller than your biggest five. That way you are keeping the plant focused on making fruit, and not on growing big (bigger plants don’t equal bigger tomatoes). You also want to remove things called suckers—little buds that appear in the junction of two tomato branches. These, again, divert energy from fruit production and don’t help your cause.