Trellising and Pruning

A man trellising and pruning a tomato plant

Trellising and Pruning

Trellising and Pruning

October 10, 2021

You’ve probably heard people say that gardening can be so therapeutic right? Well, we agree! There’s definitely a sense of peace when tending to your plants and observing their growth in your aquaponic system. A big part of caring for your plants involves the trellising and pruning process.

The correct trellising and pruning of plants when needed is critical to ensure a healthy system that will reap in good-quality, fresh produce. It’s important to note that different plants require different levels of trellising and pruning. And some plants like your lettuce and other leafy greens don’t need any at all!

Pruning your plants

The pruning process promotes overall plant health. By removing certain dead parts, you create an opportunity for new growth and protect the plant from certain pest infestations. Pruning is required for most fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers.

Another method of pruning is to pinch new growth on the plant. This assists the plant is concentrating its energy on developing a good quality fruit rather than expanding its foliage. In other words, the plant sugars are now focused on concentrating the flavour and growing a healthier fruit.

Some Pruning Tips

You can use pruning to maintain a good amount of space between your plants. Plants thrive when they have good ventilation and don’t feel overcrowded. In addition, it helps reduce a stressful and competitive environment which can promote disease. If your plants are overcrowding each other, they are more likely to get nutrient deficiencies. Calcium deficiencies are commonly caused by lack of ventilation and too much humidity. So, make sure to prune your plants to allow ample space.

Pruning also assists with producing more fruit over the length of a season. If you prune your plant and keep it happy and healthy, they’ll provide a fair amount of delicious fruit in return. Also make sure to keep the plants’ leaves and fruits off the ground to avoid pest infestations, insect damage and fungal infections.

Some Basic Rules

  • Cucumbers = prune to allow only 1 stem per plant.
  • Pepper = only prune early in the season.
  • Tomatoes = prune to allow 1 stem per plant.
  • Eggplants = prune to allow only 2-3 stems per plant.
Clippers for Pruning in Aquaponics


The purpose of trellising is to give your plants a helping hand. Fruit-bearing plants or plants with excessive vegetative growth can easily become top-heavy and droop down to hang on the ground. Therefore, trellising is a technique to keep your plants off the ground and standing upright.

This method can help with optimizing space as well as increase fruiting production. You’ll want to support the fruit veins to avoid any breakage or damage. By keeping the plants’ leaves and fruits off the ground, you improve the ventilation and protect the plant from fungal disease and insect damage.

Some Trellising Tips

It’s important to support your plants before you being to prune. Pruning only takes place about 2-3 weeks after the transplanting process. This allows you to train the plant to take on its new support system.

To set up trellising you can use stakes, trellises or cages. Make sure to research which one is best for the plant that you are growing.

It’s best to keep in mind that both trellising and pruning is a process. You are ultimately training your plant to grow in a certain shape and direction. But like we said, it’s all quite therapeutic and you can use this time to enjoy the little observations and triumphs of gardening in your aquaponic systems.

If you want some advice on how to carry out the trellising and pruning processes, make sure to contact us today. We would be happy to assist in any way that we can.