Now this is where it gets tricky. I stress keeping the suckers pinched off during the growing process because they take away nutrients from the main stem and branches. Anything in this little 45 degree angle in the fork of a main stem and branch, is a sucker. During the growing process, these have to be kept at bay and pinched off so they will produce the first fruits. Now, when your plants have produced their first set of fruits like above, you can actually start letting these suckers stay on the plant now to produce new growth and possibly second fruits. Also, you will need them to replace all the dead leaves and branches you had to prune off.
See the new growth and new blooms now? If you take very good care of these plants for just a little longer, you just might get a set of second fruit. You will once again have to baby your plants for the rest of the summer. When you start seeing new blooms, you can fertilize again with a little gentle homemade fertilizer. I use coffee grounds, epsom salt, and baking soda. Equal parts of each. I just sprinkle around the base of the plant and cover mulch back up.
Now, one thing to keep in mind. If you live in a climate or zone where your fall season comes early, you might not be able to do this and have an extended season. Since our first frost or cooler weather doesn’t come until October or November, we can extend our season. You can always experiment and sacrifice a few plants and try this, or take some of the bigger suckers that you had to pinch off and put in a pot with some soil and take it indoors to grow. It’s worth a try.
I hope you enjoyed this information and hopefully you will play around and have fun in your garden. You never know what you might come up with.