Posted: 07/07/2013 at 13:09
do I remove any leaves to allow more light to speed up ripening or do I just leave all the leaves on the plant, there appears to be too much foliage which restricts the light.
To answer your first question, it's temperature that ripens toms, not light. It's why toms will ripen inside on the kitchen bench. Optimum temps for ripening are from the low-20s upwards.
You can remove side shoots, and it's a good idea to keep a gap of 12-18" between the soil and the lowest foliage purely for housekeeping purposes. Fungal spores can and will fall from the foliage to the soil beneath and can be splashed back up again during watering. The gap helps against that.
For the same housekeeping reasons, it's also a good idea to avoid clumps of impenetrable foliage. Air circulation is a big help against fungal problems and impenetrable clumps hinder air circulation. You have to be judicious, though. The plant needs foliage for photosynthesis to keep growing and developing.