Thou shalt suffer no weed to touch the leaves nor crowd the drip line of the tomato plant. Mulch thou the drip line of the tomato with weed barrier, that the tomato’s roots remain cool in the summer sun, and free to feed upon the nutrients of the soil without hindrance.
Thou shalt remove neither the side branches nor the suckers from the stem of the bush tomato, for it is a bush of many-stems, not a vine of a single central leader. Keep this commandment lest thy harvest be scanty and your hours of labor from seed to table be wasted like corn scattered upon a field of stone.
Thou shalt suffer neither side branches nor suckers to remain on the stem of the vine tomato. Prune them out lest your fruit be puny, shaming you before other gardeners.
Thou shalt allow no branch of the vine tomato, yea, verily I say unto you thou shalt allow no branch of the bush tomato to touch the soil, nor even to grow near unto the earth where the waters of the sky or the waters of the sprinkler will splash upon them and pass to them the one-thousand diseases that curse all who till the land. Prune them sharply lest evil creepeth from the earth and overtake them, and you gnash your teeth and tear your hair, squatting in the rows of the field.
Keep and obey this commandment — treat tomatoes of the vine and tomatoes of the bush for fungal diseases before they sicken, for I say unto you that though the diseases of the tomato might be prevented, I have decreed that the diseases of the tomato shall never be cured. The blight of the leaf shall become a blight of the stem, and the blight of the stem shall become the blight of the fruit, until in the fullness of time the entire plant shall die and its bones be gathered unto its ancestors.
Thou shalt not fertilize nor treat for diseases bush tomatoes after the red fruit thereof has been harvested, for having born young, the bush tomato is cursed to die. Neither a sacrifice of silver, nor entreating all the angels of heaven will avail you one iota. Verily I say unto you it is better you tear a spent bush tomato from the soil, and plant carrots, wax beans, or chard in its place instead.