Tomato plants are not only easy to grow, but can also be grown almost anywhere. While it is a great delight to harvest sweet and juicy tomatoes in the summer heat, growing healthy plants require staking. When you stake a plant, the purpose is to have the tomatoes hanging in the air, rather than lying on the ground. The process of staking is necessary, as tomato plants need some support, before they become heavy with fruit and sprawl out of control. If the plant is not staked, tomatoes would remain on the ground and rot eventually. There are various advantages of staking tomatoes. The fruits of staked tomato plants are larger and ripen earlier than their counterparts. Also staking keeps the vines and plants away from the ground, which ensures cleaner and less rotting. One of the most important advantages is that the harvest is early and it saves space and is especially beneficial for the people with small garden. Staking tomato plants also improves the chances of a plant’s survival your chances of success. However not all the tomato plants need staking. The types of tomato plants which doesn’t need staking are the determinate, patio or dwarf types. There are also some disadvantages of staking. Staking involves a lot of effort and time. In addition, staked tomatoes are more vulnerable to cracking and sunscald problems. Read further to get tips on staking tomato plants.
How To Stake Tomato Plants
With Wooden Stakes
- Wooden stakes
- Wood preservative
- Tomato plants
- The first step is to get a wooden stake, which is 6 foot in length and 1 inch in width.
- Wood is accustomed to rotting, so you need to paint the stake with wood preservatives.
- Keep the stake on the north side of the plant. It should be placed at a distance of about 3 inches from it.
- Next, set the stake 10 inches deep into the ground.
- When the plant grows, tie it to the stake, with the help of a twine. Tie a square knot around the stake so that the twine is secure and won't slip.
- Tie the remaining twine to the tomato plant, using another square knot.
- When the plant grows, tie additional knots every 12 inches along the stem.
- Keep trimming the plant, as it grows, to one or two stem. Continue to prune the other shoots as well.
- As the plant reaches the top of the stake, pinch out the growing part of the shoot. This will allow the plant to focus energy on the tomatoes.
The Tomato Cage
- Tomato plants
- Chicken wires
- As the name itself applies, tomato cage is the way of staking by caging the tomato plants. It is one of the most common ways of staking tomatoes. These cages are easily available in local hardware shops. Sometimes you may find them in your local nursery also. You could also make it yourself from chicken wire.
- Space the plants at least three inches from each other.
- Put the cages over the tomato plants when they small itself.
Tomatoes On Strings
- Staking the tomatoes on strings are a relatively new process. It is an ideal process for the people with small garden as it saves space more than the wooden stakes or even the cages.
- In this process, the tomatoes are tied with a string at the base of the plants and then to an overhead crossbar.
- Then the tomato plants are trained up the rope as it grows. Like in any other method of staking, it also needs regular checking.