Learn The Right Way To Stake Tomato Plants
Like any other plant, tomato plants keep expanding, and therefore it is essential to guide them in the right direction with the help of structure. However, tomato plants are not true climbers like cucumber. They do not have tendrils allowing the plant to scale up via grabbing onto objects. This is why it is important to learn how to stake tomatoes. It takes time and effort to train a traditional tomato plant to grow vertically and not spread across the ground.
To solve the problem for you, we have come up with a full guide on how to stake tomato plants and the benefits of plant stakes. Keep scrolling to learn.
Benefits of Tomato Plant Stakes
Tomato vines, when allowed to grow freely on the ground, can become really messy. The benefits of tomato plant stakes are more than just aesthetic appearances:
- Letting the tomato vines grow along the ground can invite disease and rot when lying on wet areas.
- The tomatoes will be easily accessible to pests like groundhogs, who will eat them.
- When growing tomato plants vertically, it will be easier to take care of them. No worry about stepping on the vines and no more bending to prune or insect for pests and diseases.
- Training tomato plants to grow in a vertical direction will also save a lot of garden space.
However, there are few side effects as well, like tomato plants will require more water using a garden hose.
Choosing and Using Fasteners to Support Tomatoes
You need a frame and fasteners to support tomatoes. Always make sure that you pick fasteners that will not cut through the vine.
For instance, a bare wire is a bad choice for fasteners; instead, use a strip of fabric because it is much softer. You can also recycle objects around the house for use as a fastener like a pantyhose.
Fasteners are always used in the same manner whether you are using a stake or cage for a supporting frame. Tie the tomato vines loosely to prevent any damage to the plant. You can fasten the vine in a gap of every 6-8 inches. Make sure that the tie is at least above the flowering stem so that the fastener cannot cut through when the plant weights down because of fruits.
Read More:- Tomato Farming Secrets For Healthy Yields
How to Stake Determinate Tomatoes
The amount of effort required to stake tomato plants will depend on whether it is an indeterminate type or determinate type.
Determinate tomatoes require less work as they are smaller vine compared to indeterminate types. The compact size makes it easier to train them, and they can easily grow even in a container. Determinate tomato plants grow upto a predetermined size and bear all the fruits within two weeks.
You can check the label on tomato plants or seed labels to find out the type of tomato. Most of the hybrid tomato varieties are determinate.
All you need to do to stake determinate tomatoes is simply use a small-medium sized cage for it. Place the cage around the plant, and slowly as the plant will grow it will fill the remaining space to be properly staked.
How To stake indeterminate Tomato Plants
When it comes to indeterminate tomato plants stakes, it all together with a different matter as they require a lot more work. It can be quite difficult to support them because they can get heavier and bigger. Every traditional tomato plant is an indeterminate type meaning they grow all year except in fall frosts.
You can use the following support for Indeterminate tomato plants stakes:
- Cages ( the biggest cages)
- Stakes (must be sturdy)
Ways Stake Indeterminate Tomatoes
The early you begin, the better it will be when you plan on tomato plant stakes. You will be able to control tomato plants easily if you start training when the plant is in the early growing stage. The only thing that you need to take care of properly is staking the tomato effectively.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the stakes for tomatoes should be at least 7 feet tall and 2×2 inches wide. The taller it will be, the better. Your stake needs to be very sturdy because vine bearing a lot of fruits can get quite heavy.
Keep one end a little pointy because it will be easier to stake the plant into the ground. In case yours do not have a point, you can trim off the wood on one end to make a point with the help of a hatchet.
Pound the stake at least 15 inches into the earth using a mini sledgehammer. Place it 5 inches away from tomato plant roots, so it does not cause any damage to the roots.
Once the tomato plant stakes are in a proper place, you will have to take care of two things throughout the growing season:
- Keep tying nay new growth to the stake
- Pruning the suckers so that the tomato stakes do not get overwhelmed
Keep pruning the suckers whenever you notice any as they will sap all the tomato plant’s strength. Pruning also makes the plant a bit more open and allows better air circulation making it less prone to diseases.
Not many people know that the tomato plant is a traditional sprawling vine and is related to bittersweet nightshade. Learning how to stake tomatoes is crucial to help them grow vertically and save a lot of garden space. This guide will help you learn everything you need to know about tomato plant stakes and how to do it.