How to Support Your Tomatoes

You don’t need to stake tomatoes so as to urge an honest crop, but it’s an honest idea. Staking saves space, but more importantly, it keeps the fruit off the bottom, where it’s susceptible to damage from insects and diseases.

Plus, it’s easier to reap supported plants than to search for the tomatoes on the bottom.

Tomato plants fall under two basic categories that supported how they grow. Determinate plants have short- to medium-length vines, and stop growing at a particular point. Determinate plants take light pruning and adapt well to caging or staking. Indeterminate types still grow and produce throughout the season. they ought to be pruned moderately if staked or lightly if caged.

TOMATO STAKES

You need to make a decision about how you’ll support your tomato plants before you plant them because different methods require different spacing. If you propose to stake your plants, plant them 18 to 24 inches apart. Place a stake within the ground next to each plant or next to every other plant, about 3 or 4 inches faraway from the stems.

Stakes got to be three-to-four feet long for determinate plants and five-to-six feet long for indeterminate plants. they will be made up of metal or one-inch diameter wood, but not chemically treated wood. Tie branches to the stakes individually using soft cord or fabric. Don’t use wire or monofilament line because it can dig the stems.

Tie the cord to the stake before looping it loosely around the stem. Prune the plant by removing suckers, and tie the branches as they grow.

TOMATO CAGES

You can buy tomato cages or make them from the concrete reinforcing wire with six-inch openings. A five-foot length of five-foot tightrope (shorter for determinate types) makes an eighteen-inch diameter round cage.

Another sort of cage is that the folding tomato cage, which is square and really easy to store. Folding galvanized steel cages contains vertical metal rods circled by bent rods. Do-it-yourselfers can make tomato cages out of scraps of wood. (For instructions see Woody’s Folding Tomato Cages.

Whether made from wood or wire, if you’re taking your cages in during the winter they’re going to last for years and years.

Place your tomato plants three feet apart and prune each plant to four or five fruiting branches. Slip a cage over each plant and anchor the cage into the bottom. You don’t need to tie the plants to the cages, but it’s good to softly turn to escape branches back to the cages.

You can protect young plants from wind and funky temperatures by wrapping plastic around the bottom foot approximately every cage.

While plants take longer to ripen when grown in cages, harvests tend to be larger, and fruits less likely to be cracked or sunburned. Besides, using cages takes much less work than staking.

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