Staking Tomato Plants

Staking Tomato Plants.

To see how I plant tomatoes go here.

How do you keep your tomato plants from falling over?  Stake them!

I have staked tomato plants every way imaginable (I think).

I’ve grown them in tomato cages with posts- they fall over.

I’ve grown them up twine from braces (think of a 2×4, parallel to the ground,  7 feet in the air with strings hanging down from it that are staked into the ground by a tomato plant.  Now imagine tomato plants growing up the strings) – the entire structure fell mid-tomato season.  It was a disaster.  This system may have worked really well if I used stronger string.

I’ve used the “Florida-weave.”  This is there a tomato stake is placed near every tomato plant and another stake is placed between every plant.  Then you use garden twine and “weave” it in and out and around all the tomato plants and stakes.   This creates a strong web of twine and plants.

My only problem with this technique was it seemed to prohibit the plants from growing.  The plants were such a knotted mess, there was not way for them to grow up.  The went out and down – branches all over the place.

Last year I used cattle panels.  I used 4 foot high panels and tied the tomato plants to them as they grew.  It worked pretty well.

The problem was that the plants didn’t want to stay attached to the cattle panel – even with 40 feet of garden twine, they wanted to droop, drape and fall forward all over the ground.

tomato 7

This year I am trying a new approach.  I am using the cattle panels again, but I made a tepee out of 2 panels.  I am growing tomato plants up the sides of the panels.

tomato aframe

I’m hoping since the panels are angled, it will be easier to keep the tomato plants growing along the panel and discourage them from falling forward onto the ground.

garden may 11

The tomatoes seem to be cooperating.

garden tomato

One month in and our tomato plants are really filling out.  They are working their way up the cattle panels.  garden tomatoe steak

See the branches on the ground (on the right) – that is bad.  Really bad.  Don’t be like me – tie your tomatoes up before they lay on the ground or you will have brown spots on your leaves like me.

Well, my tepee system seems do be holding up OK.  The tepee has disappeared because the plants are so big.

I also got the bright idea to plant sunflowers in the middle of my tomatoes.  To read more about that go here.

For more ideas to stake tomatoes:

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Happy Gardening!

Candi

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