If you grow tomatoes, you know how heavy the limbs can become once the tomatoes start ripening. If you don’t offer the plant support, it can become damaged and the limbs can even break off. Instead of letting this happen and risking such damage, take a look below at 7 ways to support and stake tomato plants so you can keep your plants supported and healthy!
1. Try traditional cages.
Traditional cone cages are one of the most common ways to stake tomato plants. The cone goes in so the tapered end faces downward and the tomato plant has a chance to grow upward. Place one tomato cage in the ground when the plant is about 18 inches tall for best results.
2. Make a dowel rod teepee.
Take three dowel rods and join them into a teepee shape so the tops are together. You can then use twine to tie the top together and press the opposite ends into the ground. The rods will help support branches as the plant grows and offers a cool teepee look.
3. Try simple straight stakes.
These bamboo plant stakes are one of the most cost effective ways you can stake tomato plants. These tall green plant stakes can be bought in bundles for just a few dollars. Place one in the ground next to the plant and use twine to gently tie the stem of the plant to the plant stake.
4. Use a trellis option.
A trellis is a great option for tomatoes that vine out excessively. Any type of floral trellis can be places by the plant and it will allow for the plant to grow upward. This is ideal of cherry tomato varieties and ones where the vegetable stays smaller in size.
5. Consider baskets.
If growing trailing or cherry varieties you can always plant the seedling in a hanging basket or hanging planter. In this case the plant is allowed to trail downward and you don’t need to worry about offering additional support. As mentioned, this should only be used for trailing, smaller varieties. As a bonus, baskets can also be ideal if pests are an issue. They can’t get up and reach the produce as easily in baskets.
6. Try a box method.
You can use wood slats or dowel rods to build a box around your tomatoes and offer support that way. In this case you would take four pieces and create four corners, then connect all four pieces with wood slats or rods at the top. It would then create a hollow box for the tomato plant to grow up, and the top portions of wood offer support for the outward stems.
7. Use what you already have!
Yard sticks, tree branches and scrap wood can all make excellent support systems. Use these items to create the straight stake option as mentioned above or to make a box option as also mentioned. If you have these items around, there is no need to buy new.