There are many ways to stake tomatoes in your garden, but some are simpler and more effective than others.
Knowing which type of stake to use for your tomatoes is the first step since different tomato plants require different stakes.
In this article, we will be covering staking large tomato plants in the ground. By the end of it, you'll be able to choose the best stake for your tomatoes, know how to insert it into the ground, and tie your tomato plants to it.
Here's all you need to know.
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Choose the right type of stake for your tomatoes
Stakes for support should be strong enough to hold the plant upright without breaking.
You don't want stakes that are too short, but you also don't want them to be so tall that your plants can't reach the top.
If you're using cheap bamboo stakes (or twigs) from your yard, chances are they won't last long against a healthy tomato plant's weight.
The best type of stake for staking tomatoes is a metal or wooden T post. Also known as “T-bars”, these sturdy posts are made of galvanized steel or wood. You can find these stakes at hardware stores, garden centers, and farm supply stores.
When to stake your tomatoes
The best time to stake your tomatoes is when you first plant them in the ground. It makes staking that much easier since there are no branches or fruit to get in the way. If you have already planted your tomatoes, it's not too late. You should still be able to drive a stake into the ground by digging around it with a shovel or garden fork.
Steps to staking tomatoes
Follow these steps to get the staking process done right.
Fill in the hole around the stake
Once you have placed your T-post in the ground, push it 2 feet deep using a sledgehammer or other heavy object if necessary.
The top of the post should be just below the soil's surface so that plants can lean against it without being crushed by rain or blown over by wind later on during hard weather conditions.
Fill dirt into and around your new stakes to keep them in place and help support the plant when it grows larger. If you need to add more dirt after the plant has started growing, remove any lower branches so that you can reach under the leaves and add soil without disturbing or damaging them.
Tie your tomato plants to the stake with garden twine
Insert a sturdy stake next to each young seedling at planting time, and tie it loosely in place with light-gauge garden twine. As they grow taller and heavier with foliage and fruit, use stronger material like bundled jute netting; plastic-coated galvanized steel wire is even sturdier. Tie it snugly enough so that wind won't blow your plants over but loose enough so that they can still grow and bear fruit.
Cut off the twine when you're done staking your tomatoes
You can cut off the twine from around your plants once you have been successfully growing them for a few months. If you want to reuse it, just untie the plant carefully before cutting it. You can also use any leftover garden twine to tie up other plants in your garden or even hang baskets.
Gardening in a small space
If you have a small space garden, you can still grow your tomatoes. There are a few tricks to keeping them from taking over the whole garden and getting too big or heavy for their stalk.
You can also train your plants by tying the main stem to a horizontal bamboo cane that's been stuck into the ground at both ends of each row of growing tomato plants. Tie one end of the plant to one end of the support and stretch it out in a straight line. Use twisty ties wrapped around it in a figure-eight pattern every foot or so until it reaches its outer limits. Repeat on the other side with a second cane and another section of tomato vine.
Gardening in a small space means you don't have a whole lot of room to grow your plants. If they become too big for their space, you can “stake” them by tying the vines to vertical support on one side and allowing them to grow up over it.
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Pruning your tomato plants
In addition to staking, you can prune your tomato plants to keep them from taking over the whole garden.
When possible, remove any suckers growing below the first flower cluster on each stem. This will help direct energy to produce fruits instead of more stems. When the first flowers have dried out and have dropped off, you'll see tiny green tomatoes beginning to form under where they were attached. These are called “suckers” because they take away nutrients that could go into the production of larger fruit.
Also, it’s important to consider that the best time for pruning your tomato plants is in late April or May. At that time, your plants are just beginning to get bigger and are starting to produce their first flowers.
Final thoughts on how to stake tomatoes
In conclusion, there are many ways to stake tomatoes.
Finding the right way to do so will help your garden grow the best possible tomatoes. Once you have done so, it is important to keep up on some simple pruning and care techniques throughout the growing season. If you do this, you will be able to enjoy your homegrown tasty fruit for many months.