Growing tomatoes without stakes allows for a bountiful harvest: one plant will give you the equivalent of three stakes.
All without effort.
Space for the tomatoes
The first condition for successfully growing tomatoes without stakes: having room in the garden, because a plant grows over more than a meter of surface. Varieties with limited growth - Felicia, Ferline, cherry tomatoes, olives - are well suited to this technique.
Once planted, your tomato plants will take their ease to grow. The main stem will root all over its surface, and the plant will develop a lot of leaves, two assets that will ensure the best conditions for fruiting.
A good mulch on the ground
Plant your tomato plants from mid-May, this is enough for a late summer harvest that will give until the first frosts. Add a handful of crushed nettles to each planting hole and water once or twice to ensure recovery.
Unless you have stony or sandy soil, it is recommended to cover the feet with a dry mulch (straw, wheat, flax or clippings) to insulate them from moisture which will cause the fruit to rot. You can also use crates or wooden pallets placed on the ground. This culture can also be done in a greenhouse, as the soil remains dry, the tomatoes will thrive there.
Low maintenance for your tomatoes
Once your feet are installed, you can trim the first two crowns of leaves to keep only the bottom ones. Then let the stems run on the ground. Plan a reasoned watering, once every two weeks with a drip if the weather is dry.
To guarantee the success of your culture, it is better to make one or two preventive treatments against mildew such as on staked plants. That's all. You won't have to plan for size or tie downs. The feet will crawl and cover the ground with their many leaves which will choke the weeds.
Minimum maintenance for a bountiful harvest!
- Read also: stake the tomatoes
Visual credits: Truffaut, Gnis / Y Lanceau