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How to stake tomato plants in the garden

How to stake tomato plants in the garden


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Staking is one popular way of supporting tomatoes. The total yield of staked plants is often lower than similar plants that are not staked. You have to prune off side shoots and branches to support the plant with a stake and that actually reduces the total leaf surface of the plant. The leaf surface is the site of the plant's food manufacturing operation, so less leaf surface means a smaller total food supply, and that affects total yield. Staked plants usually need mulching with materials such as hay or grass clippings. The mulch helps retain moisture in the soil.

Content:
  • Garden Tips and Tricks – Staking Tomato Plants
  • 6 steps to growing a healthy tomato garden
  • Support Your Tomatoes: How to Use Cages, Trellises, Strings, and Stakes
  • Staking Tomatoes
  • Helen’s guide to growing tomatoes
  • How to Stake Tomatoes: Recommendations
  • Growing Tomatoes on Stakes
  • Florida Weave: A Better Way to Trellis Tomatoes
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Stake and Prune a Tomato Plant

Garden Tips and Tricks – Staking Tomato Plants

However, a little ongoing care and maintenance can mean the difference between productive, healthy plants and a disappointing yield. Here are our six essential steps to growing a tomato garden. Giving the plants in your tomato garden enough room to grow results in plants that are healthier, more productive, and less prone to diseases. Indeterminate tomatoes that are grown vertically on stakes can be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart.

Compact, determinate varieties need 24 inches between plants. For more information on spacing tomatoes, check out this article I wrote on proper planting distances. Smart planting means picking a good spot to grow tomatoes. They require full sun at least eight hours and decent, well-drained soil. Unlike many vegetables, tomatoes produce roots along their stems and if buried deeply at planting time will form a dense root system.

I generally bury the bottom two-thirds of my tomato seedlings when I plant. There are so many reasons to support tomato plants. The biggest reason is that it promotes healthier tomato plants.

Growing vertically allows better air circulation, less splashing of water onto leaves therefore fewer occurrences of soil-borne diseases , and more light to reach the plants. Tomato cages are widely available in garden centres and are fine for determinate, bushy varieties of tomatoes. Indeterminate or vining varieties, on the other hand can grow seven feet tall and require strong support.

I like to use an eight-foot tall wooden or fiberglass stake which is inserted beside the seedling at planting time. As it grows, use twine to secure the plant to the stake.

You can also buy or DIY tall square tomato cages for indeterminate plants. Mulch is perhaps the most crucial step of keeping a tomato garden healthy. Mulch covers the soil surface with an organic material like shredded leaves or straw. Why does that such a big difference? Placing a barrier on the soil surface reduces the splashing of soil-borne pathogens onto the foliage, but it also holds soil moisture, and minimizes weeds.

I generally use straw, applying a two-inch thick layer around my tomato plants as soon as they are planted. Some gardeners prefer to use a red plastic mulch or black plastic mulch in their tomato garden. They do warm the soil, accelerating growth, and like straw, keep weeds down and reduce soil-borne diseases. However, they make irrigation more difficult and you need to run soaker hoses beneath the mulch to provide water.

We all know that plants need to be watered but did you know that proper watering of a tomato garden can reduce the occurrence of problems like blossom end rot? Aim to water regularly, if there has been no rain, and never let plants dry to the point of wilting. I use a two-foot watering wand and hose to irrigate my tomatoes, always watering the base of the plant, not the foliage.

Spraying water on the foliage can — you guessed it — spread disease. Installing a soaker hose around the base of plants is another irrigation option that make watering quick and easy. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and appreciate a steady supply of nutrients all season long. My goal is to feed the soil with plenty of compost or aged manure, as well as slow-release organic tomato fertilizers. I also apply a liquid organic fertilizer like fish emulsion or liquid kelp every three to four weeks during the growing season to encourage a generous harvest.

As you work in your tomato garden keep an eye on the plants.A quick inspection once or twice a week can help you head off any potential problems. As my tomato plants grow, I continue to tie them to their stakes. I also remove the bottom leaves so that by the time my plants are full-grown, they usually have no leaves along the bottom foot of stem.

These bottom leaves are often the first to discolor with issues like early blight and removing them can help reduce the spread. Also watch out for any yellowing or curling of the foliage, brown spots, and other irregularities.

If your garden is prone to tomato diseases, be sure to practice crop rotation, all the tips mentioned above, and grow disease-resistant varieties like Defiant, Jasper, and Mountain Merit. As well, check out this informative article by Jessica on common diseases and what to do if they occur. Most people focus on air temps and forget the soil, but cold soil will seriously retard growth if not kill the the plant.

I have also put black nursery pots in the holes to increase sun absorption. If running out of time, or it is colder than avg, I have even used gal milk jugs filled with water placed by the holes during the day to soak up sun then lowered into the holes to release heat during nights. Does planting tomatoes on the same spot reduce the yield?

Should I cancel the sprinkler by the area where I intend to plant my tomatoes? Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content Skip to primary sidebar. I grow indeterminate tomatoes vertically on stakes or up twine. As the plants grow, I tie the new growth to the stake, or clip it to the twine.

There are a lot of benefits to mulching plants in a tomato garden. Not only does it reduce the spread of common diseases, it also helps hold soil moisture, and reduces weed growth. One of the leading causes of blossom end rot is inconsistent watering. Plan to irrigate regularly to promote healthy growth.

Note the signs of early tomato blight on the leaves of this Sungold plant. To minimize disease, grow resistant varieties, stake them well, and mulch with straw or shredded leaves. Comments Most people focus on air temps and forget the soil, but cold soil will seriously retard growth if not kill the the plant. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Disclosure Policy Privacy Policy. This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

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6 steps to growing a healthy tomato garden

If you want a cheap and easy way to trellis your tomatoes even the unwieldy indeterminate plants , forget cages. The Florida Weave method goes up fast and uses everyday supplies you might already have around the yard. This is the same technique farmers use! The Florida Weave. I have to chuckle every time I hear the name.

These tomato garden mistakes could be keeping you from growing a Read up on the seed packet or plant stake to learn more about what.

Support Your Tomatoes: How to Use Cages, Trellises, Strings, and Stakes

Toll Free: info swallowtailgardenseeds. From seed to harvest, tomatoes are included in my top ten favorite plants to grow. The seeds are easy to handle, and seedlings grow quickly with a high germination rate. All they ask of you is warm, fertile soil, the right amount of water, plenty of sun, and some sort of support structure to hold them relatively upright. There are so many different techniques for staking tomatoes; I have good success with the following method. When your tomato plant is around 1 ft or more tall, preferably before it starts to fall over, tie it to a stake. Use any type of stretchy garden tie. Strips of old pantyhose work great as flexible garden ties.

Staking Tomatoes

In the post on determinate and indeterminate tomatoes it was recommended to stake indeterminate tomatoes. But even determinate tomatoes could benefit from being stakes and supported. The main reason for staking and supporting tomato plants is to keep the plants and fruit off the ground and lessen the chance of transmitting diseases to your plants.There is also the possibility that your plants could be damaged by wind, rain, pets, garden pests or the occasional stray ball from kids in your neighborhood. The photo above is by Hawk3ye and one of her gardening photos that she shared on the Chicago gardeners Flickr pool.

There is something about the taste of a freshly picked tomato, ideally eaten with a leaf of basil, that truly signals summer in the garden.

Helen’s guide to growing tomatoes

This reduces losses from fruit rots when fruit touch the soil and from sunburn when fruit are not shaded by foliage. Supported plants are easier to spray or dust for insect and disease control and easier to harvest than those sprawling on the ground. Three popular methods of supporting tomato plants are staking, caging, and trellising. Supported tomato plants are pruned suckered to reduce the number of branches, thereby making plants more suitable for the selected method of support. Plant type also determines the amount of pruning.

How to Stake Tomatoes: Recommendations

We aptly named our dual-support apparatus the Stake-A-Cage. And, have been using them to stake our tomato and pepper plants with ease for 10 years. Until this year that is, when we added a new twist to our trusty old Stake-A-Cage. As good as our old stake-a-cages were for our pepper and tomato plants, there were a few slight drawbacks. The first was that they could be hard to store with the stake and cage attached. Each fall, we hung them on the inside of a barn wall, or stored them in crates.

The Basket Weave or Florida Weave is a common way to stake field tomatoes. Staking is important to reduce fruit rots, sunscald and foliar.

Growing Tomatoes on Stakes

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Florida Weave: A Better Way to Trellis Tomatoes

RELATED VIDEO: Grow Lots of Tomatoes... Not Leaves // Complete Growing Guide

Many people also come back the next year with sad tales to tell about their experience with the cages. Here are some alternatives to the typical tomato cage purchased at a home improvement store or nursery. I too started with cages, and tried them out in a variety of ways…none successful, I might add. I also tried:. After years of trials and tribulations , my husband rigged up a system for growing our heirloom tomato plants that has proven easy, efficient, and successful.

The most popular garden vegetable crop, tomatoes come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors.

Indeterminate tomato varieties those which keep growing and producing fruit all season until frost are most in need of staking. Determinate tomatoes those which stop growing at a certain size and set their fruit at one time have a more bushy habit, and may not need to be staked. Advantages to staking tomatoes Space. Staked tomatoes grow upright, rather than sprawled, which saves garden space. Bigger fruit. Staking allows more light to blossoms and leaves.

Most types of tomato plants are vegetables that never stop growing. The botanical term to describe this type of blooming and fruit-bearing is the word indeterminate. Which materials are best? What is the best structure for tomato plants?



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