0
points
Best way to support tomato plants?

Tomato    MI

Can somebody recommend a good way of supporting my tomato plants. I have always used cages in the past but I find the standard ones to be very unstable and I am always scared that a good gust of wind will topple the whole thing. I am growing Brandywines and Cherokee purples for the first time. I'm quite handy and willing to build something if there are some good suggestions?


Posted by: Abby (7 points) Abby
Posted: May 23, 2013




Answers

2
points
Many 'good' ways.
1) Use the wire sheets used for concrete floors. Roll into a 'cage', cutting at 10 to 12 squares for circumference... height is limited only by what you can buy. Tie ends together to form a cage using baggie ties or scrap pieces of electrical wire. Each cage holds 2 to 4 tomatoes. Space the cages a few feet apart.
Anchor the cages by placing three 4 foot wooden stakes equal distant around the cage. The stakes do not need to be as tall as the cage. Secure with electrical wire if you think it needs it.
You can help the tomatoes as they grow by loosely clipping or tying them to the cage. Often, I put a wood or bamboo stake with each plant to help secure it while it's small. As they mature, the cage and close proximity to other plants will help prop each other up.
2) Use the tall spiral wires and 'single stem' the tomato. I like to then slide one of my old tomato cages over the top for extra support.
3) Put tall stakes in the ground every 4 to 6 feet. Run a double row of twine for horizontals. As the tomato grows, slip the tomato stem between the double twine for support.


Posted by: SJ Smith (5 points) SJ Smith
Posted: May 23, 2013


Tanya in the Garden commented,
1. This is called CRW, or concrete-reinforcing wire, and the openings are 6 inches apart, which makes it useful for any size of tomato. It lasts quite a long time, but it does eventually rust.

almost 7 years ago.

Kathryn Fiedler commented,
this may seem random, but there have been a few cases where the CRW was hit by lightning and fried large patches of tomato fields. I know this seems random and obscure, but it's happened more than once and can do some serious damage.
over 6 years ago.



2
points
In our tomato research plots we use the wooden stakes between every other plant. Wrapping the twine around supports the plants and turns them into a hedge sort of thing. This is the method that will injure the plants the least. Just make sure that it's not too dense because the humidity can get high within the plant and diseases can occur. The tomato industry uses this method, so it definitely works well.


Posted by: Kathryn Fiedler (72 points) Kathryn Fiedler
Posted: June 6, 2013




1
point
I've used all kinds of cages that I've been able to find for free. The sturdiest I've seen are the Texas tomato cages, which are quite expensive, but I can't afford those (and don't want to spend that much on something I leave out in a public area, in a community garden). The Texas tomato cages don't rust, and they fold flat are are easy to store.

But to make any cage stable, I use rebar as a stake. It comes in 20 ft. lengths from hardware stores or building supply yards, and my local place has a rebar cutter and will cut the 20-ft. piece into whatever lengths I want. Once I wanted 5-6 pieces 2 ft. long, and they were willing to do that. I get the smallest width available, which is easy to get into the ground.

I've also used 6 ft. bamboo poles, but they don't last as long. Two of those will make any cage quite sturdy, though.


Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: May 23, 2013




1
point
My new favorite method is to make lean-to structures out of bamboo. If you get the angles right and stick the ends into the ground, they'll stand up wonderfully. I've also used parallel cattle panels with tightly tied cross pieces and a couple of diagonal braces from whatever wood or bamboo was lying around. Much like the concrete wire but thicker and galvanized.


Posted by: David Goodman (67 points) David Goodman
Posted: May 25, 2013




0
points
I use strings when planting put end under root ball and secure to wires as the top as plant grows get the tomatoe to grow round the string, then if you so wish to get extra toms lower the strings horizontally.as theft grow. Mind you may not be suitable for growing outside tho


Posted by: cathy barker (3 points) cathy barker
Posted: May 23, 2013




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