Staking tomato plants is an art. Perfect staking for your garden tomatoes show your expertise in this filed as well as ensure you a healthy harvest.
There are plenty of ways and design to stake tomato plants but concentrating on the following factors help you to get the best output.
Tips# 1: Staking your tomato plants based on varieties
Tomato variety is the most important factor to choose the right staking methods. Different varieties need different types of staking methods and their size also may be unlike.
So, confirm the varieties before planting tomatoes. Tomato seed packets and plant tags clearly indicate the type of tomato varieties, average plant height, fruit size, growing season, disease resistance code and other information.
Determinate tomato varieties need low height staking or caging around 4 to 5-foot long and 1-inch diameter. Set the stake at best 12-inch deep into the soil. If you use a tripod stake then set the legs of the tripod stand around 4 to 5-inch deep inside the ground.
Vine type tomatoes need longer wooden stakes around 8 to 9-inch tall and 1 to 1.5-inch thickness. You can also use similar sizes of bamboo sticks for staking tomatoes. Bamboo stakes are usually stronger than wooden stakes.
Indeterminate tomato stakes need to set a little bit deeper into the ground around 18-inch to hold the extra load of the plant leaves and fruits.
Semi-bush or semi-determinate tomato varieties need usually 4 to 5-foot tall stakes or cage-like determinate tomatoes.
Tips# 2: Choose the right materials for staking tomatoes
Select the right materials to use for staking your tomatoes. There are some materials that you can use for making your tomato stakes such as a thick wooden stake or bamboo stake or rebar.
Before using the wooden stake or bamboo stake make sure those materials are not treated chemically.
The height and thickness of the stake depending on the type of tomato varieties. Indeterminate tomato varieties need longer and sturdier stakes than determinate tomato varieties.
Besides, if you are budget conscious choose bamboo or wooden stake rather than rebar because they are more costly but last longer.
Tips# 3: Select the right time for staking tomato plants
I recommend staking your tomatoes during transplant. Because staking tomato plants during the growing season may damage the root system. Besides, staking tomatoes earlier help them to stand strong without touching the ground and protect them from soil-borne fungal diseases.
So, set up the stakes according to your plant varieties at the very beginning. After finishing the transplant push a stake close to each tomato plant deep into the soil to train them up. Staking your tomatoes during transplants will give you the best output.
Tips# 4: Best methods for staking tomatoes
The best tomato staking method may depend on some factors. And, it may be an exception for you from other gardeners. So, there is no specific best method before confirming the following factors:
Indeterminate or vine type tomatoes perform better with simple staking, Tripod method, Tuteurs method or tomato ladder method. Besides some varieties are also comfortable with wire trellising or tomato tower cages.
On the other hand, determinate or bush type tomato varieties like Florida weave trellis, tomato caging, fencing and sometimes low height simple staking.
However, semi-determinate tomatoes prefer the vine type staking methods, as well as bush type methods, also suit them.
Your garden location and space also may vary the tomato staking methods. If you have a backyard and enough place then you can follow any types of staking method as you wish. Moreover, you can also pick any type of tomato varieties.
But if you have limited space in your balcony or rooftop or some other places follow those staking methods which take short space to set up.
If you have a limited budget follow those methods which are less expensive. But if the budget doesn’t matter you can choose any varieties which last longer, lucrative and made from heavy materials.
Containers and raised bed:
Container tomatoes are usually busy type and best suits for caging methods. Besides simple staking and wire trellising methods also work for containers, buckets, growing bags, and potting tomatoes.
Raise bed prefers tomato caging. Also, trellising and Florida wave methods work to raise beds.