Monday, July 27, 2009

Staking Tomatoes

I have tried all sorts of ways to hold the tomatoes up. We've used the tomato cages; the weight of the tomatoes makes the cage fall over. We've tried having them climb little brackets of criss-crossed fencing, but tomatoes don't want to hang onto it like as if they were peas or grapes with grabby little tendrils. We've tried letting them sprawl on the ground, but that makes it hard to find the tomatoes and is just asking for slugs to snack on the tomato you'd planned to put on your BLT. We've tried staking, but as the plant grows, the stakes either snap or are yanked out of the ground by the weight of the plant.

A week or so ago, Gary went out and bought 6' stakes of rebar. He pounded them 2' down into the ground, and we've been trying to get the tomatoes moved from the sad, sorry, cracked, leaning little stakes to the big, strong, sturdy rebar. They're doing better. I've only broken one branch so far, and it hasn't died in the week since I broke it. (What's up with that? I don't understand, but I'm glad about it.) This morning I noticed that the tiny littlest tomato plant is starting to be all tippy and is now pulling its little stakes out of the ground. I wonder if the store bought any more rebar since Gary cleaned them out?


  1. We didn't have enough tomato cages for all of our volunteer tomato plants, so well over half of them ended up being knocked flat (and consequently pinned to the ground by morning glory vines...grrrr). Patrick and I rigged up a criss-crossing system of twine and stakes that looks absolutely dreadful but is keeping the tomatoes off the ground. :o)

  2. LOL! Mine look pretty dreadful too, but they're off the ground. And as the tomatoes continue to grow, the leaves are hiding some of the ugliness of the staking. :)

  3. We have several times had a branch break but not all the way so that if we just left it alone it continued to produce just fine!

    And we use cages. The only time they have tipped over is in a very bad storm.