How to Stake Your Tomato Plant How to Stake Your Tomato Plant
Stake your tomato plants to keep them healthier, and have the tomatoes ripen sooner and grow larger. Staked tomato plants allow more air to circulate around them promoting healthy growth. Staking also keeps fruit off the ground and lessens pest damage.
Choose Staking Material
Be creative when purchasing staking material. Buy tomato cages, use sturdy sticks and string to make a lattice, or make a teepee with wood strips. You can even use rebar. Stakes should be a little taller than the height of the full-grown plant.
Preparing to Stake
Stake when the plant has grown 6 to 8 inches high. Dig or pound stakes into the soil. You want them to be able to support a plant laden with tomatoes and to withstand winds or storms without toppling over.
How to Attach Plants to Stakes
During the growth period check plants frequently and adapt plants to their stakes by tying, tucking or pruning. Tie main tomato stems onto stakes. Tuck branches inside cages or around lattice or strings. Prune smaller stems to manage growth and have them fit their staking structure. If you have a cage or lattice, you can train smaller stems to stay inside the structure and to be held in place.
To tie plants to stakes, use twine, old nylon stockings, garden twist ties, strips of old grocery bags or cotton strips. Tie the main stem loosely to the stake every 12 to 18 inches.