Different Ways to Stake Tomato Plants
- The staking method involves a lot of work.red tomatoes on the vine image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com
Staking tomato plants involves the use of wooden, plastic or metal stakes. The difference between wooden and plastic stakes and metal stakes is that metal stakes will generally last longer. The staking method maximizes space in small gardens. Staking can reduce the yield from tomato plants which have been staked, due to overexposure to the sun which leads to blossom end rot, sun scald and water stress. This method of staking is also the most time-consuming because the tomatoes have to be constantly monitored and pruned during the period of active growth.
- Trellising produces ripe fruit early.Tomato image by Christian Stoltze from Fotolia.com
Trellising is similar to staking. A trellis is built by setting support posts in the ground and stretching heavy twine or wire between the both of them. The plants are then clipped to or wrapped around the twine for better support and to keep them off the ground as they mature. The advantage of trellising is that it produces ripe fruit earlier than any other method. The disadvantage is that the tomato fruits are exposed more to the sun due to the limited protective foliage, which can result in increased scalding, splitting and other fruit problems.
- The caging method requires the least work.tomatoes image by jedphoto from Fotolia.com
Cages can be built at home or purchased at the local hardware store. The advantage of caging is that the tomatoes are less exposed to the sun and are less likely to suffer sun scald. This method involves much less work than trellising or staking since the vines do not require as much pruning or maintenance. The disadvantage of this method is that cages can be expensive and can take up more garden space.