The Q&A Archives: Training Tomatoes

Question: How can I "corral" my Burpee tomato plants better even when I center them inside wire cages?

Answer: Tomatoes are vigorous growers, there's no doubt about that! Some gardeners stack their tomato cages two-high to contain the growth. If you aren't one to prune your tomatoes, this may be your easiest route. Gardener's Supply Co. (; ph# 800/863-1700) carries sturdy, roomy tomato cages suited to stacking. You'd need to reinforce the corners with bamboo poles or wooden stakes, and wire the cages securely together.<br><br>If you want to try other techniques, here's one that requires less money but more attention to pruning - set up tall, sturdy stakes at either end of the row, and attach a strong wire (heavy-guage fence wire) across the tops. For each tomato plant, uspend a strand of baling twine or other rope from the wire, and tie it to the tomato stalk. Wrap the twine around the stalk as it grows to keep it standing straight. Prune off side shoots and suckers as they come out. Hope these are helpful ideas!

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