Supporting Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Benton Harbor, MI
Question by tommy077
June 9, 2005
How to support them from falling on the ground and rotting once the fruits get real heavy?


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Answer from NGA
June 9, 2005

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The main reason for staking and supporting tomato plants is to keep plants and fruit off the ground. This reduces losses from fruit rots when fruit touch the soil and from sunburn when fruit are not shaded by foliage.

You can stake your plants: Staking requires wooden or metal stakes 5 to 6 feet long for indeterminate varieties and 3 to 4 feet long for determinate varieties. Wooden stakes should be at least 1 inch square. Metal stakes can be of smaller diameter and have the advantage of lasting many years. Do not use chemically treated wood. Sections of concrete reinforcing rods (rebar) make excellent tomato stakes.

Or you can cage your plants by purchasing the pre-made tomato cages available at most garden centers at Home Depot or Lowe's Home Improvement stores. Hope you have a bumper crop!


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