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Staking Tomato Plants
The healthiest, most productive tomato plants, are those that have been staked up or caged, to keep the plant and fruit off the ground. Contact with the ground, can spoil the fruit, and allow insects, most notably snails and slugs, to gain access to the fruit.
There are a variety of ways to support your tomato plants:
Staking Tomato Plants: Drive a wooden or metal garden stake into the ground next to the plant. It is best to do this right after transplanting, to avoid disturbing or breaking roots. As the tomato plant grows, loosely tie the main stems to the stake. Do this every 8-12 inches.
Wire Tomato Plant Cages: Wire cages are a great way to support the growth of tomato plants. They usually have three legs. Spread the legs out a little, and push the legs into the ground around your plants. It is recommended that you use a garden stake, to help support the cage. Once the tomato plant is laden with fruit, it can topple, if not staked. Many varieties of tomatoes grow 4-6 feet or more, and can outgrow the cages. Tie stems to the garden stakes, when the plant growth exceeds the height of the tomato cage.
Plastic Veggie Cage: This is another great way to support your plants. Veggie cages can be extended up to seven feet. Drive a tall garden stake into the ground next to a new transplant. Setting up the veggie cage is easy. Anchor the veggie cage to the ground.... a stake is at the end of the veggie cage. Then, extend the cage and secure it to the top of the garden stake. The main stems will grow inside the cage. As the plant grows, the veggie cage all but disappears, amid the foliage and fruit.
Veggie Ring: This is relatively new. It works great to support, tomatoes, peppers, and many other plants. Drive a garden stake into the ground next to the plant. As the plant grows, attach a veggie ring to the stake. It's as simple as that!
Using a fence- Plant tomatoes along a fence. As the plant grows, use soft ties or strips of cloth, to attach the main stems to the fence. If you have a fence already installed, this method is a cinch!
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