Your tomato plants are in the ground, the weather is warming up and the plants are growing! What’s next? While not all tomato plants need to be supported, most will benefit from it unless you are growing dwarf or short bush varieties of plants. For tomatoes that will grow to taller heights, we recommend that you take the time to stake them. While it does take some extra work there are many benefits:
- It saves space in your garden. You can grow more plants in the surrounding area.
- It helps keep them clean, avoid rot and disease.
- You’ll get an earlier harvest with larger tomatoes.
- It’s easier to pick the tomatoes and work around staked plants.
How to Stake
When you stake a tomato plant, try to put the stake on the prevailing downwind side so the plant will lean against it when the wind is blowing hard.
Six-to eight-foot-high stakes are good for most tomatoes, although you can make do with shorter four- to five-foot stakes, if necessary. Put the stakes in the ground right after you’ve set out the plants. Drive them about a foot into the soil, three to five inches away from the plant. Remember not to put the stake on the root side of trench-planted tomatoes. As the plant grows, tie a strip of cloth, nylon stocking or coated wire tightly to the stake and loosely around the plant in a figure-eight fashion. Leave at least an inch or two of slack. Add more ties as needed as the plant grows up the stake.
Stop by our store for your gardening supplies. We options available for your plants including stakes, circular cages or trellises. We also have fertilizer, hoses and everything you need to keep your garden growing!