Growing tomatoes in the garden is a beautiful experience and taking good care of the plant is the key to successful gardening. Type of seeds, sowing, watering, transplanting, adding fertilizers in the right time altogether help in harvesting beautiful red ripe tomatoes that perfectly meets your expectations. However, there is one more crucial step when it comes to growing tomatoes which is supporting plants.
May it be determinate or indeterminate variety supporting is required to all type tomato plants. Few gardeners recommend staking only indeterminate variety but supporting is good for all type tomato plants. The growing plant when touches the ground or soil has increased the risk of disease, fungus, and infestation of insects and hence protecting the plant by providing support to prevent touching the ground helps a lot. Leaving tomato plants to grow wild is not a good option because when the raw fruit touches the ground quickly rotten and becomes unusable.
There are many plant supporting options for tomato growers, and you can choose the one that best suits your requirements. The most common types of plant support you will find are staking and caging. Let us now discuss in detail the two popular methods of supporting tomato plants.
Staking is the most common type of supporting you will find in the majority of gardens or fields. The supporting system uses a stake which is long enough to support the plant either from one side or several sides. Generally, the length of the stake will be anything between 3 to 6 foot. Most extended stakes are used for indeterminate variety as they tend to grow taller. Commercially produced stakes are available in different material which includes bamboo, fiberglass, wood, and metal. However, you can make use of wooden fence planks and other metals poles that are readily available at home.
It is crucial that the stake should be buried at least 1 foot in the soil to prevent toppling of the same over the plants in windy weather conditions. The stakes should be planted when the plants are very young as staking in the growing season will cause damage or disturb the roots. Once the plant has reached enough height, it can be tied to the stake using fabric-based ties.
It should be noted that twine or metal wire should not be used as they can cut the stem of the growing plant. Do not tie the plant to the stake too tightly as it will hinder the growth. You can find plant ropes made of natural and fabric material exclusively for supporting purposes and are readily available in garden shops.
The second popular supporting system is caging. The caging support requires little more efforts than staking and setting up also takes more time. The cages can be made using metal wires or metal mesh. Metal wires are cut in different sizes and are joined using a metal or plastic pole from smaller to bigger sizes. The cages are narrow at the bottom and wide at the top. The poles are buried at least 1 foot into the ground. Concrete mesh cages are readily available at home improvement centers.
The concrete mesh cages can be crafted by cutting down 5-foot pieces and suitably trimming down the part that needs to be buried into the ground. Each mesh cage can hold up to three plants easily. With this supporting system, you can make sure that no part of the plant is touching the ground and also more air and sunlight can be made available. The cages help the plants to grow upright without the branches touching the ground. Caging is an effective way of keeping tomato plants tall and healthy.
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